Last year, SF Bicycle Coalition member-volunteer Kiran racked up a truly incredible 27 hours of volunteering as a Bicycle Ambassador at 10 different events. We were so impressed with her dedication to getting out the word about biking in SF that we caught up with her to learn what keeps her coming back.
SF Bicycle Coalition: What made you start volunteering with the SF Bicycle Coalition?
Kiran: I became involved with the SF Bicycle Coalition for a project assigned in my Grassroots Advocacy & Mobilization class through my Masters of Public Affairs program at the University of San Francisco (USF). The goal of the project was to deconstruct and analyze a nonprofit organization based on the criteria learned in class. I wanted to find an organization that would not only help me complete my project, but also one that was of interest to me. I love riding my bike and I was eager to get more involved in my community, which led me to the SF Bicycle Coalition. I am proud to say that I am a Bicycle Ambassador and even after finishing my project I continue to volunteer when I can because it’s a great organization to be a part of.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bicycle Ambassador?
My favorite thing about being a Bicycle Ambassador is meeting new people and working together with others just like me to make a change in San Francisco. The staff is super friendly and amazing, and all the volunteers are equally awesome.
My favorite moments as an Ambassador have to be during Sunday Streets (in the Mission, in particular). It’s eye-opening to see families out and about taking over the street and enjoying the neighborhood on their feet, bikes, skates, etc. It shows a great sense of community which often gets forgotten on a day-to-day basis. I get to meet a lot of people through outreach and hear their input on how to make SF a better place for all.
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the SF Bicycle Coalition?
I am a full-time graduate student at USF and graduate this May. When I’m not volunteering with the SF Bicycle Coalition I am probably procrastinating on my final capstone project that is due before I can graduate. Just kidding! When I’m not volunteering I am either studying, working or hanging out with my dog. I am saving money so I can travel after I graduate. In my free time, I love to ride my bike to Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach for some fresh air and stress relief.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering as a Bicycle Ambassador?
The staff is super down-to-earth and fun to work with. It’s a great way to get involved in your city, meet new people and be informed on the issues that are taking place. Since becoming a member and volunteer, I have attended so many great events and learned a lot about SF. It allowed me to expand my network and sense of belonging in my community.
Organizations like the SF Bicycle Coalition rely on volunteers to succeed and they definitely make sure their volunteers are appreciated for their efforts. I would encourage everyone and anyone to volunteer with the SF Bicycle Coalition, even if you don’t ride a bike!
Want to volunteer like Kiran as a Bicycle Ambassador? Sign up for our next training on March 31!