Adamaris, a fellow first-timer had a similar experience. “I thought it was simple at first, and then it turned out it’s more complicated—but it was fun to learn!” After finishing her bike, Adamaris was proud to show off her finished product. “Riding the bike after I finished, I had a light feeling in my chest, zooming back and forth, showing it off to everybody! Repairing this bike made me feel good.”
14-year-old Sergio participated for the second time and has been fully bitten by the bike maintenance bug. Following his first Earn-A-Bike session in 2019, he fixed up at least eight bikes at home, including a commission. “All the bikes that I’ve fixed up are mine,” he explained, “but someone did ask me to make them a bike and I used some of the stuff that I learned from The Crucible.” He was motivated to return so he could continue building more skills like fixing flat tires and removing the neck of the bike frame. Sergio hopes to continue his bike education in a future Earn-A-Bike session.
Participating in the Earn-A-Bike program allows West Oakland and East Bay youth the chance to be creative while also building skills they can use for hobbies or in a future professional capacity. In a November 2020 Bicycling.com article, authors Molly Hurford and Jordan Smith cite a number of research-backed mental and physical health benefits of bike riding. It’s also a great way to keep transportation costs low and maintain a minimal carbon footprint.
In completing the Earn-A-Bike program, not only do students bring home a bike of their own, they also learn the skills needed to help friends, family, and neighbors maintain safe, reliable access to transportation, building a healthier community. If your student is interested in our Earn-A-Bike program, please fill out our scholarship application or if you have any questions, you can email our team at [email protected].