Lori Burns works for the town of Colma and lives in San Bruno about 6 miles from her work. Lori says her life changed for the better on Thursday, May 13, Bike to Work Day 2010.
Lori describes her transformation: “Four years ago, I was a chubby but active woman, who loved the notion of reducing my carbon footprint, but not too sure how to do it. I decided to “ride my talk” and bike to work that Thursday morning, much like “thousands” of commuters throughout the Bay Area. I got up about 30 minutes earlier than normal, stuffed some business attire into a back pack and cruised to work due north on El Camino Real. There were some parts of the ride that were pretty hairy, but I made it!
While bragging about my feat all day long to my co-workers and complaining about the narrow stretch of road between South San Francisco and the Colma border, a colleague told me about the Bicentennial Trail that runs along the BART line from San Bruno to South San Francisco. With that “insider tip,” I just had to try that route. The Bicentennial Trail got me totally hooked! I began to ride more often, and became more committed to biking to work. So determined I was that I packed a week’s worth of business clothing (shoes and accessories – much like packing for a vacation) and brought my stuff to my office over the weekend, so I could ride daily without wearing wrinkled slacks. Because my clothing was already at my office, I had no choice (other than buying more work clothes) but to ride my bike to work. Slowly, I began to grow stronger, and more importantly, I lost weight! Everyone noticed, but most especially me.
I took a bike-riding trip to Bar Harbor, Maine that summer and rode the carriage roads that President Roosevelt funded and then I turned my husband on to cycling! We began spending weekends exploring bike trails all over the Bay Area. What a wonderful way to fill our time as we try to live a healthy life style – while saving for retirement (bike riding is a pretty inexpensive hobby after all).
Last year, five friends joined my husband and I for the Back Roads Challenge in Sonoma County, which benefited various Sonoma County charities. We road 70 miles from Petaluma to Bolinas and back, 3500 feet elevation change! This year, we are tackling the Cycle for Sight in Yountville to benefit Veteran’s programs. We have chosen the 50-mile course. Wish us luck!”
“Commuting to work on my bicycle helps prepare me for the longer rides, clears my mind and keeps me healthy. Give it a try!”
Lori Burns is a true inspiration and example of how Bike to Work Day can be the transformative pivotal point it’s meant to be.
Michele Rowic commutes to and from work, to meetings, to the grocery store – all on bike, rain or shine. Michele is a librarian at the San Jose Public Library. Michele’s commitment to cycling extends into her work. This year, she originated the Giro de Libro (Tour of the Book) bike ride in which participants ride their bikes to multiple library branches to learn more about cycling and the San Jose Public Library system. During the ride, cyclists will visit nine different libraries, participating in activities at each site.
Her co-workers may have summed her up best when writing, “She inspires me and all my colleagues at SJPL to live a slower, more sustainable existence. Her commitment to cycling extends into her work”. Another co-worker wrote, “She is one of the most dedicated bike riders I have ever met. She rides her bike to work and back home practically every day, even during the winter when it is quite cold and wet.”
Congratulations, Michele! And thank you for helping to inspire everyone you meet to embrace the bicycle for everyday use!
James Oliver has been riding his bike to work for the past eight years. He started riding to stay fit and lost 45 pounds. He had to go to great lengths to adapt his bike for his 70% disability.
Regardless of the weather James rides to work, eight miles round trip, to Vacaville Convalescent & Rehabilitation Center where he is an Occupational Therapist. During the holiday season he decorates his bike with lights and wreath to bring joy to all he sees or sees him.
James enjoys the commuting on the newly completed bike path on Leisure Town Road as he listens to books on tape on his journey. He loves that each day the trip is different depending on what is in bloom or what bird is migrating through the area.
James is co-captain for Relay for Life and goes out on his bike during his lunch seeking donations for this worthy event.
He constantly sets goals for himself and hopes to complete a 500-mile ride along the famous El Camino de Santiago in Spain by age 70.
James has a humble spirit, even though he accomplished a lot during his life.He is honored to receive the 2014 Solano County Bike Commuter of the Year.
Liz Klaproth is the Sonoma Bike Commuter of the Year. Daily, through rain or shine, she rides her bike from her home in Sebastopol to her job at Argent Bank in Sonoma. Personifying a Bike to Work aesthetic she is committed to riding her bike in clothes appropriate for a banker. Her dedication to the environment is one reason why she lives a car-free life, but another reason may be the health benefits and cost savings. She inspires her friends who are in awe of her dedication to a life of bicycling. They say this about her, “I have known this lady for years and she bikes everywhere! To work, to the bar, to meet up and hang out with us... I have seen her with loads of groceries in her basket. She is awesome!” Congratulations, Liz! Thank you for inspiring all those you come into contact with by using your bike for everyday transportation.
2013 Bike Commuter of the Year Winners
2012 Bike Commuter of the Year Winners
2011 Bike Commuter of the Year Winners
2010 Bike Commuter of the Year Winners
2009 and 2008 Bike Commuter of the Year Winners
Bikes & Transit