As we extend our advocacy efforts to make corridors like Oakdale Avenue safer for biking, we have been told time and time again how the lack of community bike shops (like the Bike Kitchen and the SF Yellow Bike Project) in outer neighborhoods like the Bayview-Hunters Point and the Excelsior make it difficult for people to acquire and upkeep a bicycle.
This motivated the SF Bicycle Coalition to seek new ways to get people on the saddle in these neighborhoods. Our solution: teaming with local community-based organizations for Community Bike Builds, where we refurbish and give out bikes to San Franciscans who will benefit most from free transportation.
Each event is an opportunity for the community to come together with SF Bicycle Coalition members and refurbish donated bikes, creating the opportunity to learn about biking in the city in a participatory manner.
For our Bayview Community Bike Builds series, we teamed up with POWER, a grassroots, member‐led organization that unites low‐income Latino and African American families, youth and workers to achieve economic, racial and gender equity through organization and empowerment.
On November 16, we kicked off our Bayview Community Bike Builds series with an event at BCA/Rafiki Wellness. With over 40 community members and nearly as many volunteers, we refurbished bikes over seven hours in the Dogpatch sun. Millahcayotl provided a complete, healthy meal and we rounded up the day with our Urban Bicycling Workshop and a short presentation by Jenna Burton, founder of Red, Bike and Green.
In addition to refurbishing the bikes with recipients, we also teach a free bicycle education class for everyone who gets a bike, ensuring that the new riders know how to fix their bikes and how to ride safely and legally in the city.
We will be organizing more bike builds over the coming weeks and months. If you want to help our cause, visit sfbike.org/bikebuilds and see how you can help.