What better place to celebrate the largest Bike & Roll to School Week in the entire country than the Bike & Roll to School Hub at Excelsior Playground. Students, families and staff from four nearby schools congregate there every Tuesday morning for healthy snacks and refreshments, before biking, walking and rolling to Denman Middle School, Monroe Elementary, Cleveland Elementary and SF Community School.
Excelsior Playground’s weekly Bike & Roll to School Hub, supported by the Excelsior Collaborative Community Action Grant, is a testament to Excelsior families. They are taking the health and happiness of their community into their own hands, and organizing this weekly event for the enjoyment of everyone. Excelsior families are a shining example for the rest of our city, showing everyone what we can accomplish when we organize and take action.
We were joined at Excelsior Playground on this beautiful day by Supervisor John Avalos, a champion of people who bike, representing surrounding neighborhoods on the City’s Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Avalos has been a consistent champion for safer streets and active transportation in the Excelsior and across San Francisco, including on our ongoing campaigns to improve biking along San Jose Avenue and Geneva Avenue. He showed his commitment to healthier communities again this morning by joining the Bike & Roll to School celebration in his district.
With some of the 6,000 Bike & Roll to School bags handed out to the hundreds of children in attendance, we then formed a bike train headed for SF Community School. Many members of the bike train were students in the school’s bike shop elective, taught by Nic Aulston, who also joined the ride. Through the class, Nic teaches students how to maintain and safely ride their bikes, with support from PODER’s Bicis del Pueblo program. SF Community is an incredibly bike-tastic school thanks to these folks, as well as Principal Nora Housman and Interim Principal Doug Dent.
Joining us at SF Community School today were Jamie Bruning of the YMCA of SF and Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA). Bruning shared that, through their YBike program, the YMCA of SF has shared the fun and freedom of biking with over 20,000 youths. And, in the wake of last week’s incredible bike count numbers being released by the SFMTA, Reiskin underscored that biking is the fastest growing transportation mode in San Francisco.
All in all, it was a glorious day to celebrate Bike & Roll to School Week, which is supported by the SF Safe Routes to Schools partnership and the Metta Fund, and organized by your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Thanks to our community partners at the Department of Public Health, SF Environment, the team at Walk SF, and all of the students, parents and staff at SF Community School and all participating schools for celebrating with us. Seeing the enthusiasm of so many young people for biking and rolling to school was a blast.
Bike & Roll to School Week continues through Friday, with over 80 schools participating across our city. So if you see students and families taking part, please be sure to cheer them on.
That also means that there is still time to win our family bike raffle. Families participating in Bike & Roll to School Week can win a gorgeous family bike with an electric assist, but the raffle closes soon. So enter now!