Bike to Work Day is just around the corner on Thursday, May 10! Bay Area Bike to Work Day (BTWD) organizers named the winners of the 2018 Bike Commuter of the Year awards. Given to individuals for inspiring bicycling in their communities, the Bike Commuter of the Year award recognizes a winner from each of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties for their commitment to bicycling as their primary mode of transport. In many cases, their dedication to pedaling has inspired others to get on bicycles and ride -- to work, to school, even just for fun.
Alameda County: Jeffrey Buell
Have you ever spotted a guy biking around Berkeley with two adorable kids on a dark green triple tandem bike? That would be Jeffrey Buell. Most days, he drops his kids off at school and then pedals on to work as a mental health clinical supervisor with the City of Berkeley.
Jeff’s father introduced him to during middle school. He started bike commuting in 1989 and has relied almost exclusively on it as his mode of transportation for the past 13 years. He says that ever since his family chose the biking lifestyle, they have fully embraced a more sustainable way of living and become much healthier in the process.
He believes it is important to teach his kids about playing an important role in saving the environment. While safety became a bigger issue when cycling with his children, Jeff didn’t let that stop them from cycling together. He discovered the Bike Friday triple tandem bicycle as the perfect family-friendly bike. Every year, they all participate in Bike to Work Day and in the Alameda County Wheels for Meals fundraising ride.
For beginner cyclists, Jeff suggests starting slow, maybe taking transit or driving part of the way until you get comfortable.For instance, when Jeff worked in San Francisco, he took BART into the city and then cycled from the station to his workplace.
“Once you find the right distance and amount of cycling, you’ll get the hang of it,” he says. And if you’re like Jeff, you’ll make riding a bike an important part of your life.
To learn more about Bike to Work Day, visit the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition website here.