Janie Pinterits – Alameda County
Janie Pinterits started biking five years ago in North Dakota when she got so frustrated with the price of gasoline that she thought, “okay, I can be part of the problem, or I can start bicycling.” It didn’t start out well though: “I hated it, and I never thought I would enjoy it. But I’m so obstinate that I kept on going and going until it was minus 20 degrees out and I was still biking to work every day.”
Now, Janie lives in Berkeley and works in San Francisco. She takes her bike on the transbay bus every day, and is a strong advocate and positive role model for those around her.
“She is a passionate warrior for the environment and her love of all things bike is infectious” wrote co-worked Tiffany O‘Shaughnessy, and “her example has helped me be a more consistent and committed bike commuter.” Sometimes it is about more than setting an example; Janie works at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, where they used to have in-adequate bicycle parking. “We needed more space, and they were doing some renovations. I was on the committee and I insisted that they put in indoor parking for over 20 bikes.” Even further, Janie insisted on a guarantee that racks that everyone could use would be installed, not just wall-mounted racks onto which you have to lift your bike.
Her next project? Janie is growing wheat grass in old socks fitted on her bike tires. “I love the parklet idea in urban areas, and I happened upon directions online on how to green your bicycle. I wanted to have it ready for Bike to Work Day. ”
Steve Kersevan – Contra Costa County
Steve Kersevan rides every day from his home in the Brentwood hills to the City Hall in downtown Brentwood, 10 miles roundtrip. “In the last two years,” Kersevan said, “I may have missed biking to work 5 times, usually because I needed a car for another reason or it’s absolutely pouring outside.”
In addition to being a regular commuter Steve plays an important role as the Brentwood Traffic Manager and staff representative on the Brentwood Bicycle Advisory Committee, making sure other Brentwood residents can bike safely. “Steve uses his position to help develop bicycling resources for the citizens of Brentwood” wrote Dave Stoeffler with the Delta Pedalers, a local riding club. “It is to his credit that Brentwood has achieved Bicycle Friendly Community status with the League of American Bicyclists, and he continues to work with the Advisory Committee to reach the silver status. Steve responds to each and every suggestion or complaint related to cycling in his city and is skillful in obtaining funding for projects. Steve is not only works to improve cycling in his community, he sets a great example by cycling to work every day.”
Steve rides an old Nishiki that he’s had for the 13 years that he’s been riding. “Any avid bicyclist is going to laugh when they see it, it belongs in a museum,” he said, “but it gets me where I need to go.”
Bike Commuter of the Year Prizes