Earn-A-Bike (EAB) diverts unused bikes from the waste stream using them as teaching tools to empower participants with the basic maintenance and commuting skills and the resources to build themselves a dependable bike to use as safe, practical transportation to get to and from work, errands and recreation.
Who is eligible?
Anyone 16 or older is welcome to Earn-A-Bike at Community Cycles. You may only earn one bike.
How does it work?
Earn-A-Bike (EAB) is a 15-hour work-trade opportunity. You will learn bike mechanics through a mix of structured classes and guided work in our community bike shop including work in the office, sorting parts or preparing bikes for our programs. After 15 hours, you'll pick a bicycle and refurbish it to fit your commuting needs with the help of staff and volunteer mechanics. You'll finish the program with a dependable bike and the knowledge, skills, and resources to maintain it.
How long does it take?
You can accomplish your 15 hours of work in a minimum of three days, by completing five 3-hour classes.
After completing the 15-hour work-trade and picking your bike, you have up to 30 days to build and finish your bike. Generally, it takes most participants about 5 hours to build up their bike. Community Cycles has limited resources for storage of bikes. If your bike is not ride ready after 5 hours or your schedule does not accommodate for timely completion of your bike, our instructors will oversee its completion and our staff mechanics will make the necessary final adjustments for you. We will help you, but we cannot guarantee your bike to be ready by a specific date, so make sure you allow enough time if you want your bike ready for a specific date or event.
How do I sign up?
There are two ways to sign up for Earn-A-Bike.
Online. We prefer you sign up by filling out the application on our website.
We use an online scheduling system called Volgistics that will allow you to track your hours, schedule/cancel shifts, learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities and more.
Paper application. Stop by the shop. We're at suite 1000 at 2805 Wilderness Pl.
If you're already enrolled in the EAB program you can log in and manage your schedule.
You can remove yourself from a scheduled shift by logging into the Volunteer Information Center, clicking on the "My Schedule" tab, and clicking on the "Remove Me" button next to the shift that you would like to cancel. If you need help, you can call the shop for help at 720-565-6019.
We have a high demand for EAB, but a limited number of spaces available in the program. It is not uncommon for EAB class shifts to be booked out for a week or two, and sometimes even longer during peak season. Consequently, we have a strict policy against habitual tardiness or absences.
- It is your responsibility to get directions beforehand and arrive on time.
- Please give 24 hours notice if you need to miss or reschedule a shift.
- You will not be allowed to restart the program for one year if:
- You miss more than one shift without rescheduling online or calling in.
- You call in for miss shifts more than 3 times without giving 24 hours notice.
- If you are more than five minutes late for a shift, you lose that shift and must reschedule.
- You must request an extension if you will be inactive for 30 days or more.
- You will loose your hours and your bike after 90 days of inactivity.
Get on the wait-list
If you would like to get on the wait-list show up for one of the class times at the beginning of the session. If there is a no show or call in, you can get that seat. First come first serve!
EAB Closed Shop Classes
- Mondays: 1-4p.m.
- Tuesday: 6:30-9:30p.m.
- Wednesdays: 9-noon and 1-4p.m.
- Thursdays: 9-Noon
- Fridays: 6:30-9:30p.m
EAB Work on Your Own Bike (WOOB) Sessions - Must have 15 hours
- Thursdays: 6:30-9:30p.m.
- Fridays: 9-Noon
- Sundays: 9-Noon
Tracking your hours
You must check in and out with the greeter at the main desk to log your hours. It is ALWAYS your responsibility to keep track of your own hours by signing in and out, every time you come in, on our daily schedule. Any time you're working outside of the main shop, please be sure to sign in and out with the staff member on duty. If you sign in but do not sign out, your hours will not be counted for the day.
We will delete your account from Volgistics, even if you have selected your bike, after 90 days of inactivity on our schedule. If this happens, you may restart the program, but your bike, if you've already chosen, gets recirculated into our inventory.
Working Toward Your Bike - Earn-A-Bike Classes
In EAB Class, you will learn to restore bicycles by restoring bicycles! You will work with an experienced instructor when the shop is otherwise closed. The bikes you fix get sold to support Community Cycles and the EAB program, so not only are you learning, but you're also helping us achieve our goals of promoting cycling in Boulder.
Your first shift - EAB Class
"Closed Shop EAB Class" is the first shift for which you schedule. Closed Shop shifts include an orientation and a focused, hands-on lesson that will be the basis for the work you do during open shop shifts. After your initial shift, you can sign up for Open Shop EAB shifts, which are less structured and include a variety of shop or bike-related tasks.
- You must arrive on time for your shifts; late students will be turned away.
- Sign in at the front desk and put on an Earn-A-Bike button.
- An instructor will give you a brief shop tour and orientation to the program.
- Closed toe shoes are required.
- You will get dirty. Wear clothing that you don't mind getting dirty in.
After your first class and orientation, you can also earn hours by volunteering in several capacities in our shop during open hours or at other programs and special outreach events.
Picking a bike
We have a large selection of around-town, commuter, and mountain bikes from which you can choose. Ultimately, the perfect bike for you is the one you enjoy riding, but our goal is to provide you with a bike that's appropriate for commuting by bike in Boulder. Our inventory changes often and we have many high-quality, brand name bikes available.
We do not offer full-suspension, BMX or cruiser-style bikes as they are not practical for commuting nor do we provide low-quality, department store bikes such as Huffys and Magnas. We have a limited number of road bikes available and cannot guarantee you one. We will help you select a bike, from our inventory, that can best fit your needs.
- Pick any bike with a pink inventory tag only.
- Ask a staff person or program instructor to approve your choice by checking that
- Your bike fits you appropriately.
- Your bike is free of structural flaws that make it unsuitable or unusable.
After your choice is approved,
- Get a laminated yellow tag from the greeter.
- Fill it out completely; Make sure you write clearly.
- Give your tag to a staff member to enter it in Volgistics
- Store your tagged bike in the south shop on the bottom row of the rack.
You are responsible for the correct storage of your bike until it is ready to go home with you.
If you are unsure about tagging and storing your bike, ask the greeter for assistance.
Incorrectly stored or tagged bikes may inadvertently get recirculated into the inventory.
Working on your bike (WOOB)
Once you pick your bike, we will help you tune it and outfit it.
- You have 30 days to complete your bike after picking it.
- You may only work on your bike at the main shop during designated hours.
- You may not work on your bike on Thursdays, during open hours.
- Your bike must pass a safety check from a high-level or core volunteer before you can ride it home.
- When you have completed your bike, please check out at the front desk.
Completing the program
Once you have finished working on your bike, you will need to do the following:
- Get a safety check on your bike by a staff shop mechanic or instructor.
- Fill out an Earn-A-Bike Graduate form at the front desk.
- Get your picture taken with your bike.
- Receive your lock.
- Consider making a donation and/or purchasing a membership to our shop.
- We encourage you to continue volunteering and become a high-level volunteer such as an instructor or shop hand.
How much does it cost? Is it FREE?
We appreciate donations of any amount. Give what you're comfortable with and able to donate.
It costs Community Cycles about $250 per participant. With 200-300 people going through the program every year, the costs quickly add up. Any financial contribution offsets our costs and enables us to offer this unique program to as many people as possible.
If you would like to make or encourage someone to make a financial contribution to the EAB program, you can do so at the main shop or using the secure form on our website.