Our Bicycle Education program is growing, so we’ve brought on new bike ed instructors to bring the joy of bicycling to more people in San Francisco. Nancy, José and Nora truly represent our values of transportation justice, sustainability, people power, and joy. Join our free classes to meet these new members of our team!
Bikes make me feel confident, strong, and free — and I want everybody to experience the feeling that comes with getting somewhere with the power of their own legs. Bikes can be a vehicle for social change and a way to tackle health, environmental, and economic disparities in lower-income communities of color. It took almost getting doored for me to realize I had the right to take the lane. I keep that feeling of empowerment by reminding myself that streets are for everybody.
I first learned to bike in Nicaragua when I was 6, but one day I forgot how to brake and split open my forehead. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but I did. I had to relearn when I moved to SF the following year. I find biking exhilarating, liberating and environmentally friendly. It also allows me to sleep in later, since biking is the most predictable way to get to work. I would advise someone new to biking to ease into it and be patient. Biking can be intimidating at first, but the pay-off is enormous.
Feeling at home on a bicycle is an incredibly liberating experience, but there are many things that pose barriers to biking: your experience growing up, lack of access to financial and practical resources, lack of representation in the biking community, and fear of the unknown. I aim to reduce these barriers, in part through the California Field School, which takes young people on bike tours exploring social and environmental justice. Last May, we biked over 300 miles with Life Academy, an Oakland Public High School.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the summer issue of our quarterly Tube Times magazine, one of many perks of membership at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Not a member? Join today.