Photographs courtesy of EBBC: http://www.ebbc.org/?q=bcoy
From the East Bay Bicycle Coalition:
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition announced T.D. Fisher of Oakland as the 2010 Bike Commuter of the Year winner for Alameda County. The EBBC coordinates the Bike Commuter of the Year Awards to honor one resident each from Alameda and Contra Costa counties, who is committed to doing routine commutes by bike. The selection process, facilitated through peer nominations, targets avid cyclists who epitomize and actualize the health, environmental, social, and economic benefits of bicycling.
T.D. Fisher, an Oakland resident, works as an orthotist, assessing and designing orthopedic and prosthetic devices that encourage growth, rehabilitation and medical comfort. Her clients include children, youth and adults, with conditions like cerebral palsy, scoliosis and Spina bifida. After ten years of commuting to work by car, Fisher decided a year and a half ago to go green - biking instead driving - declaring that she could not drive to her job another day. Although her commute from home to office is short, she sometimes uses BART but often bikes 25 to 35 miles roundtrip on a single client visit. She frequents work sites in Oakley, Antioch, Lafayette and Oakland.
Fisher recalls that the transition to biking was a challenge, because she had to determine how she would effectively haul the tools of her trade via bike. As an orthotist, she routinely carries quite a load along on client visits, including electric grinders, saws, braces, scissors, cutters and an occasional prosthetic limb. The problem was solved when a friend gave her a kids’ bike trailer to use in conjunction with her with her old mountain bike.
This fix worked, all until her bike broke due to the heavy load. Then the Missing Link Bicycle Co-op in Berkeley set her up with a Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike. Now she uses a combination of folding metal racks, duffle bags and panniers to carry all of her gear. “It works great! I bike to work routinely and I am so much happier since I stopped driving my car,” says Fisher. “People often notice and stop to talk to me about all the stuff I carry."
Fisher’s love of biking has led her to become a top fundraiser for the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), an organization that assists people with disabilities in riding bikes and doing other sports activities. Fisher also engages friends on occasional “bike toodles,” bike outings that focus on deterring fear, making bicycling seem less intimidating. “I have so many friends with bikes who are afraid to ride. So I take them on guided tours around town.” Fisher assures, “There is no place in the East Bay that cannot be accessed via a flat route.”
The EBBC encourages everyone to go green and engage in active transportation, as May is National Bike Month. On April 19 the coalition launched a marketing campaign throughout Alameda County that highlights bicycling as a healthy mode of transportation. The “Get Rolling” campaign helps to raise awareness, promoting bicycling as an everyday means of transportation. It also highlights the Bay Area’s 16th annual "Bike to Work Day" on Thursday, May 13.
Ads are prominently displayed on local bus shelters, the backs of AC Transit buses, in BART stations and on street pole banners throughout East Bay cities. The Alameda County Bike Commuter of the Year Award is funded in part by Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority’s (ACTIA) Measure B funds. Get Rolling is supported by ACTIA, ACCMA, East Bay Express, Bayer Corporation, Cal Berkeley, and many cities of Alameda County. For more information regarding Bike-to-Work day, visit the specified web page at http://www.511.org.
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501c3 organization, dedicated to promoting bicycling as an everyday means of transportation and recreation. The EBBC safeguards the interest of bicyclists in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.