SF Youth Riding for the Climate

Jake Ramrayka Rogers, Jack Biggar, and Armond Azocar are San Francisco 9th graders training hard for the Climate Ride to fundraise for your SF Bicycle Coalition during this event. We sat down together to learn more about their passions for safer streets and fighting climate change.

How did you all meet?

Jack: We all went to the same middle school and have known each other for a decade — since kindergarten. We started baseball in middle school and played sports together. 

Do you remember the first time you rode your bike? Where were you and how did it make you feel?

Armand: One of my first memories of riding a bike was probably in San Francisco. I was attempting to bike to Golden Gate Park, but I had to get carried some of the way. It wasn’t very fun. I remember being annoyed, but I kept doing it and eventually I fell in love with it

Jack: The first time I remember riding a bike was on a family trip. I have family in Texas. We were biking around these farms. I was probably in first grade and I just remember biking around with my family and extended family. I would race my cousins a little and then enjoy things by going a little faster. 

Jake: I’ve seen a lot of photos of me before this, but the first memory I have is when I was about six or seven and I was at this camp in Muir Woods. I was just doing it with a couple of friends and I felt this feeling of independence. I could just ride around the campsite and see everyone and I could have fun going downhills. So, that just opened me up to the world of biking.

What Climate Ride are you doing? and what organizations are you raising money for?

Jack: Northern California Green Fondo. 

Jake: We’re raising money for the SF Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF. We will be riding for two days, 100 miles on the first day and then 60 miles on the second.

Can you tell me why you want to do this ride and why these organizations?

Jack: One of the reasons I’m interested in raising money for walking and biking is because as a runner during track and cross country, I’m always running through Golden Gate Park. So I notice what Walk SF and the SF Bicycle Coalition have done with the JFK Promenade every day. That’s been really important to me. 

Jake: Having the JFK Promenade open to more people biking means that more people are going to start biking. It means young people like me can get into it and join a team to do the Green Fondo. I think it’s getting more people biking on the road which leads to more biking infrastructure, which is always good. 

Armand: I think helping with fundraising for these organizations will make San Francisco a safer place to bike, which ultimately as Jake said, will allow more people biking to want to go on the roads and to help reduce climate change.

Jack: Also for the safer bike lanes. That’s one of the really important parts. Obviously it’s a lot more than just the Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park feels like the heart of it because we always start our rides there so it always reminds me how important good bike infrastructure is for our city.

Why do you think fighting climate change is so important for many people your age?

Armand: We’re the generation that’s really gonna have to deal with climate change and I think that’s starting early at our age. Getting the word out to people who are also our age is very important as well and also getting the word out to adults who also aren’t aware or super educated about climate change is important to make the changes our generation wants to see.

Jack: It’s also important for our generation to have the same experience as past generations and experience  being outside the way our parents did as kids. So it’s almost more than climate change. It’s preserving the environment. Encouraging biking more is really important because you’re interacting with nature and you’re outside with fresh air, instead of being trapped inside. I feel it’s important to be able to have the opportunity to run, walk, or bike outside. I feel like a lot of our generation is detached just from just being outside. 

Jake: It’s so easy to just sit at home and play video games now. You have so many other options than to go outside. Going outside and biking up Hawk Hill — that’s an effort. You have to push yourself to do that. It’s just so much easier to just sit and watch TikTok. That’s definitely a big part of why our generation doesn’t have as much outdoor experience.

We’re so grateful for Jake, Jack, and Armond’s fundraising efforts for our organization on their upcoming Climate Ride. Check out their pages and support their rides. 

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