Susitna Bicycle Institute is a non-profit bike school, providing hands on education and job skills to at risk youth and low income communities.
There are three major bike schools in the United States. Both are for profit entities offering classes to those who can afford and geared primarily to those with cycling experience. We at the Susitna Bicycle Institute (SBI) are breaking the mold by offering sliding scale classes for all levels of experience as a non profit organization with all proceeds going back into the growth of SBI and the support of collaborative community programs.
Alaska and the Anchorage population face a gamut of problems. High rates of obesity, lack of infrastructure and job training for at risk populations, and an ever growing population of homeless and foster system youth with a limited sense of agency and accessibility to work, skills and education.
We provide hands on classes in bicycle mechanics and best cycling practices. We are teaching children, adults, and families real world skill sets that can lead to health benefits, job opportunities and autonomous transportation abilities. Cycling increases health benefits in people of all ages and provides a cheap and efficient means of transportation through our city. By providing sliding scale educational opportunities to at risk individuals and groups we can improve community health and provide people with the tools to improve their lives on multiple levels.
Over the next few years we will be expanding our classes and our staffing. Beginning with just two teachers we will start with a selection intro classes with sliding scale prices along with advanced level classes for professionals and shops. With the support of grants, fundraisers, corporate partners, and class fees we will pay overhead and expand our offerings as we grow. We also have a line of products and services to further supplement the costs and overhead of the school. Within the next 5 years we project to support a full training staff as well as support jobs for our students and alumni.
Our board and team are all bicycle enthusiast who bring their unique gifts and perspectives to our programs. We consist of educators, bike mechanics, social activists, native Alaskans, marketing specialists, and trainers. Together we are building a unique and versatile school that will evolve with our student’s and our communities needs.