Stories from C4C

Read stories from our Cycles for Change participants!

Norman Whitfield, Donor

“You guys have the potential to change a person’s life. A lot of nonprofits kind of just get money and give stuff away, but you guys are actually interacting with people. You encompass all the different areas that a nonprofit can reach. Even outside of working in the community, you also put the thought of bicycling back in a person’s mind. Less driving, more cycling. The health benefits, the environmental benefits. This is my go-to place for cycling therapy.” – Norman Whitfield

 

Luke Whitlock, Youth Apprentice

“Before [the apprenticeship], I never really thought about the bike community. I didn’t realize there weren’t as many bikers as there could be. That there are barriers to biking and reasons why people don’t bike. I’d like to learn more about how to break down those barriers for people.” – Luke Whitlock

 

 

Francisco Quiterio, Youth Apprentice

“[What I like best about the program is] learning new mechanical skills and having people come here and getting to help them. I can be a teacher. I like to teach people how to fix their whole bike, their chains, derailleurs. Do big overhauls.” – Francisco Quiterio

 

 

Liliana Martinez, Youth Apprentice

lilianaheader“It doesn’t matter who you are—you can come in and get your bike fixed. We have homeless people come in to work on their bikes and they are treated like everyone else. [C4C has] taught me that everyone is equal and has changed the way I treat other people by seeing the way people are treated here.” – Liliana Martinez

 

Jack McCarthy and Hannah Field, Fundraisers

“What I enjoy about a bike is that I experience so much more about the journey than being in a car. Not only do I know the route from here to Seattle now, but I know the terrain. I know where the hardest hills are. I know it better than I would in a car when I zone out. I had to be vigilant all the time to get up and down the hills.” – Hannah Field

“It forced us to have opportunities we wouldn’t have had otherwise. We had to spend a lot of time looking at the landscape. We really got an appreciation for the scope of the land.” – Jack McCarthy

 

Jenny Brown, Bike Grant Program Participant

jennybrownheader“People from all walks of life bike. I always had it stuck in my head that it was only the suburban white family that bikes. Definitely living here in St. Paul now and going to the Youth Bike Summit has changed what I had stuck in my head. The Bike Grant Program totally changed that. When I go biking now, I notice other bicyclists and they are waving at me and I wave back.” – Jenny Brown

 

Lisa and Adura Lansiquot, Learn-to-Ride Students

lisaaduralansiquotheader“I think a lot of people give up on balancing after the first class because they don’t get it right away and feel stupid. But they need to realize the method [the instructors use] really works. You need to be able to do the balancing on your own. It takes longer for some people. For me, I needed more than four classes to be able to turn on the bike.” – Adura Lansiquot

 

Eugene Bedeley, Youth Apprentice

eugenebedeleyheader“C4C shaped my beliefs and viewpoints of social issues. Spending a lot of time at C4C helped me to see things differently, for the better. C4C is all about treating people equally and believes strongly in social justice. They have a positive impact on the community.” – Eugene Bedeley

 

 

Harry Baumert, Volunteer

harrybaumertheader“There’s always something to learn. The bicycles donated are often diamonds in the rough… Working on old bicycles has taught me patience and that anything can happen when you start turning a wrench on an old bicycle. The ones we rehab here are solid bikes, but in the process of overhauling them, you have to take a lot of care.” – Harry Baumert

 

Nancy Gildin, Learn-to-Ride Student

nancygildinheader“C4C is the most egalitarian [nonprofit] in that there aren’t income requirements, age requirements, locations requirements. There’s no requirements to participate. In some nonprofits you get a sense that it’s a “we/them” world where “we” and “them” have to qualify. Sometimes it’s not bad. But C4C does not have that, the feeling that it’s just for certain people. It’s for everyone.” – Nancy Gildin

 

Rebeca Meyen, Earn-a-Bike Participant

rebecameyenheader“I have lived in Minnesota for about eight years, but want to get to know the cities better because it’s such an amazing area. I can’t really see it when I’m driving. Biking makes it a more personal experience. When something on your commute peaks your interest you can slow down and check it out. You can’t do that in a car. You can’t just stop quick to chat with people as you pass.” – Rebeca Meyen

 

Mai Her, Youth Apprentice

maiherheader“You come into Cycles for Change with your bike wanting to fix your handlebars. You wait for a stand, you get a stand. You expect the staff to fix it for you, pay them, walk in, walk out. But instead, they let you do it and are there to help guide you through the process. It’s fun. And it’s free.” – Mai Her

 

 

Krista Wax, Learn-to-Ride Student

kristawaxheader“We all cheered each other on as we kept improving. While we did our bike ride on the road, I was practicing my hand signaling and two of [my classmates] cheered for me and told me what a great job I was doing.” – Krista Wax

 

 

Julia Wells, Board Member

juliawellsheader“C4C definitely taught me how to bike for transportation. I was going to C4C in the morning and my paid job at noon… I’d learn how to bike in traffic, signal, hold the lane, and everything that’s not intuitive about biking. I had the chance to learn actual street biking from going to and from C4C meetings.” – Julia Wells