Meet our Bicycle Ambassadors

Cascade Bicycle AmbassadorsAmbassadors are friendly and knowledgeable cyclists who provide information on bike safety, routes, and events and classes going on around Seattle. They can be found at transportation fairs, green festivals, Bike Sundays, parks and wherever else bike questions can be answered.

Kelli Refer

Kelli rediscovered her love of bike riding after college when she moved back to her home state of Colorado. Most days in Denver are sunny and the terrain is really flat, so riding bikes there is particularly pleasant. When she decided move to Seattle in 2009 she knew biking needed to remain an integral part of her life. So she kicked her bike into a low gear, bought a rain jacket and hasn’t stopped pedaling since.

Riding to and from all the yoga classes Kelli teaches around town inspired her to write about the incredible connections between riding a bike and practicing yoga. Not only do both practices complement each other physically, but also connect people to the present moment. Her musings resulted in a book entitled Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling.

When not on her bike or yoga mat, you can find Kelli stopping roadside to harvest whatever plant is in season, cooking in the kitchen or crafting something cute.

Khatsini Simani

At a young age, riding a bike was a way for Khatsini to explore new parts of the city. Growing up in Rainier Valley, Khatsini was surrounded by diverse cultures and she was acutely aware of the inequities that existed between her environment and surrounding neighborhoods. She developed a passion for writing, visual art and community building and outreach as ways to promote positive change transcending their built environments through creativity.

Khatsini rides the bus daily and enjoys helping  toteach people how to put their bikes on buses and plan their commutes. Khatsini is a recreational bike rider with a goal to become more confident riding on the road and to help advocate for safer streets.

"I believe all people can enjoy cycling whether its for fun, improving their health or social benefit. I look forward to a future Seattle where on any given day, you can see people of diverse ages, cultures and regions of the city feeling safe and confident on their bikes," she said.

In addition to community outreach, Khatsini enjoys dancing, hip hop, creative writing, ice cream with hot fudge and studying architecture at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. She looks forward to meeting you!

Brian Bothomley

Brian was born in 1947 and grew up in mid-Wales, UK. He came to the US in 1972 and has lived in California and Washington. Seattle captured him in 1975, and he has been here ever since. Brian has had many jobs since dropping out of art college in 1969, including being a weaver, a street musician (busker), a house painter and a gardener. He also worked in hospitals as an orderly and a surgical technician. Brian finally settled down as a transit operator at Metro Transit, where he drove the Monorail and the Waterfront Street Car and buses and also worked in the money counting center. He eventually became a computer network administrator with Metro in the early ‘90s and stayed there until retiring in 2004 from what was then King County/Metro. Brian commuted from Ballard to downtown by bicycle for more than 10 years and remains committed to bicycling as a non-polluting form of travel for commuting, shopping and recreational use. He is a vegan and an animal rights activist who loves hiking, walking his dog, drinking microbrews and listening to all types of music.

Mike Buendia

From Orlando, Fl to Erie, PA to Seattle, WA, Mike Buendia has biked through many varied physical and social environments. In 2005 Mike began riding a bike for short trips around his neighborhood in Orlando in an attempt to shrink his carbon footprint. However, he quickly discovered that cycling had more to offer than just a lighter conscience, and it wasn’t long before he was riding more often than driving. In 2008 he sold his car and has been commuting exclusively by bike ever since.

Mike feels he truly earned the title of “avid cyclist” while living in Erie, PA, where his photo was featured in a full page article in the Erie Times newspaper for riding to work everyday through the harsh winter. Upon moving to Seattle, he discovered that thousands of people share his enthusiasm for riding, and was elated to see all the great resources the city and cycling community provide for safe, fun and convenient biking.

Mike has been living in Seattle with his wife and their two cats for two and a half years and loves everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer. When off his bike, Mike tries to fill his time with the finer things in life: pizza, swimming, arts & crafts, music, hiking and dreaming of summertime. He has a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Central Florida, aspires to visit the Grand Canyon and loves the smell of tomato vines.

Polly Freeman

Polly has been a bike commuter for 30 years, 25 of those in Seattle. She is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for sustainability in her work and personal life. She worked for many years in public outreach for non-profits and for King County and is an active volunteer on climate change and other environmental issues. She bikes with her kids whenever she can and helps promote walking and biking at their school. 

When not biking or working, Polly can be found hanging out with family and friends, reading, gardening, cooking, doing yoga, hiking and skiing.

Stevie Roark (not pictured) 

Stevie grew up (and once again) lives near the northeast corner of Lake Washington, in Kenmore. Stevie is returning for her second year as an ambassador for Cascade and has a particular interest in advocating for the suburban cyclist. Stevie attended the University of Montana, where she helped found the school’s first cycling and triathlon teams. When Stevie graduated she moved to Germany, and for two years biked to work every day, snow or shine. More recently Stevie worked as a tour guide with the local travel company, Bicycle Adventures. These work opportunities have shaped her perspective on what it means to be a “cyclist”: an all-encompassing, everybody’s welcome kind of gal. Stevie has an adorable toddler son and a “mom bike” that she loves bringing to events to encourage parents of small children that biking with kids is safe, fun and possible!