We’re proud to announce the recipients of our 2017 Bike Awards – Paul Dahl of Lynchburg, VA for the Bike Hero award and Mackenzie Jarvis of Blacksburg, VA for our Extraordinary Bike Professional. Read below for more on the great work these women are doing for cycling in the region.
Paula Dahl, Lynchburg, VA – Bike Hero
Paula Dahl has been a cycling most of her life – beginning with biking to her Massachusetts middle and high schools and again during the Navy in Virginia’s Tidewater. She began distance cycling in 2003 and has, since 2005, cycled in excess of 10,000 miles every year since. Her riding miles are impressive, however, it is her cycling advocacy, leadership, and founder of Storming of Thunder Ridge, Lynchburg’s only local, fully supported road cycling event , that represents the reason Dahl is the Ride Solutions’ 2017 Bike Hero.
What began in 2010 as a small ride, with 112 riders, and YMCA fundraiser has grown into a major cycling and YMCA of Central Virginia fundraiser event.
In 2017 Storming of Thunder ridge included 651 riders from 20 states and Canada, with many bringing the entire family. Additionally, Paula never misses a local public event where bicycle and pedestrian issues are on the docket. As mentioned in her submission “She is an incredible mentor for those that need extra encouragement to ride outside. Her energy about cycling is contagious.”
This reward is long in coming and well deserved – thank you Paula.
Mackenzie Jarvis, Blacksburg, VA – Extraordinary Bike Professional
Ever since Mackenzie was an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech, she was contributing to the cycling community in Blacksburg. In those early times, she served as an intern in the Alternative Transportation group and three years later became the Alternative Transportation Manager.
First as an intern and then as the Bicycling Coordinator at Virginia Tech, Mackenzie was responsible for promoting cycling, but it was her enthusiasm for two wheels and transportation that set her apart as bike professional working to build a place people feel comfortable cycling. She dedicated her time to building visibility of safe cycling on campus with events like Bike to Campus days, crowdsourcing the name of VT Alternative Transportation’s cargo bike (Bikey McBike-Face), and most notably launched the “Heads Up Hokies” campaign in February 2016 to improve campus safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
About her recognition, Mackenzie had this to say:
President Kennedy famously said “nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike”, respectfully I would assert that the simple satisfaction of moving in a sustainable way which benefits one’s body, budget and our world, is an undeniable rival. It was my honor to stand with the inspiring bike advocates (professional and otherwise) of the New River Valley, in promoting these simple yet powerful benefits to our communities, particularly my alma mater; Virginia Tech. Now I am humbled that this group would recognize me as 2017 Extraordinary Bike Professional. I look forward to continuing the work we started together. Thank you!
Congratulations to both Paula and Mackenzie for their 2017 Bike Hero and Extraordinary Bike Professional Awards.