Partnering with Affordable Housing to Get More Kids on Bikes

“I didn’t believe that all of these kids would leave here today able to ride, but they were. Every kid who got a bike knew how to ride their free bike! Thank you Bike East Bay and Fast Freddie. Awesome!!!”​

-June Cummings, Ambassador Housing resident services manager 

Since 2016 Bike East Bay has partnered with Resources for Community Development and the Fast Freddie Foundation to facilitate bike classes and giveaways at affordable housing locations across the East Bay, including locations in Pittsburg, Ashland, and Oakland.

Our most recent visit was in February 2018 at Ambassador Housing, a 68-unit development on the Emeryville/Oakland border with many environmentally sustainable features such as solar power, drought-tolerant landscaping, and recycling and compost chutes on every floor. The Ambassador opened in 2014, for families earning 30% to 50% of the Area Median Income.

This started with a family biking discussion led by Bike East Bay instructor Dan Hernandez. The talk covered topics of concern for residents including bike storage, theft prevention, and riding safely in the street. Youth bike recipients and their parents were required to attend, but other residents also joined the workshop, receiving reflective gear, bike maps, and info about affordable bike share membership programs.

The following weekend a group of Bike East Bay instructors and volunteers returned to deliver and build up 25 shiny new bikes, courtesy of the Fast Freddie Foundation. Volunteers and residents worked together to learn about how components are attached and adjusted using basic tools. Once each bike was ready to ride it was sent out to the courtyard where the youth recipient learned about helmet fitting and bike handling skills by playing fun games with our group of certified Bike East Bay instructors. By the end of the day a few beginning riders were up and rolling on two wheels for the very first time!

We look forward to returning to the Ambassador Housing community again soon for a helmet and bike decorating party, checkups to make sure the bikes are still running smoothly, and eventually a neighborhood ride to explore new bike lanes being installed near this location later in 2018.

If you would like to be part of a future affordable housing bike build or class, sign up for our volunteer mailing list here:

To request a free workshop at an East Bay affordable housing development or other community location, send in an application:

“Thank You!” to our program funders who make these valuable classes and partnerships possible:

  • Alameda County Transportation Commission​
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Spare the Air Youth/MTC
  • City of Alameda
  • City of Oakland