Once upon a time in Boulder, Colorado...
In 2004, high school junior Anthony Hannagan worked out of his father’s garage, collecting, fixing and selling refurbished bikes under the name Townie Bikes. Anthony donated the money raised to Emergency Family Assistance Association, a Boulder-based nonprofit. After some success with this model, Anthony applied for and received 501(c)3 nonprofit status for Boulder Community Cycles and set up shop in a small 450-square foot studio in north Boulder focused on providing a space where low-income people could learn about bike mechanics, work on their own bike or do work trade to earn one of their own.
Bikes to Africa! Community workshops! Bike sales! Maintenance & repair classes!
In 2006, Anthony connected with Rich Points, Wanda Pelegrina Caldas and Colleen Speno, who were doing similar bicycle-related work both locally and internationally. Colleen was collecting bikes under the name “ Spokes Community Bicycle Project,” which forwarded bikes to Ghana, Africa. Points and Pelegrina Caldas were working to promote cycling in Boulder through the Boulder Bicycle Commuters, Bike for Peace and several projects to make the local food coop more bike-able. Rich and Wanda brought car-free living into the public eye by relocating from their old apartment to their new house entirely by bike. In 2006, partnering with the Village Bicycle Project, Community Cycles shipped 450 bikes to Ghana, Africa, and Points became the executive director of the organization, a position he holds today.
The organization sold used parts and bikes at VeloSwap, the world's largest consumer bicycle and sports expo, held annually at the Denver Coliseum to raise funds for community educational programs. Proceeds helped launch an after school program through the Family Learning Center at San Juan del Centro in Boulder to teach lower income children about bike mechanics and riding skills. This pilot program provided youth participants an opportunity to earn a bike and served as a model for the “Earn-a-Bike Program.”
Current Location and Programs
In early 2007, Community Cycles moved to 2805 Wilderness Place, Suite 1000. Since then, Community Cycles staff has grown from 2 to over a dozen, and programs have changed. The “Work Release Earn-A-Bike Program” was launched in 2007 to help inmates from the Boulder County Jail earn a bike as a means of reliable transportation to aid their transition back to community life. As the organization continued to promote bike commuting, Community Cycles implemented its “Bike Fleet Maintenance Program,” which helps local organizations including local businesses and governmental groups acquire and/ or maintain a fleet of bikes for use by their employees and visitors. Other programs created include the “Rolling Bike Clinic Program.” Volunteers of the organization transport – exclusively via bike – and set up a temporary bike shop, complete with mechanics, repair stands, tools, spare parts and more in a lower income neighborhood. Also, The Kids Holiday Bike Giveaway became an annual event, distributing approximately 300 kids bikes each December.
The City of Boulder awarded Community Cycles the contract to the city’s “Walk & Bike Month.” For the first time since its inception in 1977, the City entrusted the coordination of the events to an outside organization. This also marked the expansion of the originally week-long event to a month including more than 50 events throughout June 2008. However, the highlight of the month was the participation of more than 7,500 registered individuals in Boulder’ Bike to Work Day – an increase of more than 50% from the previous year’s participation. CC has coordinated Walk & Bike Month every year since then.
Since 2008, new programs began, including Bike Mechanics 101 classes, which turned into our set of Saturday Morning Workshops. In 2010, Community Cycles entered a contract to maintain the bike library at the Naropa University Bike Shack. After two years, the contract ended, but Community Cycles continues to partner with the Bike Shack.
In late 2011, the County launched Bus Then Bike shelters that allow cyclists to store their bike and take the bus. Community Cycles partners to maintain these shelters. In early 2013, The Bike Ambassadors – a staff outreach team that offer safety and commuting tips in the community – began a new program called Pedal Smart, which offers workshops for businesses. At the end of the workshops, participants get a free mini-tune-up from CC mechanics.
How We Are Funded
Most of our funding comes from refurbished bikes sales. The rest comes from grants, government funding, memberships, and individual donors. Please consider supporting our work by becoming a member