Earn-A-Bike Boulder, Colorado

A Good Idea


The Community Cycles Earn-A-Bike program is a work-trade program that allows participants to exchange volunteer hours for a bicycle. The free program has adult, youth, and work release versions and used bicycles are provided through donations. Youth participants ages 10-15 attend classes in which they learn the ins and outs of bike mechanics; after completing the 6 sessions students leave with basic maintenance knowledge, safe riding skills, and a bike to keep. Adults exchange 15 hours of volunteer work at the community bike store or related events before receiving their bicycle. Additionally, they are provided with basic maintenance training, a membership to Community Cycles, and accessories such as locks, helmets, and lights.

The Work Release Earn-A-Bike program helps inmates from the Boulder County Jail earn a bike as a means of transportation to aid in their transition back to community life. Inmates in the transitional Work Release program are required to find steady employment and a dependable form of transportation; through the Earn-A-Bike program inmates have the opportunity to exchange 15 hours of shop time for free, reliable transportation.

Goal / Mission

The mission of Earn-A-Bike is to educate and advocate the safe use of refurbished bicycles as affordable transportation.

Results / Accomplishments

The Community Cycles Earn-A-Bike program has been rapidly expanding. In 2006 there were 50 graduates, in 2007 there were 150 graduates, and in 2008 there were 270 graduates. Recent agreements with the Boulder Police Department and the University of Colorado allocating their abandoned or impounded bikes have increased the number of bikes available for refurbishing. During 2008, more than 1,600 bikes were donated to Community Cycles, refurbished, and re-cycled back into the local community.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Community Cycles
2805 Wilderness Place Suite 1000
Boulder CO, 80301
(720) 565-6019
Transportation / Alternative Travel
Public Safety / Corrections
Social Environment / Neighborhood/Community Attachment
Community Cycles
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Boulder, CO
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Adults
Additional Audience
Work Release inmates

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