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May. 13, 2010
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition: Giving Back One Bike at a Time
Happy Bay area Bike to Work Day! In honor of our local holiday (OK so it's not a real vacation, but certainly a vacation from our cars, right?), we wanted to get Bay area people caught up with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an important organization that is leading the charge for bikers in San Francisco.

We have a program here at Clif Bar & Company called Project 2080 where we collectively donate at least 2,080 hours to our favorite causes throughout the year. Tina Reid works on the LUNA Experience Marketing Team at Clif Bar, supporting LUNAFEST (our traveling film festival by, for, about women) and Team LUNA Chix. I caught up with her on all things SFBC and her rewarding experiences working with the organization. Enjoy!


Chris: What is the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition all about?

Tina: The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is an 11,000 member-based advocacy organization dedicated to creating safer streets and more livable communities for San Franciscans. The SFBC is responsible for bicycle access on the Golden Gate Bridge, bicycle access on mass transit, 201 miles of bike lanes/paths in San Francisco and working with City Hall on a citywide bike plan to increase bicycle transportation to 10% for all city trips.

They also offer free classes, distribute bike lights/helmets and bike valet at all types of city events.

What motivated you to work with this the SFBC during your 2080 hours?

I’ve actually been volunteering with the SFBC even before I came to Clif Bar two and a half years ago!

One night over five years ago, my friend and I were trying to figure out what we should do and she suggested attending one of the SFBC’s volunteer nights. It just so happened, the activity slotted that evening was making Valentine’s Day cards for the city’s bus drivers. We had a blast, met other bike-minded folks and ate a free meal. I was hooked!

What exactly do you do while working there?

The SFBC hosts two volunteer nights every month. The organization has doubled since I’ve been helping out and so to keep costs down, we help out with all types of tasks. I’ve become a pro at folding, stamping and sealing envelopes for campaigns, assembling new and renewing member packets and writing letters urging our elected officials to vote pro-bike.

SFBC 2 - Tina

Occasionally, I help out with street outreach. I’ve headed outside at 6 a.m. with bagels/coffee to cheer on morning commuters, gathered up the screw drivers around my house to install free bike lights, pumped up tires/lubed chains at a bike home station and annually volunteer at one of the SFBC’s 27 commuter Energizer Stations for Bike to Work Day – all to educate people about the amazing efforts of SFBC. It may sound cheesy, but it’s super fun and people really appreciate it. I truly believe we should celebrate cycling everyday!

That's awesome. So what's your favorite part about volunteer nights?

The best thing about it is meeting people I wouldn’t otherwise meet in my everyday life. I’ve met some great friends at volunteer nights and it’s always a fun place to swap stories and get another perspective on the pulse of the city. It’s also nice to commune with other carefree folks.

Sometimes it’s not easy living without a car, but connecting with the SFBC on a regular basis reminds me that I just don’t need one right now. I’m actually not much a city bike commuter, rather I ride out of the city and on really long rides into Marin on the weekends, but getting in and out of the city is very easy thanks to the SFBC. Plus, it makes me happy to see all types of people using bikes to make their lives easier and healthier. I hope my work with the SFBC makes it safer, too!

How does your work with SFBC supplement and enhance your work back here at the office?

Working with the SFBC is a natural extension of what we do here at Clif Bar from our Cool Commute program to 2 Mile Challenge. I’m so proud to work for a company that not only appreciates my volunteer efforts, but also encourages them!

Fun fact: The SFBC was launching a new membership campaign to hit 10,000 members a few years ago and invited me to come over in my cycling gear for a photo shoot of real members. Little did I know that I would become the face of the SFBC for their bike shop membership packets! I like to remind my boyfriend that he’s now dating a “bike model.”

Posted by:
Chris Morell

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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