West Town Bikes

West Town Bikes is a community bicycle learning workshop. WTB offers bicycle mechanics workshops, youth programs and special events to members of the community. WTB is also used as a creative workspace for special bicycle building, utilitarian human powered design, kinetic art, advocacy projects and all sorts of constructive creation.

The overreaching goals of West Town Bikes are to promote bicycling in the city of Chicago, to educate youth with a focus on under-served populations, and to foster and serve Chicago's growing bicycling community. While maintaining headquarters and a workspace in Chicago's West Town neighborhood, WTB has become a city-wide service provider for youth programs in the city of Chicago.

West Town Bikes had its start in 2004 through the flagship youth program BickerBikes. This earn-a-bike summer program teaches bicycle mechanics in conjunction with safe cycling skills. All of our youth program focus on teaching young men and women independence, professional skills, environmental stewardship and the importance of exercise and good nutrition.

2008 West Town Bike Youth Programs
➢Bike Club @ WTB, year round - 50 participants
➢Bike Club at Barretto's Boys and Girls Club, Spring 08 - 20 participants
➢Build-A-Bike at Wood Boys and Girls Club, Spring 08 - 12 participants
➢Bike Program at Lowell Elementary, Spring 08 - 12 participants
➢Bike Program at Cameron Elementary, Spring 08 - 12 participants
➢Bike Program at Chase Elementary, Summer 08 - 15 participants
➢Bike Program at Ames Middle School, Summer 08 - 40 participants
➢Bike Program at Wood Boys and Girls Club, Summer 08 - 15 participants
➢BickerBikes Session 1 at WTB, Summer 08 - 14 participants
➢BickerBikes Session 2 at WTB, Summer 08 - 14 participants
➢Bike Program at Ames Middle School, Fall 08 - 250 participants
➢ASM Bike Club at Kelvyn Park High School, Fall 08 - 20 participants
➢Bike Program at Sullivan House, Fall 08 – 10 participants
➢Bike Program at Chase Elementary, Fall 08 - 12 participants
➢Bike Program at Lowell Elementary, Fall 08 - 12 participants
➢Bike Program at Polaris Charter School, Fall 08 - 30 participants
➢Bike Program at Wood Boys and Girls Club, Fall 08 - 12 participants
➢Yojimbo’s Track Cats Junior Racing Program, Summer 08 - 18 participants

Visit the Youth Programs page to learn more about our Youth Programs.

If you are interested in starting a youth bike program in your community please contact us.

Donate to West Town Bikes to help support our youth programs.

In 2005, West Town Bikes introduced adult programming. We now offer classes that are open to the public everyday of the week, serving an estimated 2,000 cyclists a year. We offer a variety of classes for Chicagoans, from basic maintenance to advanced shop and wheel building. Our classes not only introduce students to a professional workshop and techniques but also encourage safe riding, support bicycle commuting, and alternative transportation advocacy for a variety of Chicagoans. Adult classes also allow WTB to grow support, advocates and identify future teachers. Visit our calendar to find out more.

This programs mission is to provide a trail and off-road riding and racing experience to West Town Bikes program participants and community friends. Youth and young adults in under-served communities rarely get the opportunity to ride bikes on the trail systems in our area or to race in the off-road races like cyclocross and mountain bike. Introducing racing and trail riding to our members shows them the physical and social health advantages that cycling brings. Off road cycling gets those of us that spend a lot of time in urban areas away from the traffic and pavement and into a naturally peaceful environment. In 2010 WTB brought program members to 3 of the Chicago area cyclocross races. Members were excited to participate more and some made serious plans and commitments to ride more in 2011. We help participants bring some of the commitment, patience and excitement that comes with cycling to their communities. Contact Michael Young at 312-656-1953 or michael@westtownbikes.org to get involved.

COMMUNITY EVENTS In addition to leading classes in the shop and at our partner schools, WTB is involved in a variety of community events. We offer an assortment of services from ride marshaling and route planning to mobile bike mechanic stations and classes.

➢CPL Green Library Bike Class
➢Burmese Refuge Bike Class
➢New Belgium Beer Tasting
➢Recyclery Fund raiser
➢Chicago Community Bike Programs Summit
➢Accenture Corporate Team Building (lecture and mechanic class)
➢Links Hall Festival (x2)
➢Tour De Fat
➢Break the Grid Lock—“Show and Tell”
➢UIC College of Cycling
➢Chicago Green Bike Tour
➢Bicycle Film Festival
➢P.E.P. Olympics
➢Mayor’s Bike Advisory Council Meetings
➢Bike the Drive
➢Chicago Food Summit
➢Association House Earth Week Celebration
➢Ghost Bike Building + NPR Interview
➢Co-op Humboldt Park
➢Block Party for Peace
➢Earth Day at Lowell Elementary
➢Mayor Daley’s Bicycling Ambassador Mechanic Training
➢Humboldt Park Community Wellness (x2)
➢UIC Transportation Day
➢National Bike & Walk to School Day
➢National Boriqua Human Rights Campaign
➢Sunday Parkways

Thanks to the monetary and volunteer contributions of many kind individuals, the work of West Town Bikes continues. Please help so we can continue the work that we do. Please click on the button/link below to make a donation in any amount you can. Thank you!

West Town Bikes also appreciates donated bicycles for use in the youth programs we provide. Contact Alex Wilson at alex@westtownbikes.org to make arrangements to donate your old bike, parts or other accessories.