In honor of their 25-year anniversary, Bike Santa Cruz County (formerly People Power) recently acknowledged five local professionals with lifetime achievement awards. The awards honor people who have contributed over 25 years of service to forwarding bicycling as a transportation option in Santa Cruz County.

Ecology Action’s own Vice President of Transportation Piet Canin received one of these prestigious awards in recognition for being the ‘father’ of Santa Cruz’s Bike to Work Day.  The event, which he launched in 1987, promotes bicycling as an commuting option for county residents. In the following three decades, Bike to Work has grown into an annual event held across the United States and Canada and has received United Nations recognition. This year, the Santa Cruz County Bike to Work and School Day is expected to draw over 16,000 participants as it celebrates its 30th year. In addition to his leadership on Bike to Work, Piet helped launch Ecology Action’s innovative Youth Bike Safety programs which serves over 2,500 students a year through its on-the-pavement skills courses known as “Bike safety rodeos”.

Piet, in partnership with Bike Santa Cruz County, was also instrumental in securing $85M for construction of the legacy rail trail project through the Measure D transportation tax measure on the ballot this past Fall. He led Ecology Action’s engagement in the successful “Get Everyone Moving” campaign by capturing video testimonials of local supporters and other compelling content that helped build local support to pass the measure.

Piet’s dedication, commitment and more than 30 years of work, has been critical in evolving Santa Cruz County from a place where riding bikes wasn’t even on the daily transportation radar, to being the county with the second highest bike ridership in the state.  Congratulations, Piet!