May is Bike Month!
May is National Bike Month and we’re celebrating by encouraging everyone to experience the joy of bicycling and the power of bicycles to connect communities. Although the traditional Bike to Work Day event won’t take place this year, there are still plenty of ways to participate and have fun this May. Be sure to check out our bicycling resources page to prepare.
Pledge to ride during Bike Month for a chance to win prizes. Additionally, anyone who lives or works in San Mateo County and logs their bicycle trips to wherever (work, exercise, errands, etc.) on the STAR Platform will be automatically entered into weekly raffle drawings. This promotion runs May 1 through May 31, and four lucky winners will be randomly picked each week to win the following prizes:
- bike tire pump & accessories
- handlebar bag
- bike tool pouch
- bike lights & water bottle
Don’t forget to document your rides! Take some pictures while you’re out with your bicycle and share them with us on social media by mentioning @smcountycommute and using the hashtag #btwd.
For those who collect Bike to Work Day bags, fear not. We’re still distributing the popular canvas bags to keep the tradition alive. To pick one up, visit a bike shop near you or (if you live in/near Santa Clara County) swing by an Energizer Station on May 21 – Bike to Wherever Day – after pledging to ride. You can also pick up a bag during Bike to Your Library Day on May 22 or Bike to Your Farmers Market Day. Get your bag while supplies last!
Bike to Your Library Day
Join us for the 2nd annual Bike to Your Library Day! On May 22, go for a ride on your bicycle to a participating library branch to pick up a Bike Month bag:
- Atherton – 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane
- Belmont – 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas
- Brisbane – 250 Visitacion Ave.
- Burlingame – 480 Primrose Rd.
- East Palo Alto – 2415 University Ave.
- Foster City – 1000 East Hillsdale Blvd.
- Half Moon Bay – 620 Correas St.
- Millbrae – 1 Library Ave.
- North Fair Oaks – 2510 Middlefield Rd.
- Pacifica – 1111 Terra Nova Blvd.
- Pacifica – 104 Hilton Way
- Portola Valley – 765 Portola Rd.
- Redwood City – 1044 Middlefield Rd.
- San Carlos – 610 Elm St.
- South San Francisco – 840 West Orange Ave.
- Woodside – 3140 Woodside Rd.
Bike to Your Farmers’ Market Day
Hop on your bike and ride to a local farmers’ market near you. Pick up a Bike Month bag at the information booth to use while you shop for seasonal produce and other goods.
- Sunday, May 16, 9am – 1pm: Belmont Farmers’ Market (Belmont Caltrain Station parking lot)
- Tuesday, May 18, 3 – 7pm: San Mateo Farmers’ Market (194 W 25th Ave. San Mateo)
- Thursday, May 20, 3 – 7pm: Brisbane Farmers’ Market (11 Old County Road)
- Wednesdays 3 – 7pm & Saturdays 9am -1pm in May: Foster City Farmers’ Market (1010 Metro Center Blvd.)
2021 Bike Champion of the Year
Sonia Elkes, avid bicyclist and founder of the advocacy group San Carlos Bikes, is San Mateo County’s 2021 Bike Champion of the Year. Referred to as “the voice for bicyclists in San Carlos”, she is constantly working to improve the state of biking in San Carlos and increase the number of people who bicycle for their health and our environment.
As a parent volunteer with the school district’s Safe Routes to School program, Sonia finds creative ways to educate the public on bike safety. When shelter-in-place began in 2020, Sonia and her four children built a LEGO® city with scenes and mini-figures that teach bike & pedestrian safety to youth (available at bikesandbricks.org).
Sonia continuously proves herself to be a valuable asset in San Carlos and the greater San Mateo County region. She organizes bike rides, family biking events, and manages bike parking at town fairs and the weekly farmers market. Online, Sonia moderates a Nextdoor group called “Let’s Talk Transportation: San Carlos & Surroundings,” which is a public discussion forum for all things transportation (available at nextdoor.com/g/ldy7tlfot). Beginning in May, she will co-lead the new San Carlos chapter of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.
Combining biking with public transit is one of Sonia’s favorite ways to travel, and she loves sharing the joy of taking bikes, trains and buses with her children. She bike-train commutes between South San Francisco, where her youngest goes to school, and Redwood City, where she works part-time at Chain Reaction Bicycles.
Sonia enthusiastically encourages anyone who expresses interest in riding bicycles, so working in a bike shop is a great fit. Her most-recommended bike accessory is a bicycle rear-view mirror because it functions both as a visibility tool and a communication device, helping cyclists and drivers more safely (and gracefully) share the road.
“Biking is one of the few activities that checks all the boxes at once—it’s active, practical, social, sustainable, stress-relieving, fun, and is a great family activity. Biking has the unique ability to elevate the mundane—it turns errands into adventures. More people on bikes keeps our streets safer, our air cleaner and our communities better connected.”
Sonia’s commitment to riding her bike and inspiring others to do the same has earned her this recognition. Congratulations, Sonia!