In May of 2020, 15 young women from Life Academy, an Oakland public high school, will embark on an epic journey by bicycle from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo along some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the California Coast. They will explore the biodiversity that explodes where two ecosystems converge, learning about the interdependence of life and the ways that human impact has changed the California coast. This program is called Freewheel, part of Life Academy’s Postsession, an innovative experential learning experience in which students spend two weeks exploring specific subjects.
Nora Dye, the trip organizer, also teaches classes with Bike East Bay’s free education program and has been deeply engaged in bike education and activism in the East Bay for many years. Via her work with local non-profits Cycles of Change and the California Field School she first became involved with youth programs at Life Academy, including events at the school as well as multi-day youth bike camping trips such as their annual benefit program called Bike Down.
However, Nora noticed that the participants in these events were mostly young men. As such she founded Freewheel, a monthly bike ride open to young women and gender non-conforming young people who are in high school in Oakland and surrounding cities. This series started in October 2019, spending one Saturday a month exploring the Bay Area and its amazing communities and scenery. Trip destinations include sacred Ohlone sites to learn about the Bay Area’s indigenous history, the Golden Gate bridge for spectacular views of the Pacific and the Bay, the shoreline trail to visit the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond, and over the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island.
(bike instructor Nora Dye)
On these rides participants will learn about one another, about Bay Area communities and culture, and about their bicycles in preparation for their multi-day trek down the coast in May. You can help make this an adventure of a lifetime!
Show your support
- Learn more about Freewheel and make a financial donation here.
Freewheel needs your bikes! Do you have a good quality road or lightweight hybrid bike gathering dust? They’re looking for bike donations specifically for shorter people (5’5” and under.) Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to arrange a pick up.