Jean Kao, by Bonnie Walton
Jean Kao is a longtime San Francisco Bicycle Coalition member and volunteer. She volunteers at many of the SF Bike Coalition’s fundraising events, but there's one event in particular she is excited to be a part of year after year. Bike to Work Day is one of Jean's favorite events, where she has volunteered for the past six years.
Jean started volunteering because she had such a positive experience bike commuting, seven years ago on Bike to Work Day. “My first Bike to Work Day in 2007 was so much fun - bagels and coffee and happy volunteers - that next year I decided I wanted to return the favor and help cheer on those cyclists myself.”
Wanting to share cheer and encouragement with cyclists is what has kept Jean motivated to volunteer and she celebrates this year, her sixth, volunteering at an evening Energizer Station on May 8th.
Beyond the positive experience she has had as a bike commuter, the camaraderie and joy she feels and spreads while manning an Energizer Station during Bike to Work Day keeps Jean coming back. “Everyone is excited to talk to passing cyclists. It's also a lot of fun to step aside and watch the commute from the sidelines. As someone who's usually in the scrum, you don't really get to see the big picture. It's really amazing to see how many cyclists are commuting to work now, and the variety of bikes and styles is incredible. Also, the cyclists themselves are so happy to get snacks and goodies. It's nice to bring a smile to someone's face.”
When Jean isn’t donating volunteer hours to the SF Bicycle Coalition, she is organizing bike tours and camping trips as one of the principal organizers of the NorCal Bicycle Touring and Camping Meetup. “We’re just a group of people who love touring by bike and organize trips to explore the local area - or even further.”
If you’re thinking of possibly volunteering on Bike to Work Day, Jean would like to share this advice: “It's fun! It's easy! Think of it more like a social where you can hang out with other cyclists with a tiny bit of "work." One piece of real advice is dress in layers. I usually work the evening shift and it gets cold as the sun goes down.”
Ridden on Bike to Work Day before? Felt the love from the Energizer Stations? Want to help spread that love? Consider volunteering on May 8th! It takes hundreds of volunteers to make Bike to Work Day a success.
Sign up to volunteer for Bike to Work Day with your local bicycle advocacy organization: