Who We Are

Changing Gears was founded in June 2006 as a collaboration between two nonprofits, Cycles of Change and Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) and was creatively named Cycles of Change APC.  From its inception, the shop was tasked at providing job training and affordable bicycle repair to kids and adults living in the local neighborhood and who had been formerly homeless.  In 2010 the shop transitioned to its current fiscal sponsor, Earth Island Institute, chose a new name, and began to offer a full range of bicycle services to the general public.

Recent History

Since 2010 the shop has sustained itself through sales, foundation money and donations.  The shop is operated by three paid staff (two young adults and a shop director) along with a small team of dedicated volunteers. 

The shop’s vision is to be a space where community engagement, political participation, economic opportunity and sustainable transportation come together for people of all ages and backgrounds.

 

How Far We've Come

Since we've opened, the shop has received over 3,000 bicycle donations (thereby diverting over 10 tons of material from local landfills), provided hundreds of youth and adults with bicycles and repairs through our work-credit program, lead bicycle field trips for more than 100 APC youth and is a regular site for Eagle Scout projects, corporate volunteering events and school field trip programs.

 

What Comes Next

We will continue to do our best to serve the individuals and communities of the Bay Area.  We are trying to grow the shop to provide more job training opportunities for youth and adults, increase our expertise in repairing/restoring bikes of any and all eras, and develop an effective volunteer program.  

Speaking of volunteers, they are the ones who help the shop thrive and survive. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch with us; there's lots of ways you can contribute. Thanks!

What is a Community Shop?

Changing Gears is a place where all are welcome to learn and share their knowledge, skills, and love for bikes. Our open repair area allows customers to watch every step of the repairs being applied to their bikes by our professional mechanics. Visitors are also invited to repair their own bicycles in one of our community repair stations for no charge!

 

Get Hands-On

- Learn how to do your own repairs while working beside professional mechanics.
- Feeling motivated? Have an idea for a special project? We love working with big thinkers!

Volunteering

- Everyone has something to offer, regardless of age or skillset.
- Earn credits to spend on used bikes/parts.
- Community Service hours can be earned (graduation requirements, internships, court appointed).

Job Training

- We provide long term, comprehensive, real world job training.
- We strive to provide full-time job opportunities and productive activity for the community we live and work in.

 

Awards

2009 Alameda Magazine: Best Bicycle Recycler

2009 SF Crissy Fields Center: Community Heros Award

2009 SF Gate: 2nd Place, Best Bike Shop

2008 SF Bay Guardian: Best Moving Onward and Upward

2007 East Bay Expess: Best Bike Shop - Beyond Retail, Teaching Kids Pride and Ownership

Press

The Island Blog: "Cycle Shop is Changing Gears" October 2010

Anais Dodson’s Blog: "Cycles of Change Breathes Life into Alameda Point" September 2010

Barley and Birch Blog: "'Ride It' Wednesday" October 2009

San Jose Mercury News: "Grocery store will aid Alameda homeless program" July 2009

Alameda Magazine: "I wanna ride my bike," May/June 2009.

The Harbor Bay Club Buzz: "Memories will ride on for many Alameda youth," April/May 2009

Cycle the Point Blog: "Kids work to earn bikes at Cycles APC" December 2008.

SF Chronicle: "Karen Lassen on what it takes to be a fairy godmother who gives away money to worthy causes," July 2008