Community Cycles is a non-profit organization of cyclists and people who love bikes.
We refurbish, and recycle bikes and get them to our community. We provide a welcoming bike shop for people to learn bike care and repair.
We educate and advocate for the safe use of bikes for transportation.
In 2004, high school junior Anthony Hannagan worked out of his father's garage, collecting, fixing and selling refurbished bikes under the name Townie Bikes. Anthony donated the money raised to Emergency Family Assistance Association, a Boulder-based nonprofit. After some success with this model, Anthony applied for and received 501(c)3 nonprofit status for Boulder Community Cycles and set up shop in a small 450-square foot 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.
In 2006, Anthony connected with Rich Points, Wanda Pelegrina Caldas and Colleen Speno, who were doing similar bicycle-related work both locally and internationally. Colleen was collecting bikes under the name "Spokes Community Bicycle Project," which forwarded bikes to Ghana, Africa. Points and Pelegrina Caldas were working to promote cycling in Boulder through the Boulder Bicycle Commuters, Bike for Peace and several projects to make the local food coop more bike-able. Rich and Wanda brought car-free living into the public eye by relocating from their old apartment to their new house entirely by bike. In 2006, partnering with the Village Bicycle Project, Community Cycles shipped 450 bikes to Ghana, Africa, and Points became the executive director of the organization, a position he holds today.
The organization sold used parts and bikes at VeloSwap, the world's largest consumer bicycle and sports expo, held annually at the Denver Coliseum to raise funds for community educational programs. Proceeds helped launch an after school program through the Family Learning Center at San Juan del Centro in Boulder to teach lower income children about bike mechanics and riding skills. This pilot program provided youth participants an opportunity to earn a bike and served as a model for the "Earn-a-Bike Program."
In early 2007, Community Cycles moved to 2805 Wilderness Place, Suite 1000, conveniently situated 20 yards from the Goose Creek Greenway trail, a key artery in Boulder's bike path system. The new location gave the already busy shop environment tremendous exposure as hundreds of cyclists, joggers, walkers, roller bladers, skate boarders and more traverse Goose Creek on any given spring, summer or fall day. As its presence expanded, the organization doubled its program development and outreach efforts and hired the organization's second staff member, Gary Gingras, as shop director.
The "Work Release Program Earn-A-Bike" was launched 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. The addition of the Work Release Program significantly boosted the number of Earn-A-Bike graduates. Fortunately, the Boulder Police Department and the University of Colorado started allocating their abandoned or impounded bikes to Community Cycles so they could be refurbished and re-cycled into the community. This partnership proved practical and both organizations continue to be major donors of used bikes to Community Cycles.
As the organization continued to promote bike commuting, Community Cycles implemented its "Bike Fleet Maintenance Program," which helps local organizations including local businesses and governmental groups acquire and or maintain a fleet of bikes for use by their employees and visitors. As part of the Bike Fleet pilot program, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder contracted Community Cycles to revamp its existing fleet of two dozen bikes which included repairing and fully repainting their bikes as well as introducing several new ones. Community Cycles continues to provide ongoing maintenance services for UCAR's "Blue Bikes," appropriately named after famous hurricanes or weather systems.
During summer of 2007, Community Cycles increased its presence in the community with a weekly booth at Boulder Farmer's Market to provide $20 tune-ups and informational tips for market patrons. Through the "Rolling Bike Clinic Program," members of the organization transport - exclusively via bike - and set up a temporary bike shop, complete with mechanics, repair stands, tools, spare parts and more in a lower income neighborhood. Clinics usually end in a group ride.
That fall, Community Cycles hosted its first annual Bike Shorts Film Festival at the Boulder Outdoor Cinema featuring a selection of short films about bikes from Boulder and around the world. To wrap up the year, Community Cycles held its first annual Holiday Kids Bike Give Away at the Boulder Outlook Hotel.
During the first months of 2008, Community Cycles sent 100 bikes to Jamaica through CHURCH in Denver and also contributed bikes, destined for Namibia, Africa, to Bicycles for Humanity.
The City of Boulder awarded Community Cycles the contract to the city's "Walk & Bike Month." For the first time since its inception in 1977, the City entrusted the coordination of the events to an outside organization. This also marked the expansion of the originally week-long event to a month including more than 50 events throughout June 2008. However, the highlight of the month was the participation of more than 7,500 registered individuals in Boulder' Bike to Work Day - an increase of more than 50% from the previous year's participation. CC will be coordinating Walk & Bike Month again in 2009.
