Cycles of Change

An Effective Practice


The Cycles of Change initiative helps enable youth and adults to use bicycles as a healthy, low-cost, efficient, and safe form of primary transportation. Working with partner agencies, Cycles of Change has built a network of neighborhood-based bicycle education and distribution programs to increase the use of active transportation. The program connects urban communities with resources for physical exercise, outdoor activities for youth, and lower carbon emissions. Programming is supported through a strong volunteer network, profits from the re-sale of refurbished donated bicycles, and monetary donations from foundations and organizations.

Bicycle recovery and restoration workshops restore bicycles for resale or to be earned in exchange for community service hours. Workshops at school sites and a community shop provide community members with basic mechanics skills, repair services, or restoration of bicycles at no cost. Cycles of Change runs the Alameda County Safe Routes to School cycling program, providing an 8-hour on-road training course as a part of students’ PE classes. Environmental education and community stewardship programs provide youth with experiences in community gardening, creek-side habitat restoration, and hands-on watershed education. Cycles of Change also provides internship and job training programs for older youth and adults to cultivate marketable skills and provide technical support to schools and community-based organizations developing program components related to bicycle-based transportation, community gardening, or healthy eating.

Goal / Mission

The goal of Cycles of Change is to enable community members to use bicycles as a primary form of transportation through bicycle education and distribution programs.

Results / Accomplishments

In the past year alone, Cycles of Change recovered, restored, and distributed 1,000 bicycles to the public, including 350 bicycles earned at no cost in exchange for community service hours. Approximately 1,250 community members, over half of whom are youth, learned mechanics skills, received repair services, or restored their personal bicycles at no cost. The 1,050 youth trained in the past year’s Safe Routes to School programming showed measurable improvements in confidence riding bicycles, knowledge of traffic rules and safe riding practices, enjoyment of riding, and use of bicycles as transportation in a pre- and post-test comparison. Since 1998, Cycles of Change has taught 4,500 students how to safely use their bicycles for transportation to and from school. Eight middle- and high-school based environmental education and community stewardship programs have served over 600 students, and over 60 students from public high schools have participated in internship or job training programs.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Cycles of Change
P.O. Box 70292
Oakland CA 94612
(510) 595-4625
Transportation / Alternative Travel
Health / Wellness & Lifestyle
Public Safety / Transportation Safety
Cycles of Change
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Alameda County, CA
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens, Adults

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