Thank You Note: Council Member Warsame

Cycles for Change cannot do everything it does without the people and organizations who provide us funding. We do make a small profit from selling used bikes, but the majority of our budget comes from donations—grants from foundations and corporations, contracts with government entities, and very important individual donations. This is the first article in a series thanking the people and organizations who help us do what we do.

This year—for the first time—Cycles for Change is receiving direct funding from the City of Minneapolis to get more East African immigrants and their families in Minneapolis on bicycles. This money specifically helps fund our adult Learn-to-Ride classes, the Bike Grant program, and our Minneapolis youth apprentices.

Minneapolis Council Member Abdi Warsame was instrumental in securing this funding in the 2016 budget process and in helping us work our way through the Minneapolis city bureaucracy. Council Member Warsame represents the 6th Ward, which includes the Minneapolis shop and much of the Seward, Cedar-Riverside, and Phillips communities. We want to thank him for his work to help us meet the needs of his ward!

Volunteer Spotlight: Brad Carlson

Brad Carlson, volunteer extraordinaire at our Minneapolis shop, has been involved with Cycles for Change for about two years. Brad came to Cycles for Change as a participant in our Earn-a-Bike program. He completed that program, having repaired a very nice GT mountain bike which he uses for transportation and recreational riding. He enjoyed the experience so much he almost immediately became a volunteer assistant instructor during subsequent Earn-a-Bike classes.

Currently Brad volunteers to help participants during Open Shops and has completed five bikes for our sales floor as a talented volunteer mechanic. He has also assisted with our Bike Grant Program. His repair skills have developed immensely since he first came to C4C, as well as his teaching skills and confidence. Brad is friendly and good humored which sets first time Open Shop participants at ease right away. He is generous with his time and is always willing to stick around “a little longer” if someone needs help. Brad has a passion for biking, cool bikes, and bike mechanics which is evident any time he is working at our Minneapolis shop.

Fun fact: In the last year, Brad moved from St. Louis Park to within one mile of C4C-Minneapolis. We will take that as a compliment! We are really lucky to have Brad as a volunteer and friend. Thanks, Brad!

(Brad is pictured above with the most recent bike he completed–he did a complete overhaul on this bike, including replacing the front suspension fork!)

Volunteers Needed For Open Streets

C4C will have a table and tent at both the East Lake and Franklin Ave Open Streets! Staff and apprentices will be there to talk about C4C programming, as well as offer free, quick bike adjustments. But we need volunteers to help with these tasks too! Contact [email protected] if interested!

Open Streets: East Lake
Sunday, July 24, 11am-5pm

Volunteers needed for shifts:
10:30am-2pm – 1-2 volunteers*
2pm-5:30pm – 1-2 volunteers*
*Will be accompanied by C4C staff and apprentices

Open Streets: Franklin Ave
Sunday, August 21, 11am-5pm

Volunteers needed for shifts:
10:30am-2pm – 1-2 volunteers*
2pm-5:30pm – 1-2 volunteers*
*Will be accompanied by C4C staff and apprentices

Interested in being an Open Streets Mpls Official Volunteer instead for either East Lake or Franklin Ave? Contact the Volunteer Coordinator by calling 612-547-9506. C4C needs 5 at each in order to secure a discount on our table/tent entry. Thanks!

Ride to the Wild Springs Festival with C4C – July 16-17!

WildSpringsFestivalEat For Equity, Lily Springs Farm and Sky Water Studios present Wild Springs Festival – a weekend of food, music, and community – located biking-distance from the Twin Cities on July 16-17th. Register here!

Fill your belly. Get your hands dirty. Show up and be surprised. Stay the night under the stars, or come just for the day.

MUSIC: Wailing Loons, One Ukulele, King Fish Crow, Flatwater Mississippi, Eli Utne Music, Luke Graner, Ruth B8r Ginsburg, Andrew Jansen // LOUD SUN, Jacob Champlin and The Blue Jays, Ingrid Snook Music, Live Karaoke SuperJam, and more to be announced from Sky Water Studios!

FEAST: Local and organic snacks, dinner, and breakfast from Eat for Equity. All food and beverages are included in your ticket. Late night wood-fired WildEarth WoodFired Pizza. Beer from Fair State Brewing Cooperative.

ADVENTURE: Canoe, kayak, stand up paddle board, yoga, lakeside camping, truth or dare. Ride to the farm with Cycles for Change – sign up for the ride at checkout when you get you festival ticket from Eventbrite. For more information on the ride, contact [email protected] or 612-787-7433.

Volunteer at the festival for a discounted ticket. Come with three friends for a group discount. Kids under 12 come free.

We’re Mississippi Market’s Positive Change June Recipient!


Throughout the month of June, shoppers at all three Mississippi Market locations in St. Paul will have the chance to donate to Cycles for Change through the Positive Change program.

The Positive Change program is designed for non-profit organizations with missions dedicated to the environment, sustainable agriculture, and food access. This program enables shoppers to round up their purchases or donate 10¢ credits when they bring their own reusable bags to shop. The Positive Change recipients collect donations from a one month time period from all three Mississippi Market store locations. It may just be a few cents or spare change, but the impact on our community is astounding.

Mississippi Market locations:

622 Selby Ave.
1500 7th St. W.
740 E. 7th St.

7 Days until the Youth Bike Summit 2016

Are you ready to meet the next generation of bike advocates, planners, educators, engineers, teachers, senators and business leaders?

We’ll have a chance next Friday when the sixth annual Youth Bike Summit convenes at Macalester College in Saint Paul. The nation’s third largest bike conference is expected to draw 400 people for the only bike conference created by youth for youth.

While everyone is welcome at #YBS16, the conference focuses on empowering and developing youth. We don’t know yet what these youth will grow up to do, but we do know they’ve got ideas. That’s why we’re so excited to hear from them.

If you haven’t heard about the Youth Bike Summit, here’s what you should know.

  1. Bikes are viewed as tools for building healthier, more sustainable, more equitable communities, and that’s why we’ll be talking about bike clubs, watersheds, entrepreneurship and so much more during the 25 hands-on workshops.
  2. Minnesota’s youth bike superstars will be telling their stories. We’ll hear from C4C youth apprentices Jaquelin Palestino and Robert Skipper, Frogtown youth educators, and students from metro area school-based bike clubs Pillsbury Pedal Power and Brookyln Center Secondary Bike Club.
  3. Inspiring leaders will present, like nationally-recognized civil rights and social justice expert, Nekima Levy-Pounds, President of NAACP Minneapolis and a Professor at University of St. Thomas School of Law, and internationally-recognized urbanist Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa, MBA, PhDhc, Founder and Chair of the Board at 8-80 Cities and Chair of the Board at World Urban Parks.
  4. #YBS16 isn’t only about sitting and listening. Some of us think with our hands through doing and making, and we’re setting up to accommodate creative expression through painting, printing, and more.
  5. On Saturday morning, we’re having a parade across Macalester’s campus, and on Sunday morning, we’ll be painting a mural – no previous painting experience required. Can you think of anything better to do next weekend?
  6. We’re helping to launch the 2016 Slow Roll Twin Cities season with a six-mile, all-inclusive ride through Saint Paul on Saturday evening. The ride and barbeque are open to the public. Find all the details on Facebook.
  7. By bringing together people from different disciplines and of different ages, we’re hoping to build a shared vision. We’d like to leave the conference with actionable goals that support everyone’s efforts to build momentum for youth bicycling.

Registration is $35 for youth and $75 for adults. Don’t delay, register today!