Ask Jake: One Person Can Make a Big Difference

Members like Jake Stangel demonstrate the difference that all of us can make in other San Franciscans’ lives.

Last month, I received an email from our member Jake Stangel, voicing interest in donating bike parts to our Community Bike Builds program. A few weeks and emails later, his single donation turned into a citywide parts drive at shops across town. To our delight, we ended up packing a van to the gills with bikes, dozens of wheels and many bikes worth of parts. Here is a little about him and the process.

SF Bicycle Coalition: How long have you been a member?

Jake: I’ve been an SF Bicycle Coalition member for about four years now ever since I had the simple epiphany that cycling advocacy in San Francisco will help make for safer streets, safer riding, more enjoyable experiences getting around town on two wheels, and helping get more members of San Francisco on bikes.

What inspired you to start the bike parts donation drive?

I ride a ton, go through a lot of swapped out parts and upgraded components, and had ended up with a cardboard box full of functional parts and components that were sitting unused in my house. I figured all my friends had the same box or bag of parts in their house, too, and wanted to get these parts into the hands of people in my city that really could use them.

I then learned about the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Community Bike Builds program, where spare parts are used to help turn partial bikes into complete bikes. These bikes are distributed to folks in communities, such as students, individuals with late night work shifts, and families that have a great need for affordable, reliable and healthy transportation like bikes. It was a perfect fit.

Clockwise from top left: City + County, Rapha San Francisco, PARTS!!, American Cyclery, Box Dog Bicycles. Thanks, y’all!

I reached out to Miles about running a parts donation drive to benefit Community Bike Builds, and people in need. Five shops around the city — American Cyclery, Box Dog Bikes, City + County, Huckleberry Bicycles, Rapha San Francisco — graciously volunteered to act as drop-off donation points for this program. It was truly a community effort.

When you thought of donating your parts, why did you think of approaching the SF Bicycle Coalition?

The SF Bicycle Coalition has always been a beacon of betterment for cycling and San Francisco. I love how active you are advocating for better bike lanes throughout the city, and I knew it would be the best connected conduit to help get these parts to the right people in our community.

What excites you the most about how these parts will be used?

I think the most exciting part was just seeing a community of people who bike of all stripes activate and contribute whatever they could towards this cause. It was also awesome to have five shops throughout the city generously offer to take in parts and commit a portion of resources and shop space to collecting and holding parts over the week. As the parts pick-up day approached, shops were emailing me, saying, “uhhhh I think you need to bring a cargo van, we have boxes upon boxes of parts that people have brought in.”

A huge thanks to Jake, American Cyclery, Box Dog Bikes, City + County, Huckleberry Bicycles, Rapha San Francisco,and everyone who donated their parts! If you would like to donate to our Community Bike Builds, please drop off parts at Shift Indoor Cycling Studio this October or contact miles@sfbike.org with questions.

Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.