In addition to great for-profit bike shops, the East Bay is also home to a number of non-profit community shops offering services such as bike repair and instruction, used bicycle sales, youth training and earn-a-bike programs, and more!
We have highlighted three of these community bike shops, with more listed below. Please consider supporting them with monetary or used bike donations, as a volunteer, or as a customer.
Bikery and Oakland UpCycle
Cycles of Change in East Oakland is seeking additional bike donations in an attempt to increase from 200 to 300 the number of refurbished bicycles given away to low-income residents in the East Bay. Recipients also receive a helmet, lock, lights and four hours of instruction in urban riding from the Oakland UpCycle program.
“We make sure they know how to ride safely and make sure they don’t lose the bike,” says Binky Brown, the Oakland UpCycle outreach coordinator.
Each class consists of about 12 clients from a range of community organizations, including women’s shelters, refugee services, vocational projects and homeless shelters. Bikes are refurbished and classes are taught at the Bikery, a shop collectively run by Cycles of Change.
The group also runs a large bicycle-education program in East Bay schools. The Drive Your Bike program is a six-hour course in urban bike riding. Cycles of Change instructors visit two or three schools a week to teach students skills from fitting a helmet to changing lanes in traffic.
Program coordinator Sean Delizo says, “The most rewarding part of the job for me is teaching youth throughout the East Bay the independence they can gain from riding a bike, along with the social and environmental impact they can make.”
In addition, Sean co-manages the Cycles of Change program operating Kids Bike Rodeos at East Bay schools in partnership with Bike East Bay, and has supported the Bike East Bay education program in 2014 via an internship made possible by generous funding from the Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & McGuinn Law Frim.
Street Level Cycles
Street Level Cycles, in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, combines youth vocational training with a full-service community bike shop. On any given weekend, the shop bustles with Berkeley students looking for a used bike, teenagers building up single-speeds and patrons of all stripes digging through bins for just the right replacement part.
During the rest of the week, the shop morphs into an after-school internship program for low-income youth to learn bicycle repair and customer service. As interns progress and demonstrate bike knowledge, they can be scheduled to work during shop hours, helping community members learn to repair their bikes. Of the six current full-time staff members, four are former interns, a number that could increase with a second Aquatic Park location in the spring.
After four years sharing space in A Place for Sustainable Living, community bike shop Spokeland has moved into its own space in West Oakland. In conjunction with the move, Spokeland now offers bicycle tuneups for a fee in addition to low-cost do-it-yourself shop hours. They have two programs, the Spokeland Standard and Wrench Together: Drop off your bike for service or participate in Wrench Together, where a Spokeland core member teaches a student one-on-one to fix their bike.
The following community bike shops in the East Bay are non-profit organizations that provide tax-deductible receipts for your donation of a bike. Some shops also offer tune up services for a fee, with proceeds going to support their programs. Find a shop near you and visit its website for shop hours and donation guidelines.
- Changing Gears: 650 W. Ranger Ave, Alameda. Info here
- Street Level Cycles: 84 Bolivar Drive, Berkeley. Info here
- The Bikery/Cycles of Change: 1246 23rd Ave., Oakland. Info here
- Rich City Rides: 1500 Macdonald Ave., Richmond. Info here
- Scraper Bikes “The Shed”: Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch Library, 6833 International Blvd, Oakland. Info and schedule here
- Union City Teen Workshop: 33623 Mission Blvd., Union City. Info here
- Spokeland: 813 37th St., Oakland. Info here
- Biketopia Community Workshop: 1752 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley.Info here