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Project Bike Tech On the Roll with New Partners, Schools, Events

Published February 7, 2020

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Project Bike Tech (PBT) was founded in 2008 by Berri Michel, co-owner of The Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz, CA. "We saw the auto shop programs turning out mechanics from the high schools, and we thought, why not bike mechanics?"

Under the leadership of Executive Director Mercedes Ross, who took over PBT in 2015, the program has expanded from one state to seven, from five high schools to 13, and has garnered wide-spread industry support from both suppliers and retailers.

Both Shimano and Specialized have recently stepped up with cash and in-kind contributions through their retail education programs. "We're excited to work with Project Bike Tech to get S-TEC training implemented at the high school level," said Dave Arnauckas, Shimano's Technical Services Manager. "Service is a strong component of the industry's future, so let's start our next generation of mechanics as soon as we can!"

Ross is enthusiastic about the momentum PBT has gained with new schools coming on board. "We're adding two high schools in Boulder right now," she noted. "Having a national presence in seven states definitely increases PBT's impact. Retailers are now approaching us with schools in mind so they can create more employees in their own towns."

The PeopleForBikes E-Bike Committee has recently given PBT a grant to produce educational curriculum by collaborating with Barnett's Bicycle Institute. "BBI is honored to partner with Project Bike Tech," noted Jeff Donaldson, BBI's General Manager. "We are very excited to help create meaningful e-bike curriculum for the next generation of professional mechanics."

To get more support and awareness about the great opportunity that PBT provides to suppliers, retailers and the hundreds of students graduating from the program, Ross and Deputy Director Brian Fisher are showcasing the program at Outdoor Retailer, Frostbike, and the Bicycle Leadership Conference. Watch for them to learn more!

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