Cycles of Change - the East Bay's Youth Bicycle Program

[G2:916 class=right]ABOUT CYCLES OF CHANGE
Have you ever seen a group of excited kids bicycling on local streets, each of them wearing helmets and riding with impressive skill? Maybe they were riding single-file along MacArthur Blvd. on their way to Dimond Park to hike along the restored banks of Sausal Creek, or taking their bikes on BART for a ride to Coyote Hills' shellmounds, or shifting into low gears as they worked their way up to an outing at Indian Rock. Well, chances are you might have seen a field trip being led by the East Bay's fantastic youth bicycle education program called Cycles of Change.

Cycles of Change is a bicycle program for youth founded in 1998 by two volunteers at Roosevelt Middle School in Oakland's ethnically diverse and low-income San Antonio district. This unique program has a number of hands-on (and on-bike) services which teaches diverse groups of youth how to safely operate a bike, how to perform basic bicycle repairs, and how to work well independently and as a member of a large community of youth and adults. Using mainly donated bikes, helmets, and equipment, Cycles of Change is a year-round program which runs after-school, weekend and during school bicycle field trips, community repair shops, hands-on bicycle repair classes, programs for students to earn bikes, and excellent job training and internship programs. Thousands of students have participated in over 1200 bicycle field trips--everything from short trips around the block to 5 day bicycle tours of the Bay Area. The program has provided over 1000 free bikes to youth and community members.

[g2:919 class=left]For the first six years, programs were located in East Oakland. Now Measure B funds from the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority have helped expand their bicycle education model to new locations in Berkeley and Union City. Cycles of Change has 14 programs located at 3 middle schools in Union City, 5 middle schools and 2 high schools in Oakland, and 2 middle schools and 2 neighborhood centers in Berkeley.

During summer break, Cycles of Change offers bicycle tours to a few advanced students. Imagine the thrill of an overnight trip to Mt Diablo's Rock City! One tour was an ambitious 7-day ride exploring the Lake Tahoe area. Five staff and 15 students toured the paths surrounding the lake, and enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks display from the lake's beautiful shores. Students carry all of their gear during tours.

Cycles of Change has grown because of strong support and generosity from East Bay residents, local funders such as OFCY, the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC), the East Bay YMCA, ACTIA and the Renaissance Foundation. The first fiscal sponsor of Cycles of Change was the East Bay Bicycle Coalition!

You can help Cycles of Change in a number of ways. Some ways are by donating bike parts, bicycles (small-medium sized 26 and 24 inch mountain bikes are most helpful), panniers, and bicycle gear. The easiest way to drop off donations is to bring them to the Monday Community Bike Shop at Roosevelt Middle School (corner of 20th St. and 20th Ave. in Oakland) from 2-5:30pm. You can also volunteer to help repair youth and field trip bikes, contribute funds to support the Bike-Aid ride, or join us on one of our rides! Please contact one of the following people if you would like to get involved, and say hello to them if you see them on the road!

Donations/General Questions: Maya (510) 595-4625
Web site: Cycles of Change