Youth Programs

Check out our Facebook for photos and stories about our current programs at the shop. We also have many programs running at area middle and high schools.

On Site After School Programs
Year-round earn-a-bike 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. Our In-School Curriculum ran successfully for 3 years at Ames Middle School.

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 15 young people in the Summer of 2011 and look forward to continued apprentices throughout 2012.

Bike Club
Weekly 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.

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 1000 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