COMMUNITY CYCLES OF CALIFORNIA
Raising the quality of life in our corner of the community
Community Cycles of California (CCofCA) is a non-profit social enterprise serving low income families, homeless individuals, veterans and other disadvantaged populations. Our bicycle shops and service centers create the revenue to support our programs for these communities. CCofCA refurbishes donated bicycles, saving them from landfill, and puts them back on the road. Our bicycles are safe, reliable, and quality certified; more than 60 quality tests and safety checks are completed on every bicycle we refurbish.
This social enterprise model enables us to support our three major initiatives:
Our Small Business Operations Program, a vocational training program for chronically unemployed populations;
Our many philanthropic bicycle programs; and
Our housing-based bicycle repair centers providing on-site service with and for residents in affordable housing developments
SMALL BUSINESS OPERATIONS PROGRAM
Community Cycles of California is developing a year-long program combining classroom and practical experience. Students will spend three months in class with industry experts learning all areas of business: operations, sales, marketing, accounting, inventory, purchasing, management, and because it is a bike shop, bike mechanics. Classroom learning is followed by six months of practicum where students perform learned tasks in the real-world environment of our social enterprise and its many programs, and the final three months allows students to focus on specific areas of interest. Upon completion, graduates are ready to enter the workforce with real world business skills and experience, qualifying them for living wages rather than minimum wage positions. Whenever possible, and when a good match, CCofCA will offer employment in the company for the graduates of its small business program.
PHILANTHROPIC BICYCLE PROGRAMS
A founding and fundamental goal of ours is that for each bicycle we sell and each service we earn money on, we give away a bicycle or service, either directly to someone in need or with our community partners. We offer a variety of bicycle programs to help meet the needs of our neighbors.
We realize that not everyone who needs a bicycle can afford one. By signing up for our “Earn-a-Bike” program they can volunteer six hours with us, or any of our Bay Area nonprofit partners, in exchange for one of our bicycles. We’re proud of a program that allows an individual in need to acquire a bicycle, but also pay it forward and help to raise the quality of life for someone else.
Nonprofit Partner Bicycle Purchase Program
At Community Cycles, we work with several nonprofit partners whose clients rely on bicycles as their primary means of transportation or who work towards getting bicycles to children of low-income families. Our goal is to help them help their clients. We do this by providing bicycles and safety packages at significant discounts to those who have budgets and at no cost to those who don’t.
Bicycle Maintenance Classes
Community Cycles offers a variety of classes that range from basic bicycle mechanics, the “ABC’s of Bicycle Maintenance & Safety,” to more in-depth, multiweek, certified mechanic courses. No matter the makeup of the group, we have classes tailored for every age group and skill level.
Free Mobile Repair Clinic
In addition to supplying bicycles, we also support the community with Free Mobile Bicycle Repair Clinics. We understand that many of our clients live in areas where there are no repair shops, so we go to them rather than having them to travel to us. Our mobile repair units roll up to shelters, schools, even libraries to offer free basic repair to the cyclists in need.
All our programs can be mixed and matched for any occasion, specific event, or to create something unique for your organization. From as basic or sophisticated to as short or long as you desire, matching your clients’ needs and helping you achieve your goals is our desire.
HOUSING BASED BICYCLE SERVICE CENTERS
Our latest program, and something we’re especially proud of, is establishing bicycle service centers within affordable housing developments.
We recognize that many low-income residents depend on their bicycles. Bicycles provide mobility and freedom, in a word: independence. They shorten commute times and ease that first and last mile when going to work, doctor appointments, children’s school functions, or other supportive services. For this group of cyclists, the ability to keep a bicycle functioning in a safe and reliable manner can be difficult. Paying $100 for tune-ups or $10 for inner tubes can be cost prohibitive, as can getting a broken bicycle to a shop outside their neighborhood. More than 50% of the bicycles seen at our free repair clinics are unsafe with one or both brakes missing.
CCofCA addresses such safety, monetary and convenience issues all at once with an innovative approach. We collaborate with affordable housing developers and support service providers to establish repair centers where people live- in their apartment complexes. Residents, candidates for the Small Business Operations Program, learn to operate the repair center for their fellow residents. This program eliminates the need for travel so residents not only have onsite repair access, but options for around-the-clock availability and bicycle education.