Time is running out to sign up for the California Dream Ride! Are you following the build up to the fun yet with our #CADreamRide hashtag?
One thing we've been excited to see this year is the number of women signing up - about 50% of the riders are women! These women are passionate about making California's streets more comfortable and convenient for bicycling. So let's meet three of the dynamic women who've decided to help us dream big for California.
Maria Contreras Tebutt at left. Image courtesy of the Davis Enterprise.
Maria Contreras Tebutt of Davis California is the Founder and Director of the Bike Campaign for Yolo County. Maria has a passion for teaching people, especially women who've never been on a bike before, how to ride confidently. Her program is housed on the campus of a middle school, where she and a group of passionate and talented volunteers not only teach people to ride, but get them set up with the right bike for them.
For this ride, Maria will be sponsored to ride the new Tern Verge X18 folding road bike. She wants to demonstrate how easy and convenient it can be to ride a bike, but travel with it as well. She'll be riding the train down from Davis to Santa Barbara for the beginning of the ride.
"I've always wanted to be a part of a big bike tour with a purpose. What a great opportunity to get to know the people who support making California a better place to ride," says Maria. "My hope is that someday everyone in California will have a safe, fun route to ride a bicycle wherever they need to go. Together, we're making California a cleaner, healthier, friendlier, more prosperous place through bicycling."
Love learning about the growth of bicycling in California but need to learn on the go? We've got you covered! This past week I interviewed Maria for a special audio podcast for the CA Dream Ride. Listen to our interview here. Maria is new to Twitter - show her some love by following her!
Simone Wojtaszek of Oakland is an old hand at bike advocacy. In 2008, while a student at the University of Virginia she co-founded UVA Bikes, which has now grown into the largest university bike share in the country. Now traveling frequently for her work, Simone often finds it difficult to be "hands on" with a local organization but still wants to make a positive impact. Enter the CA Dream Ride:
"I loved the idea that this ride would help make my commute safer for me personally and for everyone else who rides," says Simone. "I bike because I care about my body and the world. I want to make California a better place to bicycle, so that more people will join me in my commute to work." Learn more about Simone by following her on Twitter.
Another dream rider, Sarah Bartlett of Marina Del Rey, is a recent convert to bicycling.
"I recently discovered cycling as a form of exercise and transportation, but my motivation quickly became something much more than burning a few hundred calories," she says. "It has become my sanctuary from life/work stress, my motivation to get out of bed before the sunrise, my companion in a new city, and my freedom!"
Sarah now regularly commutes by bike to her job in commercial real estate in Santa Monica. Her round trip is 8-10 miles, and she's also now doing errands by bike, as well as using her bike to meet friends for drinks and dinner. Learn more about Sarah by following her on Twitter.
Sarah loves the challenge and the rewards of bicycling.
"The huge California hills nearly kill me - but the view from the top is breathtaking," she says. "The springs are exhausting - but the payoff is exhilarating. I can't wait to see what the California Dream Ride has in store for me."
Ready to ride?