Youth Pathways

Our mission

We use the bicycle as a tool to foster young people’s leadership, development, and sense of individual and collective power to transform their own lives, strengthen communities and build a just and sustainable planet.

Since 1990, when the first Earn-A-Bikers set up shop at the tennis courts on Centre Street, over 3,000 Boston youth have participated in BNB Youth Programs. