One of the best traditions of our spring party is to recognize and celebrate people and businesses in the bike community who contribute in a variety of meaningful and significant ways. This year we were thrilled to award the following Golden Cog Awards:
- Community Builders of the Year: Healthy Community Champions and Boston Neighborhood Bike Forum planning team.
We wanted to recognize this amazing group of individuals who have been working for the last 2 years to make the bike community and space more inclusive and representative of people who bike in all of Boston’s neighborhoods. The Boston Neighborhood Bike Forum planning team involved many HCC’s and was a group that intentionally continued the work of the Let’s Get Healthy Boston Active Transportation leaders, with a mission of providing “A platform to elevate the voices and experiences of people who bike in Boston’s neighborhoods of color.”
- Bike Friendly Business of the Year: Dudley Cafe
Biplaw Rai, owner of Dudley Cafe, has opened his doors to the bike community on many occasions, and believes strongly in building community. Last fall he invited the Bike Union to be a part of “Back to School Day,” where he offered free lunch, free haircuts, and free bike repair to Roxbury students preparing to go back to school. He’s also been a big supporter of Bowdoin Bike School in Dorchester, and never says no to a request to support a bike endeavor.
- Advocates of the Year: Cambridge Bike Safety
Spurred by two tragic fatal crashes in Cambridge in 2016, where bicyclists Amanda Phillips and Joe Lavins were killed, residents who care about safety of cyclists on Cambridge streets banned together and began meeting and organizing other residents to push for more protected bike facilities. They have worked tirelessly — often meeting at least once or twice a week — and their efforts, along with other advocates, have made a measureable difference. A few new protected bike lane projects slated to be implemented in the coming months, and the culture of and rhetoric from the leadership in Cambridge around bike safety has been changing as a result. Also notable is the leadership of Cambridge City Councilors Jan Devereux and Nadeem Mazen who has worked closely with Cambridge Bike Safety and guided their advocacy efforts inside and outside City Hall.
- Lifetime Commitment Award: Luis Sanchez
We were thrilled to recognize the achievements and dedication of Luis Sanchez to the Bike Union and Boston’s bike community. Luis is the last founding board member who has remained on our board since the organization’s inception, and is finally stepping down to pursue other philanthropic interests and make room for new leadership. Luis has served on the Boston Cyclists Union’s Board of Directors since 2010, and also founded the Bike to Market program with former Director Pete Stidman, and has been helping provide free bike repair in Boston neighborhoods since 2010. Thank you Luis!
- Volunteer of the Year: Reverend Laura Everett
While we wish she never had to do it, bicycling Reverend Laura Everett is the glue that holds the bike community together every time there is a fatal crash involving a person biking. Using her spiritual guidance and way with words, she writes ghost bike memorial ceremonies, supports family and friends of victims, provides comfort to the entire community, and preaches words of advocacy and a better future for bicycling. There is no better person to memorialize those who we’ve lost, and provide hope to those who gather. She also leads the annual “Blessing of the Bikes” and the annual World Day of Remembrance, among many other contributions to the bike community. For all of her work, we are eternally grateful.
This was an all-star cast of Golden Cog recipients, joining the ranks of Golden Cog winners from years past, including:
Bike Friendly Business: Aeronaut
Volunteers of the Year: MB400 Planning Team
Advocates of the Year: Friends of the Community Path
Planning Firm Advancing the Cause: Toole Design Group
Intern of the Year: Raphael Dumas
Bike Friendly Business: Flat Top Johnny’s
Bike Culture Pioneers: Bike Party Planning Team
Advocates of the Year: Comm Ave Advocates