Bike East Bay is building bike-friendly cities through advocacy, education, and fun events. Supported by over 4,000 members in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bike East Bay leads campaigns to win new bike lanes and upgrade streets for people who bike, walk, and take transit. Since 2011, Bike East Bay has brought a fantastic group of riders to the California Climate Ride each year. This year, over half of the team is Climate Ride Alumni, but for Rachel, it is all entirely new. She doesn’t own a car but humbly describes herself as “bike-friendly–never an intense cyclist.” Inspired by her co-workers and the nature of her work, she signed up for Climate Ride and has also developed a love for bike camping. Both have allowed her to challenge herself, explore local bike routes, and discover some of the best places to park your bike and pitch a tent.

We caught up with Rachel to hear more about her personal and professional inspirations for joining us on Climate Ride California 2017.

I noticed this is your first Climate Ride. Why are you participating in Climate Ride this year?

Rachel: I have been involved with Bike East Bay for three years. First, I was a volunteer, then I started working part-time, and now I work full time as the Membership Manager, which involves a lot of fundraising but also improving ways that the organization can get more people involved. Bike East Bay only has a staff of 10, but includes a large supportive network for Climate Ride participants that includes help with fundraising, training ideas, team rides, handouts, meetings and plenty of willing ears to listen and answer questions.

I also run our Women Bike program which aims to encourage and inspire all women to ride throughout the East Bay Area. Programs include: an Oakland happy hour, a women book bike club, and a workshop series: mechanics, commuting basics, how to choose a bike, and bike camping [of course!]

In junction with the Women Bike program and in an effort to bring more resources to more people, my goal as captain has been to get more people like me to sign up: younger women who aren’t sure. I want to help build their confidence, support and sense of community.

Have you ever done anything like this before?

Rachel: No, nothing like this. I’ve never been on a multi-day supported tour. I’ve never biked this many miles either [324 miles]. I’ve really never been a competitive athlete or participated in anything that you would invite people to. This year, I want to invite my parents and grandma to meet me as I ride by my hometown on the first day of the ride.


Above: Team Bike East Bay on California Climate Ride 2015

What are you most looking forward to with this ride?

Rachel: Work has been busy because of Bike Month activities and most of the time, I am on the computer. I can’t wait to be on my bike for five days.

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We can’t wait either! See you next month!

Make sure to check out Bike East Bay’s and Rachel’s fundraising page to learn more! 

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