Learn the entire A-Z of bike refurbishing. No previous mechanics experience necessary!
Donate money, volunteer, or pass along your gently used bike for a second life.
Learn the skills to better understand your bike in one of our maintenance classes.
Educating, empowering, and building community by connecting people and bicycles
Valuable connections are made in our community shop among bicycle riders. By learning and sharing bike maintenance knowledge, people learn to believe in themselves and their community. Our programs make the simple technology of these pedal powered machines available to all with the help of the volunteer staff and general skill sharing.
Mobility on a bicycle is an expression of our freedom and equality! We encourage members of the public to participate in cycling as part of a healthy and active lifestyle – not just as a recreational activity, but also as a viable mode of transportation.
Ride safely on the road. Be predictable, aware, courteous, and confident. Keep riding: you are a legal vehicle with the same rights on the road! Download cycling safety tips from the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen and the Greenways Alliance of Rhode Island (via RIDOT’s Bike RI page).
Patrick McMillan, President
Edward Raff, Vice-President
Barbara Bentsen, Secretary
Stephanie Castilla, Treasurer
–Dailen V., Volunteer
–Betty B., Board Member
–Nick P., Master Mechanic
Build-A-Bike is a six-session course that teaches members of the community how to repair and recycle abandoned bicycles. Participants fix up a bike, to be donated to our program. In this way, we remove bikes from the waste stream, develop a skill base of mechanical proficiency in the community, and offer affordable mechanics training.
Recycle-A-Bike started Build-A-Bike in the Spring of 2011. We hold five or six workshops per year; last year, 68 people successfully completed the program, and 112 bikes were rebuilt and put back onto the road. As the green economy grows, the need for specialized skills surrounding green transportation rises. Build-A-Bike teaches people how to repair and refurbish bicycles and share that knowledge with those around them.
Build-A-Bike meets six times for three hours each. Participants receive 18 hours of hands-on training for $200 (contact us about alternate arangements). For more details on the next upcoming course, and to sign up, please fill out this application form. Be sure to also add yourself to our monthly mailing list to receive program updates or feel free to E-mail us with questions.
Whatever your interest or availability, there is a place for you! Greeting visitors at Open Shop, distributing brochures, and fixing bikes are just a few examples of how you can help out. If you’d like to volunteer, start today by filling out this volunteer form or emailing our Shop Manager. We can’t succeed without you!
Can’t bear to see an unused bike collect dust in the basement or go to a landfill? Donate it to us for a second life! For the past 10 years, we have been refurbishing hundreds of old bikes for newly arrived refugees, students, city youth, and others through programs like Build-A-Bike, Wrenching Wednesdays, and Open Shop.
We accept all kinds of bicycles: cruisers, road, mountain, and BMX bikes. However if the bike has too much rust and appears beyond repair, please take it to a scrap yard. We accept donations of bicycles, bike tools, and bike parts during our open shop hours.
Recycle-A-Bike is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your gift is deductible to the full extent of the law. Watch our 2012 fundraising video!
Where does the money go?
Everyone is welcome to drop into our space during our open shop hours. Visitors can use our bike stands, specialized tools and space to make repairs or do routine maintenance on their bikes. Used bike parts are available at discounted prices. The price of new parts are determined by the market rate.
This is a do-it-yourself model, where we take pride in teaching visitors how to make the repairs and adjustments, instead of simply doing the work for them. Our in-house Master Mechanics are always on hand to provide technical expertise and guidance. You don’t need any mechanical experience to join us, but do be prepared to get your hands greasy. There is a suggested donation of $5/hour. Anyone may also volunteer during these hours, and time donated helping the shop will earn points which may be traded for parts, or shop time.
Open Shop Hours: Tuesdays 5-8pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm
Wrenching Wednesdays are back with a twist! Throughout the year we will be getting together to work on bikes that we can use to raise money for the shop. Unlike Open Shop this will not be an opportunity to work on your own bike or to assist customers, this is a night solely dedicated to team camaraderie and earning points!
These are great opportunities to help RAB grow while hanging out and learning from fellow bike geeks. These sessions are open to bike mechanics of all levels, from absolute beginners to those looking to master these skills. Some nights may have a focus on how to repair a particular component, but in general this will be a build-at-your-own-pace atmosphere. Shop-worthy attire and closed-toe shoes are required. Let’s build bikes and skills together!
Stay tuned for UPCOMING sessions::: but contact Gregory – the Shop Manager if you are interested
The first Wednesday of every month, Recycle-a-Bike will host WTF Wrenching Wednesdays This open-shop-style space is available to people who identify as female, transgender, femme, genderqueer, trans-masculine, trans-feminine, or feel their socialization or treatment as a woman/transperson*/femme has impeded their participation in bike mechanics. If you do not identify with one of these identities, you are kindly asked not to attend this shop time.*
This night is a time to bring your own bike project to work on, pick out a project to volunteer your help with or just to tinker and practice working with the tools. No mechanical knowledge or experience necessary- just an interest in learning! WTF Wrenching Wed will maintain a pop-ed learning culture (no one knows everything and everyone knows something), so we hope to create a kind and respectful learning environment. WTF Wrenching Weds were developed in response to an expressed community need for such a space, drawing inspiration from similar programs nationally and internationally. Click here to see our upcoming WTF Wrenching Wednesdays FB Events, or e-mail Ally with any questions.
Recycle-A-Bike (RAB) and The MET School have partnered to offer a certification program for high school students to become Junior Bike Mechanics. Over two dozen students have launched their explorations into the world of bicycle refurbishing, maintence, and safety. Designed as an internship, the program entails hands-on mechanical experience under the instruction of RAB-certified teacher-mechanics. Students in this end up with a bike of their own building, and a set of skills which may lead to potential employment in the bicycle industry. At the end of the curriculum of instructional workshops, students are assessed on their bicycle knowledge and repair proficiency. Students are provided additional practice hours by manning the Full Cycle bike shop, the MET’s after-school bicycle repair facility.
Bike Valet encourages people to ride their bikes to destinations and park nearby without worry of their bicycle’s safety. The goal is to celebrate two-wheel transportation, while alleviating car congestion at large events. In this past year, RAB brought the valet service to over forty local events. By bringing bike support to events. Among the local events, we offer this bike-parking service at the Saturday Farmers Market at Lippitt Park each week throughout the summer. RAB was able to reach thousands of people promoting cycling and offering riding and repair resources to large, diverse groups of people. Other events have included Pronk!, Foo Fest, New England Biking & Walking Summit, Cyclovia, Cylcocross Races, Rocktucket Block Party, Woony Ride, and many others. If you are interested in having Bike Valet at your event, contact us here.
Whatever your interest or availability, there is a place for you! Greeting visitors at Open Shop, distributing brochures, and fixing bikes are just a few examples of how you can help out. If you'd like to get involved, start today by filling out this form. We can't succeed without you!
Sponsors: Citizens Bank & LISC RI, MET School, Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, New England Grassroots Environment Fund, New Roots Providence, Ocean State Charities Trust, Providence After School Alliance, United Way of Rhode Island, YMCA of Greater Providence
Friends: AS220, Brown Student Radio Bike Talk, ecoRI, Lippitt Park Farmers Market, RISD Second Life, RiverzEdge Arts Project, Social Venture Partners Rhode Island, Southside Community Land Trust, The Steel Yard, Windmist Farm, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
Bike Resources: Bike Newport, Bikes Not Bombs, Circle A Cycles, Dash, Greenways Alliance of Rhode Island, Legend Bicycle, Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, Narragansett Bikes, Providence Bicycle, REI Cranston, Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition