Congratulations! Marin’s 2018 Bike Commuter of the Year: Matt Young

“Let’s Ride” on the 2018 Bike To Work Day

MCBC members continue to show 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.

As everyone gears up for the 2018 Bay Area Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 10  – part of National Bike Month – we’d like to highlight an MCBC member who uses the bicycle as an integral part of their everyday life…

2018 Marin Bike Commuter of the Year: Matt Young

  • Occupation: Information Services  – First Republic Bank
  •  Years Riding: 32 years riding (racing since 8 years old)
  • General Location in Marin where you tend to ride most frequently:
    1) Commute Mill Valley to / from San Francisco
    2) Dirt Trails around Mt. Tam
    3) Road Riding on Route 1

What bicycle do you like the best?

My commuter bike has the most soul. It’s a steel Sycip touring bike that accepts wide gravel tires, but I typically ride durable road tires. The next in line is my gravel bike, which feels like home. I ride that bike most often with its versatile uses on road and dirt.

What part of your ride do you like the best?

The daily camaraderie with my commute friends and everyone I meet along the way.

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

The health benefits of cycling, as well as the peaceful time on a
bike, challenging myself mentally and physically.

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

My dad (Penn State cycling coach) did teach me to follow 3 rules of bike racing:
1) Keep the rubber side down
2) Spin big gears
3) Be at the front at the end

Where do you most like to ride your bike?

High up on Mt. Tamalpais with a view any direction.

Why would others like to ride in Marin?

The ease of getting away from the hustle, either on road or dirt, where you can climb all around Mt. Tam and have views of the Bay or the ocean, sometimes both at the same time.

What is your favorite ride/route?

This is my “go to” gravel / adventure route from Mill Valley:
Climb Railroad Grade, past West Point Inn to East Peak, follow the road back down to Rock Springs, through Laurel Dell back onto the “Seven Sisters” road (West Ridgecrest). Descend to Pantoll Ranger Station on the road. Then descend Coastal View trail to Hwy 1 and Muir Woods / Beach, then climb Diaz Ridge and descend Hwy 1 to Mill Valley.

What part of riding would you most like to improve?

Single track trail access! With the history of MTB in this county, the number of cyclists and the amount of open space in Marin County, I would call our access to single track riding poor. What surprises me most is that the trail conflicts are on fire roads, which are not designed for bicycles to ride up or down. This makes for an unpleasant and often dangerous experience for the rider and other trail users. I find speed and control of single track riding are far more conducive for safe and friendly interactions, as it is easy for a cyclist to stop, yield and share a “have a good day.” I wish Marin county could follow a model similar to Park City, UT where they continue to build more trails every year and designate some hiking and some bicycle trails. Everyone benefits and sometimes separating access is the best approach for all.

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

The kids are our future. I grew up racing in junior development programs and see the power of the High School MTB league. Not only is this fantastic for the kids, but the parents are able to remain involved. Only time will tell if my daughter finds the same passion as I have for cycling.

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?

Riding a bike gives a person a unique perspective to see and interact with the surroundings that cannot be matched in a motorized vehicle or on foot. I love riding my bike for the adventure of finding out what is around the next bend.

Thanks Matt!

Congratulations to all the Nominees for 2018 Marin County Bike Commuter of the Year

Each of you inspire countless others to ride – thank you!

Juan Acevedo

Lisel Blash

Chris Hagan

Dimitry Kosorukov

Clayton Kunz

David Lazerwitz

Chris Lee

Andrew Levine

Lucy Macpherson

Brendan Millar

Susan Naber

Hilary Noll

Greg Nudd

Nick Roger

Frank J Rollo

Jason Traut

Lynn Valdivia

Jennifer Walsh

Brett Winters

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 10, 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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