May is Bike Month!
May is National Bike Month and we celebrated 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 didn’t take place this year, there were still plenty of ways to participate and have fun.
Anyone who lives or works in San Mateo County and logged their bicycle trips to wherever (work, exercise, errands, etc.) on the STAR Platform were automatically entered into weekly raffle drawings to win one of the following prizes:
- bike tire pump & accessories
- handlebar bag
- bike tool pouch
- bike lights & water bottle
Throughout May, over 100 bicyclists logged 1,300+ trips totaling 8,650+ miles and saving over 7,000 lbs of CO2.
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.
We still distributed the popular canvas tote bags to keep the tradition alive. Those who wanted a bag could pick one up at a local bike shop or at one of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s Energizer Stations on May 21 – Bike to Wherever Day – after pledging to ride. You could also pick up a bag during Bike to Your Library Day on May 22 or Bike to Your Farmers Market Day.
Bike to Your Library Day
The 2nd annual Bike to Your Library Day was May 22. Those who participated were able to pick up a bag at the following branches:
- 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
- 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)
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!