[en Español]

Bicycles are an eco-friendly way to get around. But many people do not know how to ride a bike, and some people cannot afford one. So an organization in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood came up with a solution.

Twice a month, Bicis Del Pueblo hosts public events where people can learn about bikes. Volunteers teach participants how to ride a bike and do basic maintenance and repairs – from raising the seat to changing a tire.

Henriquez: “So when you come to one of these events, you see bikes, you see tools, there’s food, we eat together. We talk. And then we also do bike rides together, we do the safety workshops.”

That’s Kisai Henriquez of Bicis Del Pueblo. She says people can earn a free bike, helmet, and lock by volunteering at the bimonthly events. It takes 15 hours to earn a bike. The group uses bikes that have been seized by police and would otherwise sit in a warehouse collecting dust. So far, they’ve given away hundreds.

The project helps reduce global warming pollution from transportation. But for Henriquez, the best part is seeing people ride off on their new bikes.

Henriquez: “It’s phenomenal. It’s a beautiful feeling. I can’t compare it to anything else.”

Reporting credit: Rosie Simon/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...