DECC webDECC’s Earn-A-Bike program (in partnership with Back Alley Bikes) is a 21 hour (3 hours per day) course that expands cycling among youth. Our goal is to teach youth 12 -17 how to repair and maintain bicycles, including how to tune-up and troubleshoot problems such as flat tires, spokes, gears, chains, brakes and handle bars. We teach youth a useful skill, build and/or support self-esteem, highlight their accomplishment, increase knowledge about bike safety and greenways, and discover the hidden value in refurbishing used bikes.

Students also learn bike safety, they learn how to use hand signals, read street signs, recognize bike lanes and ride with traffic before going out on a ride. The bike safety education includes proper use of helmets and how to inspect their bike before hitting the road. Once students complete their bikes they go on rides to practice their safe riding skills. Some class even test their mechanic skills by hosting a free pop-up bike tune-up shop in their neighborhood. On successful completion of the program each student receives the bike they work on in class, a helmet, bike lock, program t-shirt and the confidence to ride safely on the street.

WKKF (114)DECC’s Earn-A-Bike Program set itself apart with its mobile system. Most Earn-A-Bike classes are stationary, working out of a bike shop location. We take the class to the student we have a mobile system where we can transform just about any room into a bicycle work shop. DECC has enough equipment and supplies to establish 18 work stations and conduct up to three classes simultaneously.

DECC and Back Alley Bikes has successfully delivered their Earn-A-Bike program for the last three summers to more than 200 youth. (2012, 2013 and 2014). Classes included pre and post testing to evaluate how much students learned both in bicycle mechanics and bike safety. The test revealed increased knowledge in both areas (bike mechanics and safety) from 30% to just under 75%. You can see our Earn-A-Bike video on this web site.

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The cost for a complete Earn-A-Bike class is $2,500 for 12 students ages 12 to 17. However DECC seeks funding from foundations, businesses and individuals to help cover the cost. If you are interested in a Earn-A-Bike class please contact us at 313-331-3495 or email Alex Allen at aallen@detroiteastside.org. The project is funded by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation and DALMAC.

You will need to provide:
1. Provide a dedicated room for 7 days to conduct class that would house all bikes and equipment,
2. Recruit 12 youth ages 12 to 17 to participate in the class,
3. Identify a point person that will coordinate the youth at your location, and
4. Provide a letter stating that you would like to have an Earn-A-Bike class at your location.
DECC will provide:
1. Project coordination and scheduling,
2. Instructor(s) and curriculum,
3. Tools, parts and equipment,
4. Bikes (used) and,
5. Anything needed to keep the program running smoothly. WKKF (243)