Laura Bowers: “Standing Up for Things I Believe In”

Meet Laura, an SF Bicycle Coalition member, daily commuter and participant for this year’s Climate Ride on the SF Bicycle Coalition’s team. She is riding from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo to raise money and awareness for sustainability, the climate and active transportation. As a first-time Climate Rider, she is enthusiastic about pedaling the coast this summer.

SF Bicycle Coalition: Why are you riding to raise money for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition?

Laura: Before moving to the city, I could only imagine the laws and infrastructure San Francisco had in place to support the growing number of people on bikes. Now as a resident and daily commuter, I realize the amount of work that goes into advocating for bike lanes, education and promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation. That’s why I chose to support the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

What do you love most about biking in San Francisco?

There’s a lot to love about biking in San Francisco, but especially the strong, diverse cycling culture. With so many open and supportive clubs and plenty of like-minded individuals, it’s an encouraging city for people who bike. One of my favorite weekly rides (and my favorite destination) is a Tuesday morning coffee ride that meets at the Conservatory of Flowers at 7:00 am, rides to Ocean Beach and finally reaches Andytown in the Outer Sunset. It feels great to get in a scenic ride, spend time with friends and get an amazing cup of coffee, all before the workday starts.

What inspired you to sign up this year as a first-time rider?

I’ve heard great things from the community and close friends, so I wanted to challenge myself to  join this year. This is indeed a challenging year for the outdoor industry, environmental groups and bicycle advocacy organizations. I hope my participation can influence friends and family to support these causes that affect all of us.

Have you participated in anything like the Climate Ride before?

Never! I was inspired to do this ride by Anne Sauer (our team captain) as well as current and former SF Bicycle Coalition teammates. My main cycling inspiration, though, is my father. He has years of lengthy cycling trips under his belt and has the awe-inspiring and beautiful stories that you acquire through challenging experiences. I’m going to gather his advice and tips, though my guess is he’ll suggest I start training. I started riding recreationally a few years ago, but it wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco that I started commuting. I was encouraged to join city rides and longer weekend rides, and from there I was hooked. The longest ride I’ve done was 60 miles, so this will be quite a training season.

What does this year’s Climate Ride mean for you?

The current culture around climate change and environmental protection is continuing to be deeply troubling. Now more than ever, I feel the direct responsibility to stand up for the things I believe in and to do my part to raise awareness. I’m riding to be an advocate for the environment, spend time outdoors, become a better cyclist and enjoy the company of individuals who have the same values and passions as I do.

The SF Bicycle Coalition Climate Ride team is on a roll and invites you to come hang out and show your support. A team fundraiser is being held at the Sports Basement on Bryant Street, on Thursday, March 23 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. For ticket purchase and details, check out the Cheers for the Environment event page!

Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.