Donate Bikes in San Francisco with #BikeMatch Portal
As public transport options become increasingly scarce in the Bay Area, many locals are now relying on bicycles to get their errands done. There are, however, many San Franciscans who don’t have the luxury of a bike during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help those in need, San Francisco will now take part in the growing #BikeMatch program. Using this unique online platform, locals could easily donate a bike they no longer need to someone else who could use it.
Interestingly, #BikeMatch started in late March in NYC when locals started donating old bikes to first-responders on social media. Eventually, the NYC-based group Transportation Alternatives helped centralize the #BikeMatch program on its online platform. The idea of donating old bikes to folks in need quickly spread to Washington, DC, and has now found its way to San Fran.
If you are interested in donating your bike, then you will first have to fill out a liability waiver online. You’ll also have to send detailed info about your height, location, and bike’s condition in an intake form.
Once you’ve successfully submitted your documents, the #BikeMatch team will search for someone who needs a bicycle in your area. You should soon receive an email from SF’s #BikeMatch division detailing where and when to meet your bike’s recipient.
Before you donate your bike, you must thoroughly sanitize your vehicle with disinfecting wipes, soapy water, or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. When cleaning, please pay careful attention to the handlebars and brake pedal. For more details on proper cleaning, be sure to read these guidelines put together by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To ensure you have a safe bike-swap, you will have to donate your bicycle in a public area with plenty of open space. Remember to stay at least six-feet apart from all other people when handing off your bike.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, anyone who is currently sick should not participate in the #BikeMatch program. Even if you haven’t tested positive for the coronavirus, it’s best for those who feel unwell to stay in self-quarantine.
Oh yeah, and don’t worry if you bust your bike during the coronavirus quarantine. Bicycle repair shops are considered an essential service in San Francisco. Just be sure to call your bike shop ahead of time to figure out their new schedule.
For more information on San Francisco’s #BikeMatch initiative, please visit this official webpage. You could also follow SF cycling advocate Stephen Braitsch’s Twitter feed for more info on this program.