Meet Charlie, Bike and Roll to School Week Parent Champion!

Throughout my work as one of SF Bicycle Coalition’s Youth and Families Program Coordinators, I have had the opportunity to help facilitate incredible community programs, including our annual SF Bike and Roll to School Week. I have seen firsthand how SF Bike and Roll to School Week provides parents, teachers, and students the opportunity to experience an increased sense of freedom and connection to our city.

Our goal in all of our programming is to provide sustainable and joyful ways of getting around our city, particularly for those who have been historically left out of the conversation.

I have heard so many inspiring stories of families commuting to school and parents learning to ride because of their children’s participation. One of these parents is Charlie, a mom who has twins.

I reached out to Charlie to hear more about their experiences as a Bike and Roll to School Week Parent Champion:

Dave: What’s your favorite part of Bike and Roll to School Week?

Charlie: I am super motivated to get people on bikes, and seeing our strong kids bike and roll to school (up some crazy hills!!) is awe inspiring. How amazing is our city for having the ability to roll together.

Dave: How did you get involved as an organizer for Bike and Roll to School Week?

Charlie: I’m always on the lookout for a way to find more friends for my kids to bike with. I found it on Facebook and reached out the moment I saw it.

Dave: Why do you think it’s important for other parents/teachers to organize their students for Bike and Roll to School Week?

Charlie: I’ve been car-free for more than half my life. I lived in San Francisco for more than 13 years. I bike and transit both in and away from the city. When I had twins, it was super fascinating to me to shift gears into family cycling. We started with trailers and car seats on cargo bikes and got our kids on balance bikes almost before they could walk. When the boys started school, we got a Tern GSD to help with the hill that was on our route. 

City kids can find freedom and independence on bikes too, and the more people see kids on bikes the more confident they themselves may become in trying bikes. We dream of a future with more Slow Streets and Vision Zero support, and we’re glad to work towards that future. Bike rides for and with kids feels like that future. 

Our work is supported by hundreds of parents like Charlie and their strong participation in the SF Safe Routes to School partnership. The partnership comprises four SF city agencies and four SF nonprofits that help make taking sustainable transportation to school safer and more accessible for families like Charlie’s. Community members like Charlie know their family’s transportation needs the best, and we work side by side with them to support safe, sustainable, affordable, and joyous ways to get around for all.

How to get involved in Bike and Roll to School Week (4.24-4.28 2023)

  1. REGISTER HERE: Interested in becoming a Bike & Roll champion for your students’ school?  Are you or your students in an SF school and want to get more from biking, walking, and rolling to school?
    1. Note: Each school community will receive outreach materials like posters, bike lights, and more to help organize their school for a successful Bike & Roll to School Week! Plus, thank you gifts for our Bike & Roll Champions from sponsors like Mike’s Bikes, SFMTA, and Timbuk2.

  2. PLEDGE TO PARTICIPATE HERE: Even if you’re not ready to organize your school or your school is already registered, you can still pledge to participate in your school or community’s Bike & Roll to School Week events on the week of April 24th-28th.
    1. Note: Everyone who pledges to participate in Bike & Roll to School Week is entered into a drawing, and three winners will win a Cleary bike of their choice!
Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.