Earn A Bike

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Written by Peter Garver
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 13:49


OCBC's Earn A Bike program is an in-depth course of bike repair and riding for youth. By completing the program, students earn a refurbished basic mountain bike, with a new helmet and lock. This program is free for any child (though any donations from satisfied parents are always appreciated!).

With 15 hours of training in bike maintenance and safe cycling, this program is the best way we can help young riders use bikes safely and effectively.  Participants earn their bike by doing bike-repair tasks, and by learning and practicing safe-cycling Traffic Skills.

Kids have two ways to Earn A Bike at OCBC:

  • volunteer with a parent or designated adult during OCBC retail hours
  • enroll in a summer Earn A Bike Camp through one of the community groups that we partner with. Please email info@ohiocitycycles.org for more information.

Anyone over 18 can earn a bike by Volunteering (but the lock and helmet are not included). 

Schools or other groups interested in an Earn A Bike program at their location should look at our On-Site Earn A Bike page.

With an adult

Any children, from the age of about 8 through 15 years old can earn a bike any time the shop is open by volunteering with a parent or other adult their parent has designated (such as a relative, caseworker, Big Brother or Big Sister, etc.). One adult may bring up to three children, and must work with them during the entire time they are here.  Kids 16 and 17 years old can volunteer without a parent, once their parent visits with them and provides a schedule of their visits and the release form below.

If designating another adult, parents are urged to visit the shop before their child begins the program to complete our permission/release form, but the form is also available here if necessary (please use one copy of this form for each child):

Release Form (PDF file - if needed, you can download the reader here)

To earn a bike, students, with their parent and/or parent-designated adult, first must attend our Volunteer/member orientation on Thursdays from 7 - 8pm. Then they work together with their adult for 10 hours (on their own schedule — our only requirement is that each visit last at least an hour), doing jobs that will teach them about bike repair. They may take (again, with their parent or designated adult) the required Bike Basics and Traffic Skills Intro classes after they have begun volunteering. 

Adults volunteering working with Earn A Bike students also earn volunteering credits, which they may use in the same way as for any Volunteering, or may apply them towards a better bike for their child (but the child must still meet the other Earn A Bike requirements).

Requirements for Earn A Bike program during retail hours

Summer Earn A Bike Camp at Cleveland Rec Centers

Regrettably, we will not be offering Earn A Bike programs through the Cleveland rec centers this year, due to lack of funding. We hope to renew that program in the Summer of 2011.

Here is an outline of how that program was structured (and will be when it is renewed):

Earn A Bike is offered for un-accompanied children through three City of Cleveland Recreation Centers.

Any children 10 - 12 who live in Cleveland can sign up for the Earn A Bike program at any of these rec centers for a course of 7 classes, and earn a refurbished, donated, used bike, and a new helmet and lock. All students MUST be able to ride a two-wheeled bike without training wheels, have a signed parent's permission form, and come to all 7 classes in the course to get a bike.

Requirements for Earn A Bike program at Cleveland Rec Centers

  • be 10 to 12 years old
  • be able to ride without training wheels (see How to Ride a Bike if needed)
  • have a signed Release Form
  • be on time to get on the rec center van
  • attend all visits, or have a signed excuse
  • not wear sandals, baggy pants, or hairstyles that make a helmet fit poorly
  • follow our three rules: respect, resourcefulness, and reciprocity

This schedule is from 2009: it is posted as an example only!!

Central Rec Center, Tues/Thurs

July 7

Orientation #1. Sign up

Give permission forms

1:00 – 2:00 Recreation Center


July 9

Orientation #2, Bike fitting

Collect signed program contract and parental release forms

1:00 – 2:00 Recreation Center

July 14

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 16

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 21

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 23

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 28

Graduation and ride back to Rec Center

1:00 – 3:30 start OCBC,
finish at rec center



Estabrook Rec Center, Wed/Fri

July 8

Orientation #1, Sign up

Give permission forms

1:00 – 2:00 Recreation Center


July 10

Orientation #2, Bike fitting

Collect Permission forms

1:00 – 2:00 Recreation Center

July 15

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 17

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 22

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 24

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

July 29

Graduation and ride back to Rec Center

1:00 – 3:30 start OCBC,
finish at rec center


Zone Rec Center, Tues/Thurs

Aug 4

Orientation #1, Sign up

Give permission forms

1:00 – 2:00 Recreation Center


Aug 6

Orientation #2, Bike fitting

Collect Permission forms

1:00 – 2:00 Recreation Center

Aug 11

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

Aug 13

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

Aug 18

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

Aug 20

Earn a Bike Class

1:00 – 3:30 OCBC

Aug 25

Graduation and ride back to rec center

1:00 – 3:30 start OCBC,
finish at rec center

After finishing an Earn A Bike course students will know how to repair flat tires, check the mechanical safety of a bicycle, adjust brakes and bearings, and properly fit a bike. They also will gain riding skills like emergency stopping, merging, and signaling, and will know how to ride safely and legally on the sidewalk or in traffic, and how traffic laws apply to bicyclists.

For more information, please email info@ohiocitycycles.org, or call 216 830 2667

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 August 2011 10:05 )