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About Us

Our Mission

Educating, empowering, and building community by connecting people and bicycles

Our Vision

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).

Board of Directors:

Edward Raff, Interim-President
Sandra Victorino, Vice-President
Barbara Bentsen, Secretary
Susan Sparks, Treasurer
James Bentsen
Amye Follett
Kurt Teichert
Nancy Hoffman
Christopher Gambardella
Jack Hartman


Gregory Sankey Jr, Director of Operations

Chelsea DeSantis, Open Shop Mechanic & Shop Assistant

Our Community Bike Shop

Our community bike shop in Olneyville Square provides visitors with the opportunity to find affordable bicycles & bike parts along with the help and training to get their bikes on the road.

If you’re looking for used parts, a bike-project to wrench on, a bike to ride, to donate your old bike/parts or to take a class on bicycle mechanics – you’ve come to the right place.

Come for a visit during Open Shop to get your hands greasy, to get your bike tuned-up, to give back to the community or to make new friends!

Our Community

“At RAB, I had the unique opportunity to train with a master mechanic, during which time I built a bike that I use daily. As a committed volunteer, I also spearhead projects and gain experience in leadership.”

Dailen V., Volunteer

“Recycle-A-Bike helped me learn about the mechanical operation of my bike, to “know my bike,” and introduced me to people who are involved in our cycling community. This is a great place for women who enjoy cycling!”

Betty B., Volunteer

“I have always been unsettled by how much waste we create in our world. At RAB, I am able to restore used bikes to complete working condition. I love sharing this experience in the classes that I teach.”

Nick P., Master Mechanic


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Location & Hours

Upcoming Events at Our Shop:


1911 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02909


Call OR Text (401) 525-1822
Email Gregory Sankey Jr – Director of Operations

Email Chelsea DeSantis – Mechanic & Educator

Open Shop Fall/Winter Hours:

This is when you can visit our shop to donate bicycles, work on your own bicycle with the help of a mechanic, bring in a bicycle for us to repair, or buy one of our refurbished bicycles!

Tuesdays: 3PM – 8PM

Saturdays: 10AM – 3PM

Youth (under 15) must be accompanied by an adult, individuals between the ages of 15 & 17 may participate after a permission slip is filled out by a parent or guardian.

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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.

Get Involved

Build-A-Bike is a 6-session, 18-hour class and is open to all skill levels. Sign up today and build your own wrenching skills!

Interested in taking a class?

Subscribe to our upcoming classes mailing list

* indicates required


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Our Programs

Our youth and adult education programs are comprised of basic and advanced coursework on bicycle mechanics, math, science and job training. We’ve also run an Open Shop program, for between two and four days a week, for over ten years. During Open Shop visitors utilize our work bench and tools with the assistance of volunteer & staff mechanics, browse our robust selection of used parts, and our collection of over 100 donated bicycles many being refurbished. Individuals can volunteer during Open Shop hours to earn free assistance in the shop, bicycles and bicycle parts by volunteering in our Earn-A-Bike and Volunteer Points programs. Visitors that are looking to support our shop can also purchase parts, bicycles and accessories for modest prices lower than found anywhere else in Providence County. Open Shop has served thousands of Rhode Island residents since it was implemented.


Open Shop

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.


WTF (Women, Trans, Femme) Nights @ RAB

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 Chelsea with any questions.


Pedal Power

Pedal Power brings bikes, helmets and qualified bicycle skills instructors to school-age children in and around the Providence area. Over six weekly class sessions, we turn kids who have never ridden or don’t feel comfortable on a bike into safe, confident and skilled bicyclists. They learn skills like turning and stopping and good safety habits like wearing helmets and signaling.

Maybe most valuable of all, we take them outdoors into nature. Most of our classes take place on bike paths, where kids are outdoors and safe. We take time to explore the hiking trails, woods and shorelines, observing plant and wildlife that we encounter.


MET LTI Internship and Youth Mechanics Certification

This internship is part class and part job. Students at the MET High School spend an entire year being taught the skills required to work at Recycle-A-Bike, and then put those skills to use to support Recycle-A-Bike’s operations & mission.

Students learn bicycle mechanics, smart tool use and work habits, hands-on engineering, bike shop/retail operations, among other skills. We explore the physics of a bicycle including mechanical aspects of how bikes work, how to repair a used bicycle and how to maintain a bicycle in good working order. Students also learn important skills of assessment and problem-solving while working on bikes, necessary and useful skills in any field. Other topics covered in this internship include bike safety, fitness, and the social, economic and environmental benefits of cycling. Students will get to explore the Woonasquatucket River by going for bike rides on the bike path in Providence and Johnston.

Bike Mechanics and Technology

Bike M&T builds on our past Bike Mechanics internship program, adding a complete new science and math curriculum designed by professional educators. We’ll use bikes and pedal-powered electrical generators to demonstrate and apply core concepts in physics, such as work, friction, inertia, and electricity, together with the underlying math. Along with the science and math, students will master bike repair skills in our fully-equipped Community Bike Shop.

The RI Department of Education has approved our Bike M&T curriculum and plan for inclusion in their Advanced Course Network of out-of-classroom instruction opportunities. Students from any high school in Rhode Island may apply for available spaces. Our full year classes will take place at our shop in Olneyville for six hours per week over the two 15-week school terms. Participating students will earn full academic credit toward their high school science and general graduation requirements. As they work and learn in our Community Bike Shop, students will also see the connections linking academic achievement, work habits and skills and future success in life.


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