2024 Bike Champion of the Year: Dr. Loie Sauer

Every year during Bike Month in May, each of the nine Bay Area counties names a Bike Champion of the Year. The 2024 Sonoma County honoree is Santa Rosa physician Loie Sauer.

Dr. Sauer saved the life of John Mills, who experienced cardiac arrest while on a ride in early 2023. Loie, a vascular surgeon who provides volunteer medical aid to Velomed and the Santa Rosa Cycling Club, encourages everyone to learn CPR, emphasizing that the aid she has rendered to injured riders is something everyone can acquire the skills to do. Eris Weaver, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Bike Coalition, emphasized the importance of the Bike Champion of the Year program, saying, “We would not have known about this hero in our midst if not for the Bike Champion of the Year nomination.”

Currently a Santa Rosa resident, Dr. Sauer discovered riding in San Francisco in the 1990’s. One of her earliest memories of riding under the redwoods captivated her. A few years later she started road cycling and the memories of riding with her children evoke pure joy. Cycling has been a part of her life ever since.

Loie is passionate about safety, and advocates that everyone learn the life-saving skill of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), stating “I want people to have many more happy safe miles on their bicycle.”

Dr. Sauer recommends these important resources for everyone:

  1. Take a CPR Class.
  2. Get training in crash scene management. Every year Velomed offers a two-hour Spring Training on this topic.
  3. Download the free app Pulse Point AED, which displays the location of nearby defibrillators.

“Everyone should feel confident to ride for their entire lifetime. Being a safety conscious rider can make that possible.”

Loie emphasized that while she has professional medical training, the aid she has rendered to injured riders is something everyone can acquire the skills to do.

“Learn what you can, do what you can. Let’s all look out for each other on the road.” Anyone can help a fellow rider in need by:

  1. Offering assistance.
  2. Listening to their needs.
  3. Kindness is key (injured riders are in a delicate space and showing compassion has a huge impact).

The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition will honor Loie Sauer as 2024 Bike Champion of the Year at our Golden Spoke Awards Gala on June 8. She was an integral part of the team that saved the life of a fellow rider and has continued to dedicate her time and training to helping riders in need.

“In the bike community, we are all looking out for each other.”