Bike to Work Day: MCE Staff Spotlight

Bike to Work Day: MCE Staff Spotlight

May is National Bike Month. Its roots come from cycling advocacy, and it has grown into a widely celebrated annual event that promotes the benefits of biking for individuals, communities, and the environment.

In 2022, 66% of workers in California drove alone to work and less than 1% commuted by bike. The average annual cost of owning and operating a new car in 2023 is $12,182, so we encourage folks to consider alternative modes of commuting. By biking to work, you’ll benefit by conserving fuel, reducing vehicle emissions, and improving your individual well-being.

In honor of Bike to Work Day on May 17, we asked MCE’s bike-commuting team members to share their stories. We hope others will be inspired to take to the road on two wheels and experience the benefits of biking to work.


Daniel Settlemyer, Internal Operations Associate

With gas prices being so expensive, it doesn’t make sense for me to drive if I don’t have to. Problem is, I live up quite a steep hill just outside downtown San Rafael. So when MCE offered its employees an incentive to bike to work, I decided that getting an e-bike would be an economical way to cut costs, lower my carbon footprint, and get around easily.

I just didn’t realize how much fun it is and how much I prefer riding to driving! After 10 months and 1,100 miles, I’ve completely changed my transportation habits to include my e-bike. I even have waterproof bags that take care of my grocery needs. It’s great that I can go to Trader Joe’s without worrying about the claustrophobic parking lot.

My route is incredible. Every day I start my ride by zooming down my hill with views of northern San Rafael and Mount Tamalpais in the background. Now that it’s spring, I ride through blossoms and budding flowers everywhere. When I’m in town, I get a totally immersed perspective because there’s no barrier between me and the rest of the world. I love it!


Justine Parmelee, Director of Internal Operations

I was motivated to start biking to work because of a combination of factors. My colleague, Dan, had been biking to work regularly and always seemed happier and more energetic for it. Then at last year’s Clean Air Day event, I found myself admiring the e-bike on display. I looked into our commuter benefits and found that combining those with 511 Contra Costa incentives would make the cost of an e-bike affordable. The very next weekend, I bought a Trek Verve+.

I knew biking had cardiovascular benefits, but I didn’t know they took effect so quickly! Hiking is my passion. I was training on a route that has one big, long hill where I needed to take two or three breaks to catch my breath. After two weeks of biking, I zipped up to the top without needing to take a break. Don’t snooze on biking as cross-training!

Bunnies are an unexpected enjoyment from biking to work! I’m fortunate that about 5 miles of my commute is along a protected pedestrian/bike pathway. Some of it goes through neighborhoods and some through farmland and parkland. On my very first ride, I encountered rabbits hopping along the remote sections of the route. What a great way to start the day!


Alex Valenti, Manager of Customer Programs

Getting motivated to bike to work is easy, especially now that spring is here. I love any opportunity to get out on my bike, and with the warm weather returning there is no better way to get to the office.

An unexpected benefit I’ve noticed on days that I bike to work is that the exercise gives me a boost of energy and motivation. Being out in the fresh air also allows me to clear my mind before arriving at work.

I cruise over the Richmond-San Rafael bridge when I bike to the office and the views are awesome. The nice descent is also exciting, especially when I can beat the car traffic on the road!

Join thousands of other cyclists across the Bay Area during National Bike Month to celebrate the joys of biking. Here are resources to find events in your area:

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