Baltimore bike culture
The Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy Collective (BYKE) is an after-school drop-in enrichment program designed to develop personal and professional skills in young people through learning bicycles mechanics, practicing safe ridership, and building community. we focus on youth workforce development, mentorship, and violence prevention.
The drop-in model gives youth members the choice and opportunity to use their own autonomy to access our space. Therefore, when a youth member chooses to be in our space, a brave space where they can freely express themselves, they are choosing to be in a positive environment where they get engage in programming more holistically.
Youth were attempting to gain access to a local adult oriented do-it-yourself (DIY) bicycle workshop, but were consistently refused entry, at times leading to violent interactions and calls to the police.
The BYKE team leveraged community resources to recruit Baltimore native bike mechanics, local bike shops, and youth-center nonprofits.
Chavi Rhodes, noticed a pervasive need for youth-focused bicycle programming in Baltimore.
Chavi gathered resources to open a youth-only bicycle workshop that focuses on providing mentorship, restorative practices, and workforce development for youth from disinvested communities.
BYKE has become a place where youth come eager to fix their own bicycles, participate in the earn-a-bike program, gain specific skills, and contribute to the community BYKE has cultivated within our shop.
Our first summer enrichment program. Bike rides, swimming pools, conflict mediation, bike mechanics. First cohort of summer youth interns
And the rest was OURstory
Why BYKE ?