On August 14, there were big smiles all around at BMAGIC’s Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway as dozens of students got ready to head back to school. Since 2018, The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has joined BMAGIC’s event, providing free bikes for students through our Bike It Forward Program. This event, held annually since 2004, hosts Bayview-Hunters Point families and children celebrating the new school year, while receiving essential school supplies at no cost.
Marking our fourth year in partnership with BMAGIC, we gave away 40 bikes, along with helmets, locks, and lights.
Thirteen volunteers and SF Bicycle Coalition staff worked harder than ever for this special summer event, ensuring that every student had a fitted helmet and a bike that was just the right size. As a new educational element this year, we created a fun bicycle traffic garden for each student to refine their riding skills!
For many, 2021 has been a year of challenges that call for improvising, and that holds true for the Bike It Forward Program as well. Our Community Repair Nights are typically an integral part of preparing bicycles for events like this one, but these volunteer opportunities were few and far between over the past year due to the pandemic. But our members came together in new ways this year to raise the money to meet our goal of giving away 40 bikes at this event. Thank you to everyone who donated!
Many of our individual, private donors expressed a similar sentiment of excitement to share the joy of bicycling with more people in SF. For one student bike recipient, it was a revelation. “This is so cool, I’ve never had my own bike before,” they exclaimed. “This is my first bike that’s really just for me!” Every year, we’re thrilled to connect community members to affordable, sustainable transportation options.
We’d also like to give a special thanks to our bicycle donors. A significant number of the smaller children’s bikes were donated by The Bike Kitchen San Francisco, Thumbtack, and Alameda Bicycle. Other major bike donors included: Specialized, Mike’s Bikes, REI, Sports Basement, and Van Moof. In addition to bikes, these donors contributed helmets, locks, lights, parts, and other back-to-school goodies necessary for students to start the school year off right!
Are you interested in joining the effort of making fun and affordable transportation accessible to San Francisco families? Help us prepare for our future bike give-aways and learn more about volunteer opportunities here.