@ICC Sevathon
Mai Le —

(April 16, 2013) In less than a month, tens of thousands of Bay Area commuters will take to the road and trails as part of San Francisco Bay Area’s 19th Annual Bike to Work Day. On Thursday, May 9th, the largest event in California that encourages bike commuting as a fun, affordable form of transportation that supports better health every day takes place throughout the nine counties. Over the last 19 years, Bike to Work Day has put more people on the road to bike commuting than any other event in the Bay Area.

Presented by 511.org, MTC and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day is the largest of many events during National Bike Month in May. Events include Team Bike Challenge where teams clock miles biked during May for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights. A Bike Commuter of the Year award is presented in each county for dedicated commuters, these individuals are inspiring bicycling in their community by example. (Nominations close April 22nd.)

Biking to work is a great way to get physical activity in before a workday. In addition to the heart health benefits, a Japanese study in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health showed that men engaged in leisure-time exercise and cycling during commuting to work may be associated with better mental health.

Employers also benefit by encouraging employees to bike to work. Biking to work builds morale, reduces the number of sick days and the demand for car parking. Bike to Work Day will see hundreds of volunteers staff energizer stations throughout the SF Bay Area, offering complimentary refreshments, official reusable canvas bags, bicycle information and encouragement to push on.

Throughout May and on May 9th community events will be held by local bicycle coalitions and traffic congestion agencies throughout San Francisco, Sonoma, Solano, Napa, East Bay, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Silicon Valley and Alameda counties. For a complete list of stations and to register for a chance to win a Public Bikes bike, a Joshu Vela bag with MonkeyLectric lights or a ModCloth gift certificate visit the Bike to Work Day website.

Mai Le —

As part of a series highlighting riders that biked an incredible amount of miles during Team Bike Challenge and National Bike Month, we are publishing a series of questions from top riders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jeff Fishel is a bike mechanic at Cyclepath in Hayward and has been an active participant in Bike to Work Day for a number of years, consistently manning Energizer Stations and taking part in other aspects of National Bike Month. Biking 1,811.4 miles in May, he garnered the highest mileage in Alameda County and the second highest mileage in the San Francisco Bay Area region. His high point score of 93 attests to how many trips he took and the time spent on his saddle that went into garnering this impressive feat.

Where do you work, or what type of work do you do?

I work at Cyclepath bicycle shop in Hayward, as a mechanic. Is this the first time you've participated in the Challenge? (Please elaborate.) This was my first time participating in the Challenge, though I have been involved in BTWD throughout the last 7 or so years, helping with energizer stations, and various other aspects of Bike to Work Month.

What motivated you to start bicycling?

I started riding extensively as a teenager, really picking up cycling after a sports-related knee injury. I was hooked on the freedom it provided, and amazed at the accessibility it afforded me. Cycling vastly increased my physical horizons, opening up the world quite a bit. Suddenly I could get places I hadn't even known about previously. I still feel a sense of wonder when I consider what is possible by simply riding a bike.

What type of bike do you ride?

Mostly a carbon Jamis road bike for my longer commutes, but also a steel Jamis hardtail (it's super fun and easy to combine some trails with roads to liven up the commute) and an 80's beater bike for short errands or trips where I need to lock my bike up outside.

Did you bike every day?

Yup, at least 20 miles a day, averaging over 58 daily, and more than 120 hours of saddle time for the month.

Do you have a fitness/cycling motto?

It's always a beautiful day to ride; also "Shut up legs!!" -- Jens Voigt

What do you attribute your success in the Challenge to?

There are a plethora of great, bike-friendly roads in the East Bay, and I was able to vary my route to and from work considerably to avoid urban traffic and getting bored. It's great to be able to avoid riding straight through Oakland and ride by or through some of the great regional parks we have. I have to say also it was made easier by having a comfortable, well-fitted and properly maintained bicycle. During the month I had two punctures, but no mechanical problems otherwise. It can be incredibly frustrating to complete roadside repairs.

How did you keep up your motivation this month?

I try to advocate for more bike riding, less driving (I've been car-free for about 2 years), and thought it would be interesting to see just how much I could ride, and if I could use my bike exclusively for the month (no BART, no buses). I also have a goal to complete the Climb to Kaiser at the end of June, so I included a lot of climbing in my routes; I also appreciated the side benefit of slimming down considerably during the month, while eating anything and everything I wanted.

What is the best thing about being #1 in your county?

It was just fun to be part of such a rich cycling culture, sharing the roads with so many others pedaling to make the world just a bit nicer. I also developed some really cool tan lines.

Thank you Jeff! You are an inspiration to all of us who are committed to living car free in the Bay Area.

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2012 Team Bike Challenge Winners

 

Winners of 2012's Team Bike Challenge. Congratulations to all! 

