Branching out of Santa Cruz County for the first time, Bike Tech is currently being offered at Folsom High School in Folsom, CA. “Our goal is to create a model city here in Santa Cruz with Bike Tech classes at all the high schools. This model can then be replicated by communities like Folsom High School,” said Berri Michel, founder of PBT and owner of the founding sponsor, Bicycle Trip. The Folsom High Bike Tech class is up and running this Fall. The instructor, the Principal, and the students couldn’t be happier to have such a great program at a school that is in the heart of a progressive bicycle community.
After winter break this school year, Bike Tech will also be up and running at Santa Cruz High School. “We are very excited about offering the students at Santa Cruz High the opportunity to build their skill set and explore their passion for bikes at the new classroom.” The Santa Cruz High Bike Tech class marks PBT’s sixth classroom opening. At this rate, PBT will have a Bike Tech class in every high school in Santa Cruz County in just about two years.
The Bike Tech program offers high school students a unique hands-on experience during their otherwise normal high school day. In addition to career and technical training, Bike Tech’s one-of-a-kind curriculum also raises awareness about the economic, environmental, and lifestyle benefits that bicycles offer.
Bikes Belong, a non-profit that works to put more people on bikes more often, agrees that Bike Tech is a unique program that deserves recognition as such. At the recently held Interbike tradeshow in Las Vegas, Bikes Belong created a campaign called Build More Than Bikes Challenge, which invited show attendees to share personal stories and ideas around enriching their local bicycling communities.
“The Build More Than Bikes Challenge is a tribute to the tremendous efforts of suppliers, distributors, retailers, and individuals to make bicycling safer and stress-free,”
Berri Michel and Scotts Valley High Instructor Bobby Richardson submitted PBT’s story to the challenge and won! A cash prize of $1,000 from Bikes Belong will go towards funding new supplies for our current Bike Tech classes.
Including the two new classrooms this school year, PBT will have seven Bike Tech classrooms built where nearly 200 students will be trained in bicycle mechanics annually. Bike Tech prepares our youth for life after high school, whether that’s college or a career, which includes many underserved English Language Learners (ELL), low-income students, and students that are at-risk of dropping out of school. The program is always looking for volunteers, events to engage in, and donations from the community.
About Project Bike Trip: Project Bike Trip (PBT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Santa Cruz, Ca that is dedicated to providing comprehensive hands-on and academic bicycle education for youth. PBT programs offer technical training in bicycle mechanics, preparing youth for job opportunities within the bicycle industry. Additionally, youth are introduced to the bicycle as an alternative source of mainstream transportation, the road to healthy living, and as a means for connecting with the outdoors. More info at: www.projectbiketrip.org.