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.
San Francisco County: Maggie Chestney
Maggie Chestney has dealt with nine different knee operations over the course of 17 years. When the eighth knee surgery failed, she could no longer walk or do basic chores without excruciating pain. Maggie and her husband uprooted their lives and moved cross-country so that she could see a world-renowned specialist. Thankfully, the ninth knee operation was a success, and by August, just one year after the surgery, she’s hoping to be able to bike commute five days a week.
Today, Maggie works for the same surgeon who helped her get back on her feet….and on her bike. “To me, biking is my own form of freedom and it’s a gift that has revived my entire being.” After years of suffering, she says that she feels alive every time she pedals through the streets of San Francisco. One of her favorite places to bike is up (yes, up!) the Fort Mason hill to see the gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.
Although Maggie is a new SF Bicycle Coalition member, she jumped right in and is a regular volunteer with the Community Bike Builds program, repairing bicycles to be distributed to those who would otherwise not be able to afford a bike.
For anyone who is considering bike-commuting, Maggie would say that biking in the city is an experience worth trying. “Biking throughout San Francisco gives you the chance to explore it’s many historic neighborhoods and vibrant cultures through a unique lens – one that allows you to be more present in your surroundings.”
To learn more about Bike to Work Day, visit the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition here.