Nominations open for 2011 bike commuter of the year – 511 Contra Costa

Nominations open for 2011 bike commuter of the year

Do you know someone in your community who is committed to making every day a “Bike to Work Day”? Does this person epitomize and actualize the health, environmental, social and economic benefits of bicycling? The Bike Commuter of the Year inspires merely by telling others about their commute, offering encouraging words and advice to novice riders.
Nominate that deserving friend, neighbor or co-worker for this prestigious award online at: http://www.youcanbikethere.com/bcoy
It only takes a few minutes (and no more than 200 words) to let the regional Bike to Work Day coordinators know who’s tearing up the pavement and trails the other 364 days of the year.  Nominations are welcomed until April 14.
To get inspired, read about Contra Costa County’s 2010 Bike Commuter of the Year, Louis Sandoval.
Louis is a consummate bicyclist. He lives in San Pablo and commutes by bicycle to his part-time job as an adult education teacher for the West Contra Costa Unified School District. He commutes between two job locations in Richmond and San Pablo on his Bridgestone and has done so for more more than 5 years. “My Bridgestone is a real beater,” Louis says. “It’s a tank of a bike, but has a real rack and a pannier, and does the job of carrying my books, groceries, everything, rain or shine.”
His commutes also include jaunts into Hayward to visit his mother and to take classes at Cal State East Bay. Even at 11pm at night you can find him on the street making his way home from Hayward, via Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito and Richmond. When needed he utilizes BART to transport his trusty steed and himself around the Bay to appointments and classes. “It’s not the distance. It’s not the weather or the terrain. It’s the traffic that’s sometimes the toughest part,” Louis states about bicycling longer distances.
Louis has ridden bicycles since childhood. He participated in BMX races as a boy. He is absorbed by bicycling e.g. easily identifying bicycles and equipment at a glance, their engineering and history. He favors steel-frame bikes. And when he rides, Louis is a consummate rider. He rides rain or shine. As a kid, he had a girlfriend in Southern California and he rode his bicycle from San Pablo down the coast into the San Joaquin Valley via Kettleman City down country roads until he met up with his girlfriend in Southern California.
He teaches mathematics to adults pursuing a GED diploma and is going back to San Jose State University this Fall to get a degree in biomedical engineering. Louis dropped out of high school many years ago and realized in his twenties a need for education. He went back to school attending Contra Costa College and San Jose State University. He earned a degree in Engineering from San Jose State. During his studies at SJSU he participated in a short internship with bicycle legend “Phil Wood”. “I’m looking forward to riding to San Jose State along the Bay Trail past the Oakland Airport and across the new San Leandro Slough Bridge and down south along the Bay Trail,” Louis says. The new San Leandro Slough Bridge is scheduled to open on Bike to Work Day this year.
Read more about last year’s winners.

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