The Madison Bike Commuter of the Year for 2008 is Terri Felton, who bikes to work between Madison and Waunakee through sun, rain, snow, and wind through all twelve months of the year.
During this year's edition of Bike to Work Week at the beginning of May, Isthmus asked local bicyclists to submit an essay, along with photos and video if desired, explaining why they are the top two-wheeled commuter in town. Hopefuls were asked to share the best and worst parts of commuting by bike, number of years on the saddle, number of miles logged per week, and portion of the year out on the roads. Had they furthered the cause of bike commuting in Madison? Had they seen any unexpected benefits?
Here is the winning entry from Felton:
I bike to work year-round from Madison to Waunakee. Here is a summary of my commuting history:
- Round-trip distance on a regular day: 25 miles
- Round-trip distance if I take the bus part-way (in winter): 12 miles
- Longest distance logged (commuting): 42 miles (home to physical therapy to work to YMCA to Memorial Union for a beer to home)
- Fastest speed recorded: 28.6 mph (glorious tail wind on Hwy 113!)
- Slowest speed recorded: 5.8 mph (*@!% head wind on Hwy 113, with sleet and studded tires)
- Coldest temperature recorded: -6 F
- Worst mishap: slid out on gravel while rounding a corner -- damage to bike: bent bar end, scraped paint, torn pannier -- damage to self: bruised elbow bone, healthy road rash, stone embedded in knee, broken toe complete with dislodged toenail (that's the last time I biked in sandals!)
- Biggest accomplishment: arriving by bicycle at a formal event, throwing a skirt on over my bike shorts, and voila -- I'm gorgeous!
- What most annoys me: other bicyclists who do stupid things (like blow through stop signs or ride on the wrong side of the street)
- What brings me joy: seeing kids using the Yahara River path to bike or walk to school
- Best part of my ride: riding my bike!
Felton also submitted an entry video introducing her commute and sharing comments by coworkers presenting her case as Madison's Bike Commuter of the Year.