Monica Stafford biked 1,002.1 miles during Team Bike Challenge 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.

Monica Stafford bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge from her home in Marin County to her office in Fort Mason at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, a non-profit that supports our local national parks.  In her position with the Park Stewardship Program, she helps run programs that restore ecologically important sites, and involve volunteers from all walks of life in this hands-on work. While she does this important work for the rest of us in the Bay Area, she feels her most important role is that of a mom to two young kids.

Stafford easily biked the most miles of anyone in Marin County during the month of May by riding 1,002.1 miles, burning 43,090 calories, and racking up an impressive 72 points in Team Bike Challenge.

Is this the first time you've participated in the Challenge, or something similar? (Please elaborate.)

Yes! I’ve never participated in anything resembling an athletic challengeor competition. I was not particularly athletic as a kid. Though my bike was my primary means of transport in my 20’s, I stopped biking after I had kids and full-time work. I started biking again just over a year ago, and gradually began to incorporate it into my commute to work. At first I biked a few miles to the bus stop. After a few months -- with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel -- I started biking to the Larkspur ferry. I then challenged myself to bike from San Rafael to the Fort Mason, taking the bus or ferry back in the afternoon. It was only this month, because of this challenge, that I began to bike-commute both ways. I became a bit obsessed… I didn’t realize I had it in me to become so competitive.

What type of bike do you ride?

For commuting I ride a Cannondale Super Six roadbike, a 40th birthday present from just a few months ago. It was a significant upgrade, one of the nicest things I’ve owned. I also have an older Gary Fisher Sugar mountain bike.

Did you bike every day?

I bike into work M-F, and if I’m lucky, I go for a recreational ride on the weekend, usually in China Camp or west of Fairfax. I was pretty tired on the evening of May 31, so I’ve given myself a week off to recover, but I’ll be back in the saddle come second week of June, when I will continue bike-commuting for the rest of the year.

Do you have a fitness/cycling motto?

No motto just yet.

What do you attribute your success in the Challenge to?

A supportive husband who held down the fort when I got home late; my boss who let me make up for the occasional shorter workday; and all my friends at work who got just as swept up in the challenge, making the month a lot of fun. It got many in our office bike-commuting more, several for the first time. One co-worker was new to biking – he bought his bike just in mid-April – yet managed to rack up well over 500 miles, becoming the top point-winner for the Conservancy.

How did you keep up your motivation this month?

There’s something satisfying about logging in the miles and watching them add up. Halfway through the month, I realized that if I just stepped it up a notch, I could make it to 1,000 miles, so that became my new motivation: I really wanted to see if I could break 1,000.

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

I’ve never come in first place before, so I’m pretty excited. I’m happy to be a cyclist in Marin. The beauty and bike-commutability of this area is what inspired me to get on the bike in the first place. To anyone that has been part of improving Marin bike paths over the years: THANK YOU. The opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel was what originally motivated me to bike to work. It’s allowed our family to survive without a second car, and it changed my life!

Thank you Monica and congratulations for surpassing all your fellow Marin County denizens in mileage. Your story will doubtless inspire others to bike more.

Peter Chang biked 2,055 miles during Team Bike Challenge 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 and answers from top riders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Peter Chang biked a mind blowing 2,055 miles during the month of May earning him the first place slot in miles biked in SF County. Working as an engineer at Google, he is active in SF2G. Team mate Scott Crosby writes: “We also have a verb we use around these parts, always in the past-participle: "Chang'd." it means to be crushed and dropped on a group ride.” 

During the month, Chang managed to burn 88,367 calories and rack up an impressive 92 points. This is the second year he’s participated in Team Bike Challenge; his team, partycar.com, (not surprisingly) took third place in regional with an unheard of 5,490.1 miles traversed and first place in San Francisco.

What type of bike do you ride?

Mostly a road bike for commuting, I mostly rode the geared one this year, but did a couple fixed rides to mix it up. [Team Mate Scott Crosby adds: “To add some color, he rides a custom Seven titanium track bike (fixed gear) and a Ritte Van Vlaanderen carbon road bike."]

Did you bike every day?

Yes. Although there was that day without three points because I can't add so well.

Do you have a fitness/cycling motto?

Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.

What do you attribute your success in the Challenge to?

partycar.com

How did you keep up your motivation this month?

Knowing that partycar.com would be there for me next month.

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

Basking in the glow of the westerly winds and chilly, morning fog?

 

Thank you Peter and congratulations for an impressive feat of miles. See you (passing me) in the bike lane.

Team Bike Challenge Encourages Month Long Cycling

Mai Le —

[Press Release 06.06.12] - May 31st marked the last day to log miles for Bike to Work Day’s Team Bike Challenge and Company Bike Challenge. The month long challenge had Bay Area bike commuters logging road miles throughout May.

The Challenge broke participant records with 4,425 individuals registered (compared to 2,800 in 2011) on 664 teams and an additional 245 companies participating in Company Bike Challenge. A total of 701,710 miles were biked, more than doubling the distance of 2011’s 316,359 miles. The distance ridden was enough miles to circle the world 28.2 times while saving 351 tons of CO2 and burning 43,155,179 calories.

