May has marked National Bike Month since it was proclaimed by The League of American Bicyclists in 1956. Moreover, May 13-19 is National Bike to Work Week this year.
Bay Area bike commuters will get a jump on the nationally celebrated week of cycling to work. This year Bike to Work Day in the Bay Area is Thursday, May 9.
The employee-owners of Sun Light and Power encourage you to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by riding a bike whenever possible. In 2017, the National Household Travel Survey estimated that about 46% of all single privately-operated vehicle trips in America were 3 or fewer miles. Imagine the impact on health and our environment if even half of these trips were made by bikes instead of fossil fuel burning vehicles! Sun Light & Power has promoted cycling for over 40 years and our team is still setting a great example.
Ben Bachelder, a Senior Engineer at Sun Light & Power has been cycling to work year ‘round since he joined the SLP team in 2009. Ben added a front carrier to his bike after his first child was born. Since 2015, he has made a nearly four-mile round-trip commute, which until recently included two different schools to drop off his children, on an unassisted bright orange Xtracycle cargo bike. Ben loves the fact that he can exercise, save money, and protect the environment every time he pulls on his helmet. Xtracycles start at $2,147, which is about the same amount that owners of conventional cars in America will spend on gasoline alone this year.
For twenty years, Rachel Davis, a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Sun Light & Power has been a green commuter. For the past three years she has been making the journey from home to the SLP office. After a two-mile drive down winding hills, she boards BART for a 45-minute trip to Berkeley, where she pulls a classic Schwinn Searcher GS from a $40 per year locker and pedals 1.5 miles to the office to design solar systems. Rachel explains, “Cycling makes me feel good physically and spiritually.” She also likes to power herself, rather than rely on a car, and was adamant that, “Driving s***s!”
Steve Broyles has been selling solar systems for Sun Light & Power since 2017. He has been enthusiastically riding bikes for thirty years, and said, “I hate to be a part of traffic.” Steve would rather keep fit and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which is why he happily adds 30 minutes to his commute by cycling before and after a short ferry ride across the Bay. Instead of arriving frustrated and stressed, Steve starts his work day energized and ready to promote renewable energy.
Steve was team champion last year and he is organizing SLP’s Bike to Work Challenge teams again this year. He explained that Thursday, May 9, is the crucial day to participate and pointed out that it is not a race. “Frequency is more important than distance,” he said. SLP teams have won four Bay Area Bike to Work Day challenges in the past. Will Rachel’s “Renewable Racehorses” stage the comeback?
Now is the time to pump up those tires, dust off your helmets, and do something good for our planet. Sun Light & Power encourages you to make a habit of it!
If you haven’t, already done so, you can still register for the challenge at lovetoride.net. You can track your miles manually or use one of the many apps for that purpose.
Seamas Brennan is a Blog Contributor, Researcher, and Engineering Admin. Assistant at Sun Light & Power