511 Contra Costa congratulates Ray Pixton as Contra Costa County’s 2014 Bike Commuter of the Year.
Ray Pixton has been biking to work since 1981 when he started working for the Contra Costa Water District. He is a construction inspector and he rides rain or shine. “It feels weird to drive a car now,” he says, “I have 3 cars and they just sit in the driveway.”
Ray’s coworkers nominated him for the award, writing that his dedication to riding to work inspired them. “It’s news to me,” said Pixton about being an inspiration to his coworkers; “I just thought I was doing my own thing.” His commute is a pleasure, he says, because the 8 miles from Concord to Pleasant Hill allow him to ride on trails alongside the canals he also helps inspect.
It wasn’t always easy though: “I remember my first ride was a 5-mile ride and I just about died, I was so out shape,” Pixton joked, “but I stuck to it.” His commitment helped him out when, in the 90s, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. “Exercise has been a really important part of my treatment to keep my blood sugar levels down,” says Pixton.
Last year he raised close to $900 for the Tour de Cure, a 50-mile fundraiser ride for the American Diabetes Association. He’s planning on riding again this May and plans on surpassing $900. “It’s been a good goal which helps me train and gets me in better shape, but 50 miles is about my limit – I’m 61 after all!” Pixton is retiring this summer and although he’s not sure if he’s going to stop working, he won’t stop biking. “I’ll miss the commute,” he says.
In addition to an award, Ray Pixton will receive a set of Revolights and a set of Bay Trail Maps to help with his planning adventures.