Youth Programs

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On Site After School Programs
Year-round bike based youth programs offering instruction in bike building and mechanics, bike safety and nutrition and active lifestyle choices. The program also teaches science concepts, environmental awareness, personal responsibility and citizenship..

Teen Internships
Teens work as a shop or classroom assistant to bike program instructors and the Ciclo Urbano sales shop. Teens gain practical work experience while building their resume with a variety of hard and soft skills. West Town Bikes employed 20 young people in the Summer of 2013 and look forward to continued apprentices throughout 2015.

Bike Club
Weekly Monday and Friday after school open-shop program where youth repair their bicycles with the help of an instructor and adult volunteers. Youth have full use of WTB’s facilities and tools, under the guidance of adult instructors. Contact instructor Lebster Pabon (lebster@westtownbikes.org) for more info.

Cyclocross Racing
This program provides sponsorship, mentorship and coaching to juniors and young adults that would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in cyclocross events. Racing cyclocross requires fitness and teaches commitment and perseverance. The skills, knowledge and friendships gained through participation can help form a socially intelligent and responsible, physically fit, person. Contact Michael Young at 312-656-1953 or michael@westtownbikes.org for more info.

Girls Bike Club
GBC meets every Wednesday afternoon and offers a fun, relaxed environment for young women and girls to explore the many advantages of cycling for transportation, independence and sport. Weekly activities include: basic bicycle mechanics, bike crafts, community gardening, group rides and volunteering. Many of the girls are involved in organizing GBC's annual fashion show fundraiser, Heels on Wheels. This is an open program for any school-age girl. Contact Emily Leidenfrost at emily@westtownbikes.org for more info.

Community Youth Activities
Activities have included Farmers’ Market Bike Sales Program where WTB youth and volunteers repair donated bikes and sell them at a low cost at area farmers’ markets during the summer. West Town Bikes also organizes group rides, safe cycling demonstrations and free mobile bike repair stations at community events.

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WTB has done exciting work in the development of youth bicycle programs in Chicago. In the past year 1100 youth went through West Town Bikes’ educational programming. In 2009 WTB was funded to develop and pilot an Instructor Training program. Our published curriculum is coupled with an intensive three-day training program offered at West Town Bikes on scheduled dates. Through the program we cultivate and support instructors from diverse Chicago neighborhoods who plan on running their own community bike programs. Trained instructors run youth mechanic and riding programs in summer camps, schools and community centers. The successful pilot and launch of this curriculum establishes West Town Bikes as the premier provider of youth bicycle programs in Chicago as well as unites the valuable resources of our community partners and youth workers.

West Town Bikes would be happy to consult and contract on youth bike programs in your neighborhood of Chicago. WTB can offer program development, curriculum, budget development, tool and supply orders, instructors, instructor training, project bicycle acquisitions, wholesale helmets and much more! Contact Alex Wilson for more information.


The footage above is from one of our summer youth programs. In 2009, over 500 youth were educated through West Town Bikes' summer youth programs.

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Summer Youth Bicycle Program Description.pdf1.85 MB