Top Overall Team 

KTCC1 399 points / 4,461.5 miles 

KLA-Tencor

Santa Clara County

 

Alameda County 

Cyclepath Hayward 369 points / 4,591.6 miles 

Cyclepath, Hayward

 

Contra Costa County

Hydrologic Cyclers 287 points / 2,139.7 miles

East Bay Municipal District

 

Marin County

Schmidt Raiders Team Two 275 points/ 3,012.4 miles

Marin based commuters

 

Napa County

Rolling Lumpia 255 points / 2,111.4 miles

 

San Francisco County

Partycar.com 375 points / 5,490.1 miles

SF2G

 

San Mateo County

Honey Badgers 395 points / 2,873.1 miles

Tesla Motors

 

Santa Clara County

KTCC1 399 points / 4,461.5 miles

KLA-Tencor

 

Solano County

Vaca 5 291 points / 1,952.3 miles

City of Vacaville

 

Sonoma County

Another Cog in the System 334 points / 2,480.4 miles 

2012 Company Bike Challenge Winners

 

Here are the winners for the 2012's Company Bike Challenge. Congratulations for this amazing bicycling achievement!

 

Overall

1st Place

Apple, with 4,803 points and 38,222.7 miles

2nd Place

KLA-Tencor with 2,745 points and 27,542.1 miles

3rd Place

Tesla Motors with 2,632 points and 21,969.9 miles

4th Place

Caltrans with 2,107 points and 13,915.9 miles

5th Place

SunPower Corporation with 2,078 points and 15,078.6 miles

 

Large Companies

1st Place

Apple, with 4,803 points and 38,222.7 miles

2nd Place 

KLA-Tencor with 2,745 points and 27,542.1 miles

3rd Place

Tesla Motors with 2,632 points and 21,969.9 miles

4th Place

Caltrans with 2,107 points and 13,915.9 miles

5th Place

SunPower Corporation with 2,078 points and 15,078.6 miles

 

Medium Companies

1st Place

Sun Light & Power with 1,061 points and 7,132.2 miles

2nd Place 

Sungevity with 950 points and 6,383.4 miles

3rd Place

Exploratorium with 872 points and 5,707.1 miles

4th Place

LitePoint with 499 points and 4,154.9 miles

5th Place

REI Berkeley with 429 points and 2,685.3 miles

 

Small Companies

1st Place

WRA, Inc., with 557 points and 3,790.5 miles

2nd Place 

Blekko with 553 points and 4,411.9 miles

3rd Place

BEW Engineering with 433 points and 3,636.3 miles

4th Place

Timbuk2 with 425 points and 2,537.4 miles

5th Place

kW Engineering with 418 points and 2,519.8 miles

Shaun Ralston biked 1,363.8 miles during TBC 2012
Mai Le —

As part of a series highlighting riders that biked an incredible amount of miles during Team Bike Challenge and National Bike Month, we are publishing a series of questions from top riders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

A diabetes diagnosis was a wake-up call for Shaun Raston. He decided that insulin was not an option, got rid of his car and became a bike commuter. Along the way he also lost 90 lbs and is insulin free. Biking every day, Ralston added to his team's points by 82 and handily surpassed every bicyclist is Sonoma County by riding 1,363.8 miles during May and earning the top mileage slot for his county. Not surprisingly, his team placed 2 overall in Sonoma County.

Where do you work or what is your line of work?
 
I work at Sutter Health as the Marketing/Communications Manager for four hospitals and a medical group.
 
Is this the first time you've participated in the Challenge, or something similar? (Please elaborate.)
 
This is the second year I participated, after being invited by my cycling buddy, Pauli Frey. 
 
What type of bike do you ride?
 
I commute to work on a Kona Mountain Bike, adapted for urban terrain (with street friendly tires, fenders for rain, and panniers for hauling gear/groceries). During the weekend, I ride a Trek Madone road bike for club rides and races.
 
Do you have a fitness/cycling motto?
 
Yes, "enjoy every mile!"
 
We are so fortunate to live in beautiful Northern California and each ride is like a mini get-a-way. Not only do you get the fitness benefits of cycling, but the scenic views, new route discovery and friends made along the way are incredible added benefits ~ not to mention the gas savings.
 
What do you attribute your success in the Challenge to?
 
Strangely enough it was a diabetes diagnosis that pushed me into cycling. After discussing options with my doctor, he insisted that I lose weight and begin an exercise regimen (or face the prospect of chronic medication, possibly insulin). So, I got rid of my car, became an exclusive bike commuter and lost nearly 90 pounds in the process. Now, if I want to treat myself to a fresh baked sticky bun, I simply cycle to the bakery, without consequence. The continuing health and wellness benefits keep me cycling.
 
How did you keep up your motivation this month?
 
The Team Bike Challenge internet mileage tracking, online leader boards, virtual award medals and team camaraderie kept me motivated throughout May's Bike Month. Our team developed a special kinship as we posted our progress on each others' Facebook pages.
 
What is the best thing about being #1 in your county?
 
The best thing about cycling all these miles has been the influence on others. Whether meeting a stranger at the store, an office colleague at work or encountering a newbie commuter on the street, it's great to share best practices on how to bike commute, tell stories about a new discovery on the road or discuss cost/ecological savings.
 
Thank you Shaun! You're an example of people taking their health into their own hands and making a difference through cycling. As a bonus; taking a car off the road, you're contributing to the environment as well!