Posted by Bill Poppen on May 10, 2023
The 2023 Bike Build was held on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at the TogetherSF warehouse on Mariposa Street and one nearby block of York Street in the Mission District. This was our 13th Bike Build and our biggest one yet. Over 100 volunteers were involved during the event, including 20 Rotarians from the Rotary Club of San Francisco and 4 from other Rotary clubs. 

Volunteers built over 180 bikes in just over three hours that morning. These bikes plus the pre-assembled bikes donated by the YMCA and their partners filled up almost one block of York Street, awaiting pick-up. The Bayview YMCA was a major partner in the event and coordinated the sign-up for over 200 kids from the Bayview who received the bicycles. Excited kids and their families began lining up an hour before the scheduled giveaway time, and by 1:30 PM, all of the bikes were gone! 
Once the kids were fitted with a new helmet and given a bike lock, they selected a bike. They were then free to ride on the closed street, spend time on an obstacle course, visit an SFFD fire truck, and participate in activities led by Dooda Activities. As in prior years, The San Francisco Police Department showed up in force, sending 8 officers and cadets who were out on the street working with the kids alongside the volunteers. Free lunches were provided to the volunteers, kids, and families by the Salvation Army Kroc Center food truck led by our Club member Matt Madsen. Siblings too young to receive a bike were given a stuffed bear donated by the San Francisco Firefighter’s Union.
Primary funding for the event was from the San Francisco Rotary Foundation which covered 120 bikes, helmets, and locks. The Bayview YMCA purchased 24 larger bikes for 4th graders (and brought the pre-assembled bikes), The Rotary Club of San Francisco Greater Mission funded 28 bikes, and The Rotary Club of San Francisco Bayview contributed 10 bikes.
Thanks to the Bike Build Committee: Club Member Chris Davies managed the bike, helmet, and lock purchases; Club Member Victoria Lozano designed the Rotary/YMCA event t-shirts and bike stickers and translated the liability forms into Spanish; and Club Member Maureen O’Shea connected us with the SF Firefighter’s Union for the fire truck and stuffed bears.
A special thank you goes to Club Member Mike Petricca and the Academy of Art University who worked with us again this year to pick up all of the boxes and associated trash/recycling from the Build. This is a great benefit to the event.
Another special thank you goes to Drew Kodelja and the Bayview YMCA, which was a game-changing partner this year. Their connections to YBike and the SF Bicycle Coalition made a huge impact, and their network for identifying kids in the Bayview was a tremendous asset for the event.