For Angie Perez, biking was just an occasional leisure-time activity. But that all changed on Bike to Work Day (BTWD) 2011.
Angie worked at an insurance company right next door to the Sonoma Bicycle Coalition (SBC). In 2011, she saw the Sonoma Bicycle Coalition bag stuffing party underway in preparation for Bike to Work Day. On the spot, she decided to ride her bike to work on BTWD that year – something that had never before occurred to her to do. And on BTWD 2011, she did just that.
The ride to work on her heavy hybrid was easy – all downhill. But the ride uphill on the way home was a different story and she had to walk. But she wasn’t deterred. In fact, Angie got inspired and decided to ride her bike to work as often as possible until she could pedal all the way up the hill.
And that hill did more than just give her a physical challenge. Not only did she ultimately accomplish that goal, but got hooked on cycling in the process. Her commitment inspired her husband to also get on his bicycle – and they’ve not looked back since. They traded in their hybrids for road bikes and started to ride regularly, and soon, the hill climb to their house was not a problem.
“Bicycling has changed my life,” said Angie. “And now I want to use bikes and bicycling to help others change their lives as well.”
Today, Angie bikes 16 miles round trip to work whenever she can – but now it’s to her office in the Sonoma Bicycle Coalition. She joined the staff in August 2013 when she came on board as the bilingual school coordinator. In late 2014, she became the Coalition’s community outreach coordinator.
A few other highlights of how Angie’s passion of cycling has impacted her life and the life of her community:
On Mother’s Day 2014, Angie organized a 90-mile ride for family and friends
She and her husband rode The Tour of the California Alps (aka The Death Ride); Angie completed two passes, her husband did all five. For 2015, they’re aiming to complete all five passes together.
As an outgrowth of the Coalition’s “walk and roll” program for kids, she’s establishing class to teach mothers to ride
- She’s trying to use bicycle riding to help the community heal from the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez