By Jennifer Ann Gordon
An “Active Transportation” advocate, Woodland citizen Tom Stallard stands firm on the positive implication of biking for air quality. He has represented Woodland at both the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. “We’re all breathing the same air,” Stallard said.
Stallard has ridden a bike for most of his life, but he began riding seriously 4-5 years ago for fitness. He makes a 22-mile roundtrip to Davis weekly, and rides throughout the week in Woodland, when he doesn’t have meetings out of town. “Biking is a way to see things from the natural world,” said Stallard, “Hawks, critters…riding out in the country, watching the seasons, the growth cycles.”
In tandem with The Bike Campaign, Stallard promotes active transportation, which includes biking, walking, and taking public transportation. “A bicycle can be the vehicle of choice for people of low income. Bikes can be an equalizer and a lot more,” he said. “The director of the Bike Campaign, Maria Contreras Tebbutt, has enriched so many people’s lives with her hard work. Maria dignifies people with the opportunity to transform their lives by teaching them safe riding and bike maintenance skills at the Bike Garage in Woodland.”
“Safety is a serious issue,” said Stallard. “Drivers need to be courteous to bikers and maintain a minimum of three feet between their car and the bicycle. Drivers need to share the road. We all have to be more considerate of each other. We see others’ needs and accommodate them.” Stallard said, “I am grateful others ride because it means fewer cars on the road and less pollution, for the well-being of our children. School is one of the most important places to use active transportation; there is so much congestion and pollution around school sites, and unsafe traffic conditions.”
Stallard’s advice? “Give it a try. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your community.”