Youth Bike Program
Nearly 6,000 youth have participated in The Crucible’s youth bike program since its inception in 2005, through classes, workshops, field trips, Bike Fix-A-Thons, and other community collaborations. We’re proud that more than 1,200 of these youth are from our own West Oakland neighborhood. Nearly 100 youth have been trained as bike mechanics and earned bikes through our program.
Eight times a year, Crucible faculty and volunteers open our roll-up doors to create a bike repair studio for local youth. Mechanics work at six bicycle repair stations. The repairs include patching and replacing tubes, wheel and tire work, cable and gear repairs, chain repair and replacement, and seat and handlebar adjustments. Mechanics explain their work to the youth, deepening their understanding of bike repair and maintenance. Fix-A-Thons are a direct way to serve the needs of West Oakland youth, providing them functioning bicycles and knowledge of bike repair, while strengthening The Crucible’s relationship with the local community.
This workshop is designed to give West Oakland youth hands on experience to learn about bike mechanics. In a six-week workshop, youth work with volunteer bike mechanics to fix donated bikes. Each participant fixes two bikes and keeps one. The other bike is sold to raise money to support our Bike Program.
Youth, ages 12-17, can customize their own bicycle with a torch and grinder in the Youth Frame Alteration course. Students learn basic fabrication skills in MIG welding, oxy-acetylene torch cutting, grinding, and finishing, along with general and specific safety training necessary to construct their bicycles. They strip the bicycle frames and learn to redesign and alter handlebars, rims, seat posts, and frames to create a unique, hip, look that will make them the talk of the neighborhood. Students are required to bring their own bicycle to transform.