Winners came from every walk of life, representing the wide range of bicycling enthusiasts in the Bay Area. Taking first place in the regional contest, Santa Clara County’s KTCC1 won with 399 points and 4,461.5 miles. Following close behind, San Mateo County’s Honey Badgers racked up 395 points; while bronze place went to San Francisco’s Partycar.com with 375 points.

Company Bike Challenge’s competition ran extremely hot this year with Apple unbelievably taking the top slot with 38,222.7 miles and 4,803 points, followed by KLA-Tencor, whose awe-inspiring 27,542.1 miles and 2,745 points put them in second place, and Tesla Motors impressively took third with 21,969.9 miles and 2,632 points.

Team Bike Challenge's success was bolstered by Chipotle's support. "Chipotle is committed to sustainability, serving ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers. We look for ways to support our customers' healthy living choices, so it was a natural fit to get involved with Team Bike Challenge and Bike to Work Day. As the presenting sponsor of TBC, we've encouraged people to leave their cars at home, and have encouraged and rewarded participants with prizes and Chipotle meals to fuel their biking throughout the month," says Marketing Specialist, Erica Cheung.

Team Bike Challenge, a program of Bike to Work Day is made possible through the generous support of: 511.org, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Kaiser Permanente. Chipotle and BikeMS have provided additional support for team bike challenge with prizes provided by Chipotle, Peak Racks, and REI.

For information visit teambikechallenge.com, youcanbikethere.com, 511.org, and Chipotle.com.

Please fill out the 2012 Bike to Work Day Survey

Bike to Work Day Golden Gate Bridge 2012
Mai Le —

Please take 10 minutes to fill out the Bike to Work Day 2012 Survey. We take your feedback seriously and are interested in improving the largest bicycling encouragement event in California. Thank you!

Mai Le —

Bike to Work Day in the San Francisco Bay Area has seen an increase in bicycle traffic on Bike to Work Day this year by 23%. The increase of interest in bike commuting and active transportation in the Bay Area is evident in the numbers of riders on this sunny spring day.

Energizer Stations in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Napa counties were ready with coffee, reusable canvas bags and staffed with encouraging volunteers were bustling with bike commuters in the early morning hours. Bike riders and key elected officials, including a record number of East Bay Mayors headed to work on bicycles. Mayors Quan (Oakland) and Bates (Berkeley), Mayor Gayle McCaughlin (Richmond), Mayor Farid Javendal (Albany), Mayor John Chiang (Piedmont), Mayor Jennifer West (Emeryville), Mayor Stephen Cassidy (San Leandro), Mayor Mark Green (Union City), and Mayor Tim Sbranti (Dublin) all rode this morning. In San Francisco, MTC Commissioners David Campos and Scott Weiner joined nine of their colleagues on the Board of Supervisors in bicycling to the San Francisco Civic Center.

Echoing the sentiments of riders across the Bay Area, Dr. Todd Weizenberg, Director of Sports Medicine at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa said, "Exercise is the prescription to a better life. Exercise on a regular basis can increase your mood, allow you to sleep better, improve your memory and concentration and decrease the chances of developing a chronic disease. Essentially, if you exercise more, and cycling is a great way to do it, you will live longer and have a better quality of life."

Other National Bike Month programs are receiving attention, including Bike Commuter of the Year (BCOY) awards. A person in each of the nine Bay Area counties is recognized for their dedication to riding their bike for everyday transportation. They are a testament to the benefits of bicycle commuting: from improving their health to bringing families together. Nominations were accepted, evaluated and awarded by each county’s Bike to Work Day representative. The 2012 winners of the Bike Commuter of the Year award include: Kara Vuicich of Alameda County, a mom that transports her kids to school by bike; Curtis Corlew of Contra Costa, a college professor known by his bike; Terry Seaton of Marin County, an avid cyclist with her dog Lucy as her co-pilot; Dolores Chrisco of Napa County, an every day bike commuter that doesn’t shy away from inclement weather; Selena Kyle of San Francisco County, a lawyer that promotes everyday biking; Paul Mernyk of San Mateo County, an everyman bicyclist that inspires others with his enthusiasm; Ian Emmons of Santa Clara County lives a fun, car-free lifestyle; Tom Crowl of Solano County, enjoys saving money at the pumps, one ride at a time; and Pauli Frey of Sonoma County, a friendly cyclist that logs over 200 miles a week.

Team Bike Challenge, presented by Chipotle, a friendly competition to increase bicycling mileage throughout the month has seen an increase of over 25% participation and a 30% increase of actual mileage biked from 2011.

The success of Bike to Work Day 2012 and its associated programs bodes well for the rest of National Bike Month in May and makes the wait for next year’s Bike to Work Day seem even further away than Thursday May 9, 2013.

Bike to Work Day 2012 is presented by 511.org, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Kaiser Permanente, with additional support from Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Beyond Pix Studios, Clif Bar, Chipotle, Adobe, Typekit, REI, and Bike MS.

For more information on Bike to Work Day or Team Bike Challenge, please visit www.511.org or www.youcanbikethere.com.