Community Cycles increases the use of bicycles for safe, sustainable transportation and self-sufficiency through access, education and advocacy.
We refurbish bikes and get them to our community and recycle what we can't salvage. We provide a welcoming DIY space for people to learn bike care and repair.
In 2005, a local high school student was inspired to start bike recycling in Boulder, saving bikes he saw heading to the landfill. He began to collect, repair and sell refurbished bikes, donating the profits to local charities like Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA). He applied for and received 501(c)3 nonprofit status for Boulder Community Cycles and set up a welcoming shop in a small studio in north Boulder focused on providing a space where low-income people could learn about bike mechanics, work on their own bike or do work trade to earn one of their own.
Since then, staff and volunteers have launched a number of programs and outreach practices that are still going on today:
- The "Work Release Program Earn-A-Bike" launched in 2007 to help inmates from the Boulder County Jail earn a bike as a means of reliable transportation to aid their transition back to community life.
- As advocates for bike commuting, our "Bike Fleet Maintenance Program," helps local organizations, businesses and governmental groups acquire and/or maintain a fleet of bikes for use by their employees and visitors.
- We've served hundreds of our low-income and Spanish-speaking neighbors with bike care and repair services and safe bike-riding instruction through our Rolling Bike Clinics.
- For over 13 years, Community Cycles has held the annual Kids Holiday Bike Giveaway with 300+ bicycles given to low income kids every year.
- Coordinating "Walk & Bike Month" since 2008, impacting over 10,000 area residents each year with this community wide celebration that encourages commuter cycling.
- We advocate for bicyclists with City and County agencies, working to complete the Boulder bikeway system, link communities through a regional trail network, and support cycling at all levels of transportation infrastructure, public transit, and urban planning. Through our work, over 10 miles of important local and regional bikeway connections have been made, and long-term funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects has been secured.
Since 2005, Community Cycles has moved twice to larger spaces each time. In 2019 Community Cycles purchased the building we maintain today - a permanent community bicycle center in Boulder.
"Community Cycles is making a difference in our community every day. Our work keeps me smiling, happy to hop on my bike, willing to help another cyclists with a flat tire, ready to head to our non-profit, community-based bike shop, put on a class, write a grant proposal, or complete the Colorado Gives profile!
Our education and advocacy work is centered in our community bike shop. Here's an example of an amazing volunteer who spends time at our shop:
Jesse Lee Gray is a wheel gal extraordinaire. Since beginning volunteering, Jesse found her niche helping us process our wheel donations, which often need lots of repair or to be scrapped for parts. She has come nearly every Saturday for the last eight months, putting in more than 100 hours to help us organize spokes, categorize wheels and keep us rolling." - Staff member
Quotes from Earn-A-Bike participants: Have you noticed any physical changes since earning your bike?
"I feel healthier since I'm getting more exercise."
"It is much easier to make the 7.4mi commute than when I started"
"Before I had a bike I would be gasping and wheezing when I would go hiking with my friends. Now that I've had a bike for just two weeks I can keep up no problem, it's great. "
"Back & neck improvement"
"Slightly more fit, freer, happier."
"The bike is a great way to get a little bit of exercise in when I don't have time to go to the gym - I love it!"
"easier to stay focused in classes since i began biking exercising daily."
"This bike helps me get to and from work a lot easier,and pretty much gets me everywhere i need to go in boulder."
"Now that I'm biking more my knees don't hurt -- used to get sore after long hikes."
Do you have comments about your bike and experience at Community Cycles?
"Amazing program..I have recommended it to others"
"Thanks a lot...I love my bike and couldnt afford anything close to as nice, and I know how to keep it running smoothly now. "
"This is a fantastic program! I have told many people about it. I really feel that learning the skill to maintain a bike is crucial to enjoying a bike long term. Keep up the good work!"
"I appreciate the wonderful program offered and the knowlegdable and extremely helpful staff. Thanks, again."
"This program is an awesome program i hope u guys can keep it up! Thanks so much for the bike!!"
"It was awsome and we learned a lot!!!"
"I think this is a great program. It should be started in every town!"
"Thank you so much! I was really broke when i moved to Boulder and needed a way to get to my new job other than walking. i also feel empowered now that i know how to fix my own bike. It was a great experience through and through :)"
"This is one of the best programs i have ever seen and i am exceptionally greatfull for their help. "