For years, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members and staff have been participating in Climate Ride to call attention to the ways in which bicycling is one of the easiest and most fun ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In June, Community Organizer Kristen Leckie is taking up the challenge to complete the nearly 300 miles down the California coast to support the work of the SF Bicycle Coalition.
Q: What inspired you to sign up to do Climate Ride?
I’ve been wanting to do a charity ride for a long time. What better cause than fighting climate change? I’m a strong believer in the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s mission to promote biking for everyday transportation and I am excited to have a chance to let friends and family know what I spend my days working on as a community organizer. Also, I’d like to see more nonbinary folks on rides like this, and my hope is that my signing up will help other people feel more comfortable participating.
Q: What’s the longest bike ride you’ve ever done?
To be honest, the longest bike ride I’ve ever done was a few weeks ago, up Grizzly Peak Boulevard. This is my first time doing long-distance riding, so I definitely have quite a bit of training to go before June in order to make it through the toughest portion of the ride! We’ll be biking 72 miles on Day 3, the most mileage in a single day. Did I mention it’s almost 6,000 feet of elevation along the way?
Q: This year’s route is from Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo, with some serious elevation gain. How do you feel about hills?
This is truly a challenge for me as the most elevation I’ve done to date was 2,000 feet in one day. But I know it’ll be worth it to bike down the Central Coast. Every year, people bike this same route so it’ll be a blast even with the hills.
Q: Do you have a favorite place in the Bay Area to ride?
I love to bike to any and all coffee shops and enjoy a nice book. I ride my bike mostly to get from point A to point B. If I feel inspired post-coffee on a Saturday morning, I’ll go for a ride to Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. If you climb all the way up into the hills, you get one of the best views in the Bay. On a clear day you can see all the way to the San Mateo Bridge.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most?
Definitely enjoying the views while biking. I’ve always wanted to bike down the coast but never thought I’d get the opportunity. This is a bucket list item I get to check off and raise money for a great cause to boot! I also can’t wait to camp in state parks and enjoy nature after a long day of bike riding.
Want to help this organization advance climate justice? Support Kristen’s efforts by making a donation today!
You can also meet Kristen in person at the SF Bicycle Coalition team fundraiser on April 25!