Mike Conway leaves home near Santa Rosa's Doyle Park at about 7:25pm every morning, and is at his desk by 8pm. He’s given up his $50/month YMCA membership because he gets a 20-minute workout every morning, and a chance to unwind on the same 4.2 mile route in the afternoon.
Conway, 60, rides his bike to work, as he has for the past two years, and on Thursday morning he’ll receive this year’s County of Sonoma Bike Champion award given to someone for dedication to bike commuting, and being an inspiration to fellow employees.
"I often get inquiries from my co-workers regarding how long it takes to get to work, what route I take, etc.," Conway said. "One co-worker is getting her bike tuned up and she will begin riding to work next week. starting with one day a week."
On May 9, Sonoma County will mark the 19th annual Bike to Work Day with dozens of energizer stations where cyclists can enjoy a free hot breakfast, music, giveaways and entry into a drawing for prizes.
In Petaluma, the locations include the corner of East Washington Street and Petaluma Boulevard North, South McDowell and Fisher Drive and D Street and Petaluma Boulevard South. All energizer stations will be open between 6am and 9am.
The Board of Supervisors will honor Conway as the 2013 County of Sonoma Bike Champion for his dedication to bike commuting and being an inspiration to fellow employees, in a ceremony at about 8:30 a.m.
Conway works for the Human Services Department as an employment and training counselor, and rides a rugged, all-steel Soma Double Cross Bike to navigate the potholes and traffic of his commute.
"It has helped me keep my weight down and it’s improved my stamina, considerably," he tells Patch.
Fortunately, he’s avoided the bicycle-automobile conflicts that sometimes plague riders, and had led the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition to their drive for a Vulnerable Users Ordinance in local communities.
“I think if you’re respectful and obey the traffic laws, you don’t have a lot of problems,” said Conway.
Do you ever use a bike to get to and from work? Tell us about your route and what you do to stay safe on local roads.