SANTA CRUZ, CA (BRAIN)—While California state parks risk indefinite closure and school administrators wrestle with shrinking budgets, one bicycle education program in Santa Cruz County gains support and popularity among public high school students seeking entry into the world of cycling. Bike Shop at School, a one-year course in bicycle assembly, maintenance, and repair provides students with the basic mechanical skills necessary to attain entry-level employment in the bicycle industry. Fall 2009 marks the program’s local expansion from Harbor High School, where it
launched in January 2007, to Aptos High School and Pajaro Valley High School.
A Career Technical Education course developed by Project Bike Trip and administered in partnership with Santa Cruz County Regional Occupation Program, Bike Shop at School offers detailed instruction in assembly skills, safe and proper shop practices, and the key knowledge required for more advanced repairs. Taught by credentialed instructors with mechanical expertise and professional experience, Bike Shop at School students are exposed to the wide variety of career opportunities available within the bicycle industry. Additionally, students gain more universal career skills, such as the essential elements of professional conduct, effective workplace communication, and cooperative problem-solving.
Envisioned by Bicycle Trip shop owner and Project Bike Trip co-founder Berri Michel, BikeShop at School has become a successful model for teaching bicycle assembly and repair,
demonstrating a reputable standard of integrity for bicycle education. “Bike Shop at School holds a lot of promise, not only for the students, but for the bicycle industry as well,” said Bill Armas of Park Tool, a longtime supporter of the program and Project Bike Trip board member. “The shortage of bicycle mechanics is an issue that bike shops deal with every year. It seems likely that students
could parlay their participation in Bike Shop at School into a chance to gain entry into a fun and meaningful profession.”
Aptos High School principal Casey O'Brien, a competitive cyclist, recently echoed the significance of the program: “I'm absolutely thrilled to provide this opportunity for our students. I believe the class will not only provide students with valuable life skills and professional career pathways, but also serve as a hub of activity around the benefits of cycling and environmental