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Janelle is top commuter

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Utley/Daily file photoMike Janelle estimated he commuted12,000 a year on his bike, save around $6,000.
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Mike Janelle, a pro cyclist who died unexpectedly last November, has been named ECOTrail’s commuter of the year.

Janelle, who didn’t own a car, commuted between Beaver Creek and Wildridge every day ” uphill both ways, as the saying goes, said Elie Caryl, the director of ECOTrails.

Regardless of weather conditions, Janelle was seen daily on Wildridge Road, Highway 6, and Beaver Creek Boulevard. The award will be presented to his wife Maribel and son, Mike Jr., who was born in April.



“It’s been sad for me but it’s great that many people remember Mike in this way,” said Maribel.

Mike had estimated that he would put in around 12,000 miles per year commuting and riding. This would save around $6,000 per year versus driving, based on AAA mileage costs of 50 cents per mile.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



As a professional road and mountain cyclist, Mike was known for his athleticism and positive attitude. One day Mike was late for work as a ski school instructor, which was odd because he would usually get to work early.

He called his supervisor and said he’d be a little late because he got sent into the ditch by a snowplow while riding his bike to work. He would’ve made it on time but his bike was broken from the impact. Mike got a ride to work and worked the rest of the day after the incident.

Also nominated for their remarkable commitment to commuting to work by foot or bike were Ed Smith, of Eagle, who has walked to and from work nearly every day for the last 27 years; Michelle Davis, of Vail, who doesn’t own a car, has three jobs and takes the bus all winter and rides all summer; Scott Fleming, of Eagle, who took on a friendly dare two years ago and has become a year-round bike commuter ever since; Seth Bossung, of Edwards, who rides to and from his job in West Vail all year despite a demanding schedule; John Ekelman, of Eagle, who has never driven to his job in Eagle, choosing his bike or feet instead; and Fred Haslee, of Minturn, who has been riding from Minturn to Vail for years through all kinds of rough weather, including through waterfalls coming off the side of Meadow Mountain.



Previous Commuter of the Year winners include Tim Carlson in 2005, Jeff Mohrman in 2006 and Leslie Kehmeier in 2007.


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