In November, during a quarterly planning retreat, the CC board, staff and core volunteers decided to change the organizations from "Your bicycle community at work" to "Creating a culture of cycling" which best reflects the work and vision of the organization.
To wrap up 2008, Community Cycles held its second Holiday Bike Give Away at the new Boulder Indoor Cycling, and 180 bikes were distributed to local children for a small donation of for free if a family lacked the means to contribute.
Community Cycles' 2017 accomplishments:
• Recycled over 2,500 bikes, giving old bikes a new life.
• Hosted the Annual Kids' Holiday Bike Giveaway, providing bikes to 400 needy children .
• Put 250 people on bikes through our Earn-A-Bike program.
• We envisioned, lobbied for and succeeded in having the City and County of Boulder fund a state-of-the-art, secure, bike parking facility at the Boulder Transit Center.
• Hosted Kids' Bike Day in May, teaching safe riding skills and
repairing bikes for over 100 kids.
• Lobbied CDOT to put in bike lanes on US36 from Lee Hill to
Violet to improve safety on a road segment that has seen
2 recent fatalities.
• Taught over 40 community workshops on subjects like bike
commuting, bike maintenance and repair, and safe cycling skills
• Coordinated Boulder Walk & Bike Month-over 7,000 people
rode on Bike-to-Work Day!
• At City and County levels, we represented bicyclists, working
to complete the Boulder bikeway system, to link communities
through a regional trail network, and to negotiate
• Researched, wrote, and submitted our annual
"State of the System" report to the City of Boulder which
prioritized maintenance and safety projects for bicyclists.
2105 goals include expanding all these programs, while taking more bold action to Build a Better Boulder for Bicyclists:
• Get more people from all walks of life to drive less and onto
safe, affordable bicycle transportation.
• In cooperation the City of Boulder, host the 2nd Boulder Bike Summit
• Work with Boulder County to establish a Task Force for rebuilding the canyon roads to include wide shoulders, signage and pulloff areas for bicyclists.
• Lobby the City of Boulder to improve biking and walking
conditions on 30th street, by widening bike lanes and sidewalks
and reducing car space and speeds.
• Install bike racks at businesses all over Boulder.
• Lobby the city to traffic-calm Colorado Avenue.
• Help revise the City's Transportation Master Plan to include a
stronger emphasis and a defined set of goals for getting more
people on bicycles.
• Working with the city to re-start the city's bike corral program to provide more bike parking where it is most needed
• Working with the City of Boulder to expand the Bicycle Innovations program
• Conduct our 2nd Economic Survey of Bicycling in Boulder
Community Cycles' top 5 needs at this time:
1. Additional board members, especially those experienced with capital campaigns, retail sales, bike retail, and accounting or bookkeeping.
2. Our own building for recycling bikes, bike shop, retail store, and workshop/educational space
3. We always need volunteer bike mechanics to help us restore donated bikes to road-worthy condition, for giving to our community, or for sale at affordable prices in our retail store.
4. We need donated bicycles, especially kid's bikes, for our Kids Holiday Bike Giveaway.
5. We need equipment for bicycle maintenance. bike commuting, and bicycle safety classes, including tools, helmets, lights, and flashers, trailers, paniers, and baskets. We use this equipment to maintain bikes in our shop, and to equip workshop attendees for great bike commuting.
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.
To give a sense of our impact, here's what happens in our organization, in just one month!
In July 2015, 100 people volunteered for 730 hours
118 people participated in the Earn-A-Bike program for 784 hours
Community Cycles members used the shop for 384 hours
8 people completed 23 hours of community service.
We had 10 proud graduates of the Earn-A-Bike program, who built their own bike, volunteered to help us recycle other bikes, and are now confident with their bike mechanic and bike operation skills.
In bike-crazed Boulder, home of 20 traditional bicycle shops selling high-end bikes and accessories to enthusiasts, Community Cycles has Bikes for All and innovative programs like Earn-A-Bike, to help cyclists of all levels, ethnicities, income and age groups enjoy their bikes more often.
And clearly, this is an important niche, as CC has averaged 25% annual growth and has been whole-heartedly embraced by the Boulder community.
Our challenges are those of a rapidly growing nonprofit with a volunteer board: Creating and maintaining systems to keep pace with our growth. A nice problem to have!
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. "