Advocates and commuters honored at Pedal the Pueblo kickoff

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Living Streets Alliance founder, Emily Yetman speaks to cyclists at the Pedal the Pueblo kickoff event.

About 100 people turned out for the Pedal the Pueblo kickoff event on Monday.

For the first time, the event was held on a Monday rather then Friday and was held outside of downtown.

This year organizers hoped having the event at the beginning of the week and in a midtown location would make it easier for people to attend.

Awards for the bicycle advocates of the year, commuters of the year, bicycle friendly business of the year and staff appreciation awards were announced.

Check out the photos and information about the winners:

Commuter of the year: Joseph Suida

Commuter of the year: Joseph Suida

Here’s a portion of the nomination letter written by his daughter:

For the past 12 years, my dad has been commuting to and from work every day by riding his bike from Orange Grove and Ina to the University of Arizona Medical Center, where he currently works as a Registered Nurse. After doing the math that averages to about 4500 miles a year. And, that is just his work commute…

After his 9-hour day at work, my dad would cycle all the way from UMC to Sabino High School to watch me run at my cross country and track practices throughout my entire 4 years in high school. He would then ride from Sabino High School all the way back to his house before ending his day. He eventually became recognized as “that guy who always rides his bike” by my coaches and peers. To this day words can’t explain how proud I am that “that guy who always rides his bike” is my dad.

Commuter of the year: Elizabeth Crump

Commuter of the year: Elizabeth Crump

“Liz is the manager of Bentley’s, a local bicycle friendly business just down Speedway from here. Her nominators reports that she rides her bicycle as her primary form of transportation, commuting a few miles every day rain or shine and getting to work before the sun comes up — inspiring them to consider alternative transportation in their own lives. In their own words, “she treats riding as an adventure, and finds joy in every commute.” Or more simply, in the words of another of her nominations, “she rocks.”

Advocate of the year: Duncan Benning

Advocate of the year: Duncan Benning

Duncan Benning has long been involved in the bicycle retail industry, but in the last year he has has become really involved in the bike community and a true advocate that is committed to the improvement of cycling on all levels in the city of Tucson.  After leaving retail to pursue other bike related dreams, he joined the Living Streets Alliance board, joined El Grupo as the team bike mechanic as a way to help support the team’s efforts, and helped to coordinate several community events such as Gary Fisher ride last fall. He also worked tirelessly and on extremely short notice to make January’s Ride On Tucson event a great success.  In addition to that, he also sits on several subcommittees that help to promote and support cycling in Tucson in various ways.

Advocate of the year: Greg Yares

Advocate of the year: Greg Yares

Greg has been active across many bicycling groups and activities for many years.  He has been a member of the GABA Board for 14 plus years or more. He as put on the GABA Bike Swap twice a year as a means of promoting all forms of bicycling. He is also involved in El Grupo and BICAS and helps PBAA with their bike patrol.

Bicycle friendly business: Technicians for Sustainability

Bicycle friendly business: Technicians for Sustainability

Staff appreciation award: John Bernal

Staff appreciation award: John Bernal

Bernal works for Pima County and has been instrumental in getting more miles of the Loop added each year.

Staff appreciation award: Ignacio Rivera de Rosales

Staff appreciation award: Ignacio Rivera de Rosales

Rivera de Rosales was honored for his work in schools across the region. It’s estimated he has taught his education course to more than 30,000 children during his time at Pima County.

Check out a few more photos from the event.

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