Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett

Executive Director

mike@bikeslocounty.org

Mike began his relationship with the San Luis Obispo County cycling community in the mid ‘80s. While attending Cal Poly, Mike raced with both the Wheelmen and Club Velo SLO. When not racing or studying, Mike worked at the now defunct Spirit Cycle Works. He recently returned to San Luis Obispo after spending 24 years serving as an Officer and Aviator in the Marine Corps and a couple of years wrenching in a bike shop.

For Mike cycling has formed the foundation of a life devoted to responsible fitness and fun. He and his wife Chris, also a former Wheelman, continue to be active recreational and commuting cyclists. Mike hopes to use his leadership, management, and bike industry experience to help Bike SLO County continue to grow as a valued community partner and resource.

Michael Velasquez

Michael Velasquez

Education Director

michael@bikeslocounty.org

Born and raised in Templeton, local boy Michael Velasquez is a passionate bike mechanic with an enthusiasm for outdoor sports including cycling, sprint triathlons, soccer and surfing! He lives in beautiful Morro Bay with his gorgeous wife and two children.

Michael has been volunteering at the Bike Kitchen since 2008 and since then has represented Bike SLO County at numerous Bike Rodeos and Bike-a-Thons, making sure that kids’ bikes are safe to ride.

Michael has worked as a professional bike mechanic, but his passion for refurbishing bikes began in middle school, when he and his dad deconstructed, then perfected and personalized a bike for him in his garage. It is with this same pride and precision that Michael excels in collaborating with people to find or create the right bike for the right person.

Audrey Surprenant

Audrey Surprenant

Bike Kitchen & Women’s Program Director

audrey@bikeslocounty.org

Audrey moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly in 2010. After graduating she could not imagine calling any other place "home." She began commuting to work by bike, started learning how to fix her own bike, and eventually found the Bike Kitchen. After one visit as a customer, she started volunteering - eventually becoming the lead mechanic for Women’s Night. Audrey was then hired as our Women‘s Night Coordinator before being promoted to run both the Bike Kitchen and our Women’s Program.

Audrey spends approximately 90% of her waking hours working on, riding, or thinking about bikes. Aside from teaching people how to work on bikes, she particularly enjoys commuting, touring, and bike polo. She is proud to be a female mechanic - working toward greater equality and empowerment of anyone on two wheels.

Steve Akers

Steve Akers

Communications Director

steve@bikeslocounty.org

Steve began volunteering at Bike Valet in 2012 then officially joined the Bike Valet staff in 2013 before stepping in as our Communications Director in 2014. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and spent many years working in both documentary and feature film production. He grew up all over the U.S. (New Jersey, Texas, California) and all over the world (Dubai, Athens, London).

His first volunteer gig ever was with Bikes Not Bombs in Boston, MA and the first bike he remembers wanting really badly was actually a unicycle. Steve enjoys caffeine, gardening, making cheesy pop music, hiking and camping, reading (or listening to) all manner of books, watching films and animation (foreign and domestic), traveling to new places and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

Liya Klingenberg

Liya Klingenberg

Interim Bike Valet Coordinator

liya@bikeslocounty.org

Liya is relatively new to the Central Coast, having moved to SLO for a Fellowship in water quality in October of 2016. Born and raised in San Francisco, she’s since lived in many cities including Montreal, Quebec and much of the Southern California area.

Liya’s love for cycling started at a young age and blossomed into an enjoyable lifestyle. Car-free for most of her life, she became quite comfortable on two wheels, even completing 6 bicycle tours in various countries around world. In 2015 she was Vice President of the Cal State Long Beach cycling team and raced CycloCross, Road, and Fixed gear bikes competitively.

Liya first learned about Bike SLO County through the Bike Valet at the Farmers Market downtown and began volunteering shortly thereafter. Cycling has impacted her life in so many positive ways that she wants to spread the joy to others in any way she can.