BTWD 2016 - I Like to Ride My Bicycle Bike Commuter of the Year 2016 – Bret Winters

“I like to ride my bicycle!” is the theme for the 2016 Bike To Work Day – emphasizing how much the original idea of bicycling “to work” has evolved in recent years.  With many people working from home or local offices, using a bicycle means more than just a morning and evening commute. Often, it’s quicker to use a bicycle for local errands than to choose a car.  As many MCBC members have learned, it’s much simpler to roll up to where you need to be and lock your bike than to fight traffic and circle a crowded parking lot.

Bret Winters - Bike Commuter of the Year 2016As everyone gears up for tomorrow’s Bay Area Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 12  – part of National Bike Month – we had a chance to ask this year’s Marin County Bike Commuter of the Year, Bret Winters a few more questions…

What bicycle do you like the best?

My favorite bikes are the frames I hand built using filet brazing. One is a Mountain Bike, and the other is my daily commuter, a Road/Gravel/touring style bike with disc brakes.

What part of your ride do you like the best?  

On my  commute, I really enjoy the dirt sections within Golden gate park, as well as the dirt service road that parallels Presidio Bypass road

What do you like best about the benefits of riding your bike?

Since I’ve been commuting to Mill Valley , I haven’t had a cold or flu, even when surrounded by ill coworkers and girlfriend

What would you have liked someone to tell you when you started?

When I started commuting, it would have been beneficial to keep a better eye on chain and drivetrain wear, it is easy to destroy a drivetrain when you’re commuting daily- frequent chain replacement can keep the other parts healthy longer.

Where do you most like to ride your bike?

My favorite riding spots are the Marin Headlands, Mount Tam, as well as Santa Cruz, Pacifica and Tahoe.

Why would others like to ride in Marin?  

Everyone should ride in Marin, as it is the birthplace of Mountain Biking, and also has great coastal road riding and climbing

What part of riding would you most like to improve?  

Although it seems unlikely, it would be great to improve the shoulders on 2nd Street/Alexander in Sausalito.

What is your favorite vision of the bicycling in the future?

In the future, there must be some kind of limitations on driving, such as in Mexico City, not everyone needs to be driving everyday, and it would speed everyone’s drive up if there were some kind of alternating driving system such as even/odd plates.

Finally, if there’s a further message you would like to share with the people who ride bikes in Marin County – whether simple, encouraging or aspirational – what would that be?

Brett-Winter-BCOY-2016-cropped-for-heroIn conclusion, I would say be courteous to even the most clueless drivers, they cut each other off all the time, don’t take it personally, and consider that one swerve of their steering wheel will end your ride, with no repercussions to the driver whatsoever, unless they are obviously intoxicated and IF they get caught. Remember – most police view cyclists as a nuisance, so don’t expect sympathy or for them to be on your side. Generally speaking, since a car is more valuable the a bike, so is the operator, in the eyes of the law.

Thanks Bret! We know we’ll see you out on the roads and pathways!

If you have wanted to be a part of the Bike to Work movement – running errands, ferrying kids or simply commuting to and from your office – it’s easy to start!   You Can Bike There provides a number of resources, and we have Employer Toolkits to help others in your office or workplace leave their car behind.  On Thursday, May 12, we’ll be out in force, with Energizer Stations on routes throughout Marin County.

Editor’s Note: These interviews represent the words and opinions of the featured rider.  As such, the views expressed in this profile do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.


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