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Aileen Carroll and Dave Kearney Brown have been named the 2019 Napa County Bicycle Commuters of the Year by the Napa County Bicycle Coalition, organizers of the upcoming Bike to Work & School Day on May 9.

When Carroll moved to San Luis Obispo for college, she started riding a bicycle for transportation. It was the easiest way to get around town and she quickly fell in love with the rush of riding on the road alongside people driving cars or sitting in traffic.

Today, Carroll and her fiancé purposely choose to live within biking distance of their jobs.

“My two-mile (12-minute) commute to Van Winden’s Garden Center is often the best part of my morning, and always a good way to unwind after the workday,” she said.

She avoids arterial roads with fast car traffic and instead rides side streets that she often has all to herself in both directions.

Carroll is not a fair-weather commuter.

“I ride to work every day, rain or shine, and love to take the bike path to the Napa Farmers Market on Saturdays,” she said.

A Napa native, Brown has ridden a bike as his main form of transportation off and on during his life. This latest stretch, though, dates back about six years and is a direct result of his desire to lower his contributions to greenhouse pollutants.

He commutes from his home in Napa pretty much every day to his job as a third-grade teacher at Napa Valley Language Academy. And while he does have a car, it gets used infrequently. In fact, recently, he went two and a half weeks without driving, and three months without filling up its 10-gallon tank.

In addition to commuting to work, most of Brown’s miles are biked doing weekly shopping, but he does venture out on longer rides when he has meetings to attend in other locations. For example, he recently rode from Napa to American Canyon for a Napa Climate Now commitment in American Canyon.

Said Brown: “I want to get a T-shirt that says: ‘The ultimate multitasking: Exercise-Check!, Getting stuff done-Check!, Saving money-Check!, Having Fun-Check!, Saving the Planet-Check!’ “

Bay Area Bike to Work Day is May 9. Complete information can be found at bayareabiketowork.com.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county Bay Area.

Editor's Note: This item has been modified to update the organization that selected the two bike commuters of the year.

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