Local Cycling Leaders Recognized At Golden Gear Awards For Making San Diego A Safer Place To Ride
Leaders who have put their pedals to the metal in making cycling safer and more fun across San Diego will be honored at this year’s Golden Gear Awards. Hosted annually by San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, nine winners from across various sectors – including elected office, community advocacy and education – will be recognized during a virtual ceremony on Dec. 8. Honorees were nominated by members of the community.
The ceremony, which is sponsored by Lyft, is free to attend and will be held virtually over Zoom. Following the Golden Gear Awards, the San Diego cycling community is welcome to further recognize the work achieved by this year’s honorees at the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition’s annual Holiday Joy Ride, held Dec. 9 at Balboa Park.
A call to provide safety for all our cyclists
2021 marked both a year of great progress as well as tragedy for San Diego’s cycling community. 15 people lost their lives cycling in San Diego County this year, calling attention to the need for more bike-friendly infrastructure across the region. This infrastructure is important now more than ever as the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to attract interest in cycling from residents across the region as a safe and socially distanced activity.
As in previous years, the Golden Gear Awards recognize the progress made across the region for better biking. The San Diego Bike Coalition will honor leaders who have gone above and beyond to help make our region more bike-friendly this year.
Golden Gears Advocacy Awards Recipients
Community Partner: Beautiful PB
BeautifulPB is a grassroots non-profit organization that works to create a more sustainable, equitable, and beautiful Pacific Beach. They have worked for years to improve bicycling conditions in PB and safe mobility options for everyone. During the pandemic, BeautifulPB was a leader in the City’s “Slow Streets” installment during the pandemic. Diamond Street remains as the City’s last remaining Slow Street. In 2021, BeautifulPB was a close partner with the Bike Coalition in organizing a successful CicloSDias (Open Street) event.
Advocate of the Year: Mary McGuirk
Mary is the SDCBC Advocacy Committee chair. She has been a powerful advocate in San Diego for more than 6 years, where she has worked as a transportation planner in the non-profit and private sectors. McGuirk volunteers and advocates with organizations like the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
Bike Shop of the Year: Rad Power Bikes
Rad Power Bikes has collaborated with the SDCBC since they opened their Imperial Beach store in the Summer of 2021. Rad Power Bikes has supported the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on events like Bike the Bay, Women+ on Wheels and IB Active. Additionally, the Rad Power team has volunteered to refurbish donated bikes for Free Bikes 4 Kidz and assisted the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition on virtual e-bike safety classes.
Volunteer of the Year: Kristine Schindler
Kristine has worked with the bike coalition in a number of capacities over the years, as a staff member, an instructor and a volunteer. This year she has gone above and beyond in promoting bike safety in North County and logging hundreds of hours for programs like Cyclovia Encinitas.
Bike Club of the Year: Blind Stokers Club
The Blind Stokers have been part of the SDCBC since 2006. They support blind cyclists by riding in pairs on tandem bikes with a sighted captain in front and a blind stoker in back. Currently they have 145 members in San Diego.
Bike Friendly Business: Fall Brewing Company
Fall Brewing Company has two locations: North Park and South Park. Along with being regularly packed with cyclists, Fall Brewing Company even created a beer called 2AM Bike Ride.
Elected Official of the Year: Sean Elo-Rivera
Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera proudly represents the Ninth Council District of the City of San Diego. He has emerged a strong leader for social and racial justice issues. Elo-Rivera is also a champion for Vision Zero, which promotes climate action and safe and accessible bicycling.
Educator of the Year: Darrell Steele
Darrell is a League of American Bicyclist Certified Instructor who has taught classes with the SDCBC for a number of years. In 2021, Darrell has taught over 24 classes.
Platinum Pedal: Brittany Bailey
Brittany Bailey has advocated for expanding mobility choices her entire career as a public servant. In her role as Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor, she has helped change the conversation of what type of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure should be installed and how quickly it can be done. This year, she has streamlined and fast-tracked the process of reviewing and permitting SANDAG bike projects. She has also developed an entirely new City program: Her STAT (Safe and Sustainable Transportation for All Ages and Abilities Team) program promises to continue her work of installing quick build cycling networks across the City.
About San Diego Bike Coalition
San Diego Bike Coalition is a nonprofit organization that advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles. They promote bicycling as a mainstream, safe and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation. For more information, please visit here.
See you there, San Diego!