Bicycling as Community-Building: Mara Mabugat

Mara Mabugat discovered her passion for bicycling after a friend introduced her to the world of bikes. Since then, she has been pedaling around the Bay Area and has no plans of stopping.

Mara decided to dedicate her time sharing the joys and liberation of biking by becoming a Communications and Women Bike SF Intern at the SF Bicycle Coalition. Through this role, she works with the Communications team on editing and writing content to inform and engage members, such as the Biker Bulletin, blog posts and part of our quarterly print magazine the Tube Times.

Mara also advocates for women, trans* and femme-identified (WTF) riders, connecting them to biking and to each other. Her aim is to encourage and empower the WTF community through fun, supportive social events like our monthly Coffee Clubs, biking workshops and group rides.

SF Bicycle Coalition: What inspired you to start bicycling in SF?
Mara: I got my first bike when my friend encouraged me to try it out. At the time, I was commuting via Muni but wasn’t happy with it all the time because of various delays and inconsistencies with its service. After I got my bike, I was just biking all over the place, all the time!

What are some of your favorite places to ride in San Francisco?
I love looping around the city; going through Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach, up to the Presidio and past the Marina all the way to Embarcadero, then ending up back home in the Mission.

If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about bicycling in the city, what would it be?
Even more bike lanes! Sometimes I don’t think a city can ever have enough. It’s been exciting to intern here because I see how much work goes into making that a reality. Major changes to streets like Page, Polk and San Jose Avenue have changed my rides in the city for the better.

What motivated you to intern with the SF Bicycle Coalition?
When I first moved to the city, I had some difficulty finding new friends outside of work and school. However, when I started riding my bike, it opened up a door to a whole community of people and new friends who have changed my quality of life here in the best ways possible. I wanted to give back to a community that gave me so much, so I applied when I found out the SF Bicycle Coalition was hiring interns.

As a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition, what aspect of our work is most exciting to you?It’s one of the coolest experiences to see the work of the people around you affect the city that you live in. Whether it’s changes to a major bike path going up after seeing all the work that has gone into it or the various events encouraging more WTF individuals to start riding, I am always in awe of the dedication that the SF Bicycle Coalition has to riders in the city.

Written by Lisa Ike | Membership Intern
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