Youth Summer Program Wraps Up

Our Youth Apprenticeship Summer Program wrapped up last Friday after 8 weeks of mechanic training, sessions on social justice and community building, and tours of bike industry businesses.

On the last day of the Summer Program, the youth took a bike ride to Minnehaha Falls (pictured above), went through a debrief of the summer, and ended the day with ice cream cake to celebrate their successes.

What were the apprentices’ favorite parts of the summer? They said:

“I enjoyed the bike rides to different bike shops.”
“I liked learning about bike mechanics from Alex.”
“The tour to QBP and Park Tool were really informative.”

Thank you to Jonathan Grad, Taco Cat, and The Herbivorous Butcher for donating lunch this summer. Thank you to Quality Bicycle Products, Park Tool, Saris Infrastructure, and Full Cycle for welcoming us into your spaces this summer. And shout out to the Sundance Family Foundation for their continued support of Youth Programming at Cycles for Change.

Call for Artists!

We are a non-profit community bike shop dedicated to social justice, safer spaces, and bike access for all. But, we are also lovers of art! In an effort to showcase and support the artists in our community, we have erected a mini gallery space (~6’ W x 3’H) in our retail shop.

If you identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color), FTW (femme, trans, woman), or youth, we would love to have your art on display at our shop. The work you display can be for sale and 100% of proceeds from the sale of your work will go directly to you.

Art will be on display for 1-2 months. Art does not have to be bike-related. Art must be hung on the wall space above our accessory wall (this mainly accommodates visual art only).

Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Mid-Season Learn to Ride Update

Learn to Ride is rolling along! Cycles for Change has been teaching adults how to ride bicycles for seven seasons, and our classes are always in high demand. To help as many people as possible ride their bikes this summer, we have added additional times and dates to our Matthews Park (2318 29th Ave S) location in Minneapolis:
Tuesdays 6:30-8p
Wednesdays 6:30-8p
Thursdays 6:30-8p
Saturdays 10-11:30a
Saturday 12-1:30p

In the past three months, we have had 107 people sign up for classes, and they have traveled from as far away as Champlin, Little Canada, Newport, and Wayzata to learn to pedal with us.

Learn to Ride is a sliding scale fee program. While it costs about $90 per participant for us to provide a fleet of bikes, helmets, staff, and support for students, we believe that the skill of learning to ride should be accessible to everyone. So the cost is a suggested $0-$150, and we encourage people to donate what they can to help us keep our program running smoothly.

Many of our students have never ridden a bicycle before. Sometimes it is because they lived in areas without safe infrastructure, or weren’t encouraged to learn, or they tried to learn and failed. Some of our students have ridden before, but it has been 30 years since the last time they were on a bike. Learn to Ride is for all of these people. Whatever the reason may be, we create a safer, supportive space full of enthusiasm for learning and trying new things.

For people who identify as BIPOC FTW (Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Femme, Trans, Women) we have been offering a special voucher program. We are offering a limited number of $400 vouchers to buy a bike for BIPOC FTWs who have attended three or more Learn to Ride classes and do not currently have a working bike. We hope to pursue funding to grow this program in the future so we can keep helping people get the tools they need to achieve their biking dreams!

Welcome, Jae Hyun!

Jae Hyun Shim (they/them, she/her) joined the Cycles for Change staff this month as our new Administrative Manager!

Jae Hyun was adopted from Korea transnationally/ transracially to Minnesota as a baby and has spent many years working in community-based nonprofits locally and international aid abroad. They currently organize around environmental justice, food sovereignty, and police abolition. To create joy and pleasure, they ride their bike and are part of a synchronized swim team, the Subversive Sirens. Along with other QTBIPOC pals, they also help co-create spaces where we not only see ourselves represented, but where we are centered.

Welcome to new C4C board member, Jackson!

This month, we welcomed Jackson Otto to our board!

Jackson is driven in his professional and personal life by a passion for social justice. As a human resources professional, he actively supports staff and enhances operations in nonprofits to accelerate the fulfillment of their missions in the community. He believes deeply in the transformative potential of bicycles – to build community, empower individuals, and foster equity in our society. Jackson resides in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis where he rides bike for practical, fitness, and leisure reasons and appreciates how exceptionally bike-able the Twin Cities are for all. When he isn’t on his bike, Jackson is either walking his three dogs, playing a board game with friends, or catching up with family.

Meet our newest Operations staff members!

Cycles for Change Operations staff help operate our retail sales and service area, as well as Open Shop and Grease Rag. We have welcomed several new members to the team this summer! They join Arlo Sombor, Operations Director; Will Supanhnapom and Tom Parker, Operations Coordinators; and Norman Whitfield, Selby Verrar, and Alex Modic, Retail Associates.

Austin Austin, Operations Manager

Austin is a California native who has been working on bikes in Minneapolis since 2009. Austin is a creative and writer, and was a 2018 Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship recipient from Quality Bike Products. Austin’s graduate work at San Francisco State University and Berkeley in Women Studies focused on issues of race and environmental justice in underground hip hop culture in Los Angeles. Austin formerly worked as a volunteer for Cycles for Change (Sibley Bike Depot). Austin has returned to C4C to collectively advocate with coworkers goals to increase the visibility of non-binary people of color cyclists in Minneapolis.

Isabella Krompegel-Anliker, Retail Mechanic

Izzy (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Colorado. Her first self-supported ride, at age 2, was a 1.5 mile slow crawl on a pimped-out pink 12” bike. She fell in love with the way her training wheels bounced off every piece of gravel and hasn’t stopped pedaling since. Izzy’s other interests include mountains, books, ice cream sandwiches, and the color turquoise.

Meet our new Youth Programs staff!

Our Youth Summer Program will engage 6 youth this summer in bicycle mechanics, neighborhood history, bike industries tours, and social justice trainings over the course of 8 weeks.

Gunther Melander, Youth Programs Coordinator

Gunther (he/him/his) hails from Wisconsin and has been riding his bike as a commuter for three years. He moved to Minneapolis in 2018 to organize young people to stop climate change, and still does that work on the side. When not working, Gunther can be found practicing martial arts, drinking coffee, or eating copious amounts of ice cream with friends.

Nancy Musinguzi, Youth Programs Associate

Nancy Musinguzi (they/them/theirs) is a visual storyteller, teaching artist, and freelance photojournalist working and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As a documentary photographer chronicling the contemporary American experience through a first-generation Black Immigrant Queer lens, they primarily photograph portraits of emerging musicians, artists, performers, community organizers, educators, public figures and others. Their artist practice consists of blending traditional and experimental approaches to visual storytelling to capture authentic experiences of QTBIPOC folks with dignity, attentiveness and patience.

Meet our Learn to Ride Coaches!

Our Learn to Ride Coaches are with us this summer to help prepare and execute Learn to Ride classes. They help recruit and coordinate Learn to Ride volunteers, publicize Learn to Ride classes to neighborhood communities, register participants, and co-facilitate classes.

Megan Schwartz (she/her/hers) is currently an Environmental Science major at the University of St. Thomas and is very involved with environmental research and field work. In her free time, Megan like to fix bikes, brew beer, and play the drums!

Karl Hedlund (he/him/his) has been an avid year-round cyclist centered in South Minneapolis his entire life. His budding career in active transportation has included biking, mapping, and documenting every paved mile of Minnesota state bike trail. The back of his helmet can be seen throughout Google Street View. Prior to directing professional pursuits towards cycling, Karl crafted an education from the University of Minnesota with a premium on facilitating cross-sector and cross-cultural projects. He can most likely be spotted around local farmers markets.

Welcome, Selby and Alex!

We’ve welcomed two new retail staff to C4C! Please hello to Selby Verrar, Retail Associate, and Alex Modic, Retail Mechanic, when you see them around the shop!

Selby (they/them) is a year-round bike commuter who’s not from around here, loves seeing the sheer variety of rides that come through the doors, and got involved with Cycles for Change as a Build a Bike volunteer in The Before-Time when it was still called Sibley Bike Depot. They know a lot of weird facts that eventually get inserted into conversation at interesting points, likes reading nonfiction, and lots of different kinds of music. Also, yes they wear that hat a lot.

Alex (he/him) grew up in Virginia and has spent the last 5 years biking the streets of Minneapolis. He is an Education major at Metro State with a focus on American history. When not fixing bikes, he works as a paraprofessional for a K-6 special needs elementary charter school. He loves baking for friends, watching bad movie with his boyfriend and running with a his dog Leia.