The weight of the Group Health Commute Challenge is borne on the backs of the 1,402 team captains. Team captains are the heart and soul of the Group Health Commute Challenge. Their desire to share their love of bicycling is the reason why the 2011 Challenge has been the most successful yet.
All captains dedicate time and energy to their teams. With our Captain of the Year and New Captain of the Year awards this year, we want to recognize those who have taken it to the next level . Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination! We received many nominations with many inspiring stories, and it was difficult to select two winners.
The winner of the Captain of the Year award is Rich Trimble of team Naval Base Kitsap Building 467. We want to recognize Rich for his work recruiting new bike commuters at Naval Base Kitsap. He was nominated by a co-worker who said, “It was Rich’s nudging that turned me from bus rider to bike rider last June…He helped me by showing me a locker room in our building that even had showers and laying out that it really isn’t that big of a deal. I still didn’t believe him… but what do you know? He was right!”
Rich became a team captain after a colleague told him about the Challenge. He is a year-round bike commuter and a natural fit in the role. He based his team around a group of co-workers who got together last fall to remedy their building’s lack of bike parking. The previous rack was inadvertently removed, so Rich and seven to eight others banded together and carried the rack “like pallbearers” to a new site.
The team members are not planning on hanging up their bikes for the summer. Far from it. To help new riders continue biking, Rich and five others have committed to ride 600 miles over the summer! This is a great way to keep the support and motivation of the Challenge going year round.
The winner of the New Captain of the Year award is Troy Kasper. Troy is the captain of the Shred Betties team at Starbucks headquarters in Sodo. Troy’s teammates nominated him to take the place left empty by their previous captain’s departure. He was the obvious choice, having been the team cheerleader since he joined four years ago. Troy designed a “Shred Bettie” T-shirt for the team (see photo) and provided snacks and regular motivational emails throughout the month. Troy continues to inspire teammates and other Starbucks cyclists throughout the year.
“He provides many words of wisdom, support, inspiration and encouragement as we head out for our commutes,” a teammate said.
Troy commutes 22 miles to Bothell on a converted Giant mountain bike. He rides regularly during Bike Month and combines his bike commute with transit during the rest of the year. Troy takes the bus to work and bikes home two to three times a week.
Congratulations to both of our winners!