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Sonoma County commuters celebrate 20 years of Bike to Work Day

  • Nancy Morgan crosses Santa Rosa Ave. on her way to work at the 6th Street Playhouse for the 20th annual Bike to Work Day in Santa Rosa, on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

On a cool, overcast morning Thursday, hundreds of Sonoma County commuters shunned their cars and hopped on bicycles to promote physical and environmental health on Bike to Work Day.

The 20th annual event, celebrated across the Bay Area as part of a month-long biking campaign, drew dedicated cyclists dressed in spandex on pricey road bikes as well as commuters in suits on comfy cruisers with bulging panniers.

They gathered at the more than 20 energizer stations around the county to fuel up, listen to music and talk about cycling.

Bike To Work Day 2014

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"It's a good scene," said Lisa Ludwigsen, marketing team leader at Whole Foods. "Everyone is out having fun and being healthy."

Ludwigsen handed out fruit, juice, coffee and bagels at a booth sponsored by Whole Foods and Kaiser Permanente at Walnut Park in Petaluma.

About 80 cyclists passed by throughout the morning, including Evan Williams, who rides his fixed gear bike four and a half miles to work at Labcon in Petaluma three days per week.

"Traffic is terrible and it makes driving a nightmare," he said. "Biking is refreshing. It's a nice way to start the day."

Caroline Pope, who works part time from her home in Penngrove, rode her bike into Petaluma to hit the gym.

"I call it Bike to Workout Day," she said.

Participants included those who ride 20 miles or more to work every day to those who dust off their bike once a year for the event, according to Karen Langdon, with Kaiser Permanente. One cyclist was on his way from Tiburon to Calistoga, a 60-mile ride, she said.


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