Meet the Gamma Rollers: Team Bike Challenge Champs for Alameda County

The Gamma Rollers
In Alameda County, the Gamma Rollers of Sterigenics rode 3,062 miles and earned 1,065 points to take first place in the Team Bike Challenge competition. This was also good for second place overall in the Bay Area. Lead by Captain Paul Hewes and teammates Daniel Lumbreras, Eric Cabunoc, Yohta Namba, and Alex Quiroga. Sterigenics is a small facility with 15 employees who have grown bike to work participation to 8 employees. If you are wondering about the mileage, a couple of the Gamma Rollers started off Bike to Work Month with a bike vacation rather than a car vacation. Thus going for most miles, which competition they won. The Gamma Rollers were recognized at the Hayward City Council on June 15 by Mayor Michael Sweeney.

From Paul Hewes, Team Captain:
We had a blast with the Bike to Work Challange! We first participated last year when we ended up 14th and did 1414 miles. We were jazzed after last years challenge and kept up with our bike commuting all year. When people arrive in the morning it’s common to hear congratulations between the Gamma Rollers for keeping it rolling. Those of us that ride in encourage each other and feed off each others energy.

So we knew before this years Challange that we were going to try and take it up a notch. As we started to plan for the competition we decidedto get some jerseys made up for the team. Going into the competition we didn’t really think we could go for the overall points victory because we had too many experts and not enough novices. We didn’t read all the details about the medals. Our original idea was to just go for most overall miles and see where that put us. A couple of us on the team had been wanting to do a mini bike tour. So we picked the first weekend of the challange to do that.

We rode up the coast and camped and had a great time. Once we came back and logged our miles on Monday we were shocked when we showed up at the top of the leader board. We had a lot more points than I thought we should have based on the mileage points and points for riding. So that’s when I looked into the medals awards and figured out how we had gotten so many points. Since we had done long days we had gotten several of our medals right away. We all got instantly really psyched to try and hold onto the lead. We normally ride a lot but now that we were on the leader board everyday it was really fun. Every morning we would log our miles and check in on the other teams. The excitement was contagious, even the none bikers at the facility were checking with us to see if we were still in 1st place. Last year we had 5 cyclist participate. This year we grew that to 8 and had to add a second team. One of the funnest days was Bike to Work Day, May 13th. That day we all rode as a group to a local resteraunt as a mini peloton where I treated for lunch as I promised I would for anyone that rode to work on Bike to Work Day.

I am very proud of what we accomplished, this year we were second overall and won for Alameda County, and we more than doubled our miles from the previous year logging 2989 miles. It was also very rewarding to see one of our Novice riders get excited about riding in to work. She got a used bike just in time for the challange. We helped her do a few minor repairs then she did great and rode in to work 14 days during the challenge for a total of 183 miles. Now that the competition is over we are enjoying the extra fitness we gained, and yes we are still riding to work. The Gamma Rollers just keep on rolling. See you next year! Oh yeah and thank you to the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition for putting on this great and fun competition.”

The Contra Costa County champs are Baby I’m Bad News team from Sunpower. Team captain Jeremy Nguyen and his teammates will be recognized at the July 20 Richmond City Council Meeting.

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