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Bike Tech and Safety Education for Youth

Above, on a two-day bike tour to Monterey County, are students from Pajaro Valley High School’s Bike Tech class. Below are photos of Bike Tech classroom work in Santa Cruz.

All photos in this post provided courtesy of Project Bike Trip. Special thanks to Katie DeClercq.

Watch a four-minute “Bike Tech at School” video to see what this Monterey Bay bike tech program of studies–put together by Project Bike Trip of Santa Cruz–is all about! Project Bike Trip provides bicycle safety and bicycle technical education to middle and high school students, beginning in Santa Cruz County.  For more information:   www.projectbiketrip.org

Resource Manual

As of March 2012, the Project Bike Trip manual is not available to others. 

However, Bikes Not Bombs has a manual that they share with anyone desiring to start up similar classes:  https://bikesnotbombs.org/resources/earn-a-bike-training-manual.  Update: (Bikes Not Bombs now also has a video instruction series, available free in English and Spanish: Shifting Power / Cambiando Poder.)

Also in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County bike repair/maintenance education and resources also include the Bike Church and the Bike Shack, Watsonville.

Monterey County

It would be wonderful to see bike technical education and expanded bicycle safety ed for Monterey County youth. Perhaps in Monterey County this could be at  local public and/or private schools, at Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, or elsewhere in the community.  Contact me to discuss ideas for Monterey County youth.  Related posts on this site include “Salinas Youth and Others for Bikes:  Bikes Make Life Better.”

[Update, April 2012: It’s happening! Monterey County Youth Center will have our county’s first high school bike tech class. See “Getting on the right path–the bike path.” In addition, an instructor of that class,  Luciano Rodriguez, also works with teens at Rancho Cielo–where he has facilitated some development of their basic bike maintenance skills.]

For examples of some bike safety ed happening in Monterey County, read about Frank Henderson’s work and about the Seaside PAL Bike Fair.

Santa Barbara County

Our Central Coast neighbors to the south at Bici Centro/Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition also have youth bike ed classes and DYI bike shop.  Check out their Youth Bike/Pedal Power offerings:  https://www.bicicentro.org/youth

Inspiration from Tucscon

El Grupo is a nonprofit youth cycling team in Tucson for local teens. Their mission is to empower youth through bicycles. They coach five group rides a week and maintain a clubhouse, providing a consistent, safe, family environment.

They embrace all forms of cycling, from road and mountain bike racing to bicycle touring and daily commuting. El Grupo’s goal is to educate and inspire youth to overcome obstacles. Check out ElGrupoCycling.org.

Inspiration from Illinois

For another example of a bike project working with youth, see Blackstone Bicycle Works in Chicago, featured in the New York Times, July 7, 2011, “Jobless Youth Get Summer Lift at Bicycle Works.”  Watch a Youtube video about Blackstone; after logging 25 hours of work, kids have earned a bike they can take home.

8/3/13 update:  Also read about the Bikes n’ Roses youth program.

Below, learn more about Project Bike Trip and see scenes from their activities.

Photos provided courtesy of Project Bike Trip.

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The information below, “Bicycle Leadership Academy on the Monterey Bay,”
was previously published on December 8, 2009.

Perhaps you’ve heard the slogan “Keep Santa Cruz weird” or have seen items bearing the slogan at Bookshop Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is a unique community, and sometimes the uniqueness of our neighbors to the north is demonstrated in remarkably wonderful ways.  Here’s one of them!

Caught news via my Twitter.com/BikeMonterey feed of something very cool going on across the Monterey Bay.  It’s  a project founded in Santa Cruz in 2008 that I hope will be copied down here, and in communities everywhere.

Check out Project Bike Trip, a Bicycle Leadership Academy –  “Bicycle education for healthy living and a sustainable world.”

Kirk Bernhardt teaching Bike Shop at School / Harbor High, Santa Cruz. Photo by Craig Smith.   Courtesy of Craig Smith and Project Bike Trip.

One of the cofounders of this project is the owner of the Bicycle Trip, a longtime Santa Cruz bike shop.  As a former Santa Cruzan myself, I bought my first bicycle maintenance book, Anybody’s Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson at the Bicycle Trip, along with my Univega.  How cool to see the Bicycle Trip is still helping people learn how to take care of their bikes, and now in a bigger way.

Project Bike Trip’s achievements already include bike ed programs throughout Santa Cruz County, from elementary to high school.  They teach safety skills, and for high schoolers interested in employment in the bicycle industry, they provide career technical education.

They also consciously expose youth to bicycle culture—so valuable, since positive cultural role models can have a huge beneficial  impact on these age groups.  For more about bicycling and culture, see youth post including “Beauty and the Bike video” on this site.

Providing career tech ed for bicycle-related careers  is only one aspect of Project Bike Trip being another great example of an ecology-economy partnership.

Way to go, Santa Cruz!

2011 update:  And congratulations to Santa Cruz on starting a Santa Cruz chapter of Trips for Kids.

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This post, originally titled “Bicycle Leadership Academy on the Monterey Bay,”

was first published December 8, 2009.

  1. Great write up of a great program!

  2. marilynch says:

    Thanks. Sure hope some Monterey County leaders will step up to start this here–our county has highest youth homicide rate in CA. We need more such awesome opportunities for local youth! I can imagine volunteers from our Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club, MORCA, and Velo Club serving as classroom mentors for a Monterey County bike tech vocational ed program.

    [April 2012 update: We just jumped in and did it. 🙂 http://marilynch.com/blog/teach-teens-well-bicycle-repair-instructors-needed-for-monterey-county-youth.html ]

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