Fresh from San Diego, we are excited to introduce our new development associate Gina Schumacher. We recently sat down with Gina to learn more about her and what ideas she’s bringing to the SF Bicycle Coalition.
SF Bicycle Coalition: What made you want to be a part of this team?
Gina: I wanted to be a part of this team because I am extremely passionate about biking. To me, it represents sustainability in all its facets. It means climate justice because it is low-carbon, active transportation. It means equity because biking is one of the most affordable and efficient ways to get around. It means community because people are more connected to their surroundings. It means smart design because when roads are designed to incorporate people on bikes, it means we are designing our streets with people as priority.
Can you describe one of your fondest memories of biking?
Near where I used to live in San Diego, I had to bike over a terribly designed freeway overpass that is the only way to the beach. One day, another person biking pulled up right next to me which was a big surprise because most people I see resort to walking their bikes on the sidewalk for that stretch. Seeing another person “take the lane” on his bike, I enthusiastically said hello. He was an older gentleman, a typical chilled out southern California guy, and super nice. We chatted about the beautiful day as we waited for the light to change green. As we went our separate ways, I smiled to myself and realized how biking enables those tiny beautiful moments of togetherness, even if it means going on a freeway overpass.
What is one of your favorite biking routes in the Bay Area?
As a newbie, I had been to Golden Gate Park several times in a car, but only to attend an ultimate frisbee tournament at the polo fields. Just last week I got the chance to ride from downtown SF to Ocean Beach and planned my route to go through the park. It was absolutely gorgeous. It made my “commute” a beautiful and spectacular experience of its own. No one ever told me there’s bison in the park. Just chillaxin’ and hanging out, being bison. So cool. It reminds me of the San Diego Wild Animal Park back home. Now I can’t wait to go back to Golden Gate Park to ride around and explore, and see what other surprises await.
Tell us a little bit about your work as development associate.
The Development team’s role is to build relationships and partnerships in the community, and raise funds to support the work that our program and advocacy teams do. It’s so awesome because I get to talk about how great the SF Bicycle Coalition is and ensure we have the means to keep up all the great work we do. One of my roles is to work with local businesses through our Discount Partner Program. Through this partnership, members get discounts at tons of places around the city and we get to support local bike-friendly businesses.
What is a goal that you would like to accomplish here at the SF Bicycle Coalition in 2017?
I want to reach out to more people who don’t yet know about our organization. It is amazing how many fantastic, inspired members we have. But I still run into so many people who don’t know what we do. These same folks could really benefit from being a part of the movement, sharing their voice and joining in the amazing network of people who keep pushing to make San Francisco a more safe and bike-friendly city.
Is there anything else you’d like our members to know about you?
Riding around a new city on bike is my favorite way to get acquainted with my surroundings. If you have a favorite spot, weird spot, historical spot or any other kind of spot in the area you recommend I check out, I would love to hear from you. Or better yet, let’s do a ride together. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get to know SF Bicycle Coalition staff, as well as your fellow members. See our complete Chain of Events for the next opportunity to join other people who support better biking in our city.