Bay Area Bike to Wherever Days (BTWD) organizers have named the winners of the 2022 Bike Champion of the Year (BCOY) awards. Given to individuals for inspiring bicycling in their Bay Area communities, this award recognizes individuals in the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties for their commitment to bicycling as the primary mode of transport.
The 2022 winners include Marin County’s Marty Albion, who at the age of 85 still mountain and road bikes, keeping up with riders 20 years younger than him. Even an accident last year could not keep this inspiring rider from getting back on his bike. Alameda County’s winner is Kellie Scott who is the founder and president of Major Taylor East Bay, a cycling club aimed at growing the community of competitive cyclists of color in the East Bay Area.
Here is the complete list of 2022 Bike Champion of the Year award winners:
- Alameda County: Kellie Scott (see above), who puts in a lot of time, love, and work to strengthen the communities she is a part of and dedicates herself to uplifting others.
- Contra Costa County: Najari Smith, who created Rich City Rides, which offers hundreds of rides that have attracted over 20,000 participants and often incorporates an educational aspect and/or community clean-up activities.
- Marin County: Marty Albion (see above), founded the Dirtbags mountain biking group and is a member of the Old Spokes. Says one of the Dirtbags, “Marty is my biking superhero.”
- Napa County (co-winners): Tammy Wong and Terry Tracy. Tammy likes how biking allows her to pedal fast or slow, depending on her mood or the weather, while enjoying the fresh air. “There’s just some aspect of pedaling really fast, feeling the rush of air on your face, that reminds me, just for a moment, of being a young and carefree kid.” Says Terry, “I like doing my part to cut down on pollution, greenhouse gases, and energy consumption. I recently filled up my car with gas for just the second time in six months.”
- San Francisco County: Paul Valdez is a firm believer in supporting local small businesses. If a shop he frequents needs a bicycle rack in front to encourage others to bike there, he will request one for them. “It is a great joy to see their businesses thrive,” says Paul, “and the image of bicycles parked in front of their stores is glorious!”
- San Mateo County: Amol Patwardhan hopes that by incorporating bicycling into our daily lives, we’ll see a global shift away from dependence on fossil-fuel based vehicles and be the positive impact our planet needs.
- Santa Clara County: Ari Feinsmith (the youngest BCOY this year at 19), is a tireless champion of cycling infrastructure. He started bike commuting in college, witnessing first-hand the lack of bike safety in Sunnyvale. His bicycle advocacy has inspired him to major in civil engineering and pursue a career in transportation, where he will strive to make streets safer for all.
- Solano County: Robert Lucky rides his bike anywhere he wants to go – the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, work, and band rehearsal—easily logging 15 miles in a single day. So, you might be surprised to learn Robert is also visually impaired.
- Sonoma County: Juan Chavez founded the Santa Rosa Taco Tuesday Ride with two friends during the pandemic. “People needed to get out and connect to one another! What is a better way to do that than on a bike and sharing tacos together!”
Each winner will receive a Lezyne Strip Pro Alert Drive from Mike’s Bikes, a bicycle-only membership for 24/7 roadside assistance from Better World Club, a laminated, boxed set of San Francisco Bay Trail map cards from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and a customized cycling cap from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)
Don’t miss Bike to Wherever Days during the entire month of May, as well as Bike to Work Day on May 20! Details can be found online at Bayareabiketowork.com. Follow us on Facebook at @biketoworkday, Twitter @BikeToWorkSFBay, and Instagram @biketoworkday_bayarea.
Bay Area Bike to Wherever Days is presented by MTC (the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area), 511 (the region’s traveler information system), and Amazon. BTWD 2022 also receives regional support from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), as well as from many sponsors at the local level. Prizes for the Bike Champion of the Year winners were donated by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), MTC, Better World Club and Mike’s Bikes.