I recently learned that I had been nominated…and selected as Sonoma County’s Bike Commuter of the Year for 2010. The announcement went up on the Bike to Work site this week. It’s a nice honor!

[from the Bike to Work site]

Sonoma County

Geoffrey Skinner

Geoffrey and Galen

Geoffrey and Galen (photo by Joan Schwan)

Sonoma County’s Bike Commuter of the Year 2010 is Geoffrey Skinner. He was nominated by his wife, Joan Schwan, who wrote:

“Geoffrey is a dedicated bike commuter. He bikes every day from Sebastopol to work at the library in Santa Rosa. He is always cheerful about it, and never daunted by cold, rain, darkness, or flat tires. He also bikes or walks our son to school every morning before he heads to work. He’s great at carrying large and unwieldy loads on his bike—he straps his French horn on his rack when he has orchestra practice after work at SRJC! He has also been very active locally to help make biking and walking safer and easier for all. He’s active on the Bike and Walk to School Task Force for our son’s school district in Sebastopol and on the Bike and Walk Sebastopol committe, is a representative to the county-wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and leads walks for the iWalk Sonoma program. He really cares about making our area a better place to ride, walk, and live.”

“Geoffrey’s 10 year-old son, Galen (also nominated for Bike Commuter of the Year), sets a great example for his dad. Galen has pledged to bike to school every day. He only missed 2 days last year — one of which was due to having to make a trip to the emergency room. He’s very committed.”

Geoffrey in his own words:
What is your reaction to being named Sonoma County Bike Commuter of the Year 2010?
“I am very honored! I want to use the opportunity to spread the word to joys of biking. I also want to recognize everyone who is just as dedicated (or more so) but didn’t get nominated or selected; this includes my son, who has been even more dedicated than me traveling the mile each way to and from his elementary under his own power every day this entire school year. To all all of you—you are stars!”

What motivates you to commute by bike?
“The less time I spend in a car, the happier I am. No congestion, no fossil fuel used (except in producing/cooking the extra food for to fuel me!), and a chance to be outside. I feel very fortunate to have the perfect commute—trail nearly all the way from my home in Sebastopol to the library in downtown Santa Rosa—but I would ride even if I had to take more roads. As it is, I get to enjoy seeing egrets, herons, turkeys and more each day without worrying about cars and it takes just a little longer to ride. I love being able to get in my exercise during my commute, even if I have to compensate for the lack of hills. I love being out early in the morning or anytime because I always see something interesting or get to say hi to one of the regulars on the path. No matter what the weather is doing, I’m happy to be on the bike once I’ve hit the road (finding the right rain and cold weather gear helps). Finally, I like being able to set an example for others and talk up bike commuting whenever I have a chance.”

What do you tell people who want to start bike commuting?
“• It’s easier than you think—the biggest hurdle is getting out the door
• Ask a bike commuter for advice—nearly every one will be more than happy to oblige
• Find someone to share the commute
• Figure out the safest route possible
• Unless you have long or hilly commute, you don’t need fancy clothes or a fancy bike; street clothes are often fine
• Always be safe—helmet, lights at night, follow the traffic rules, etc.
• Enjoy yourself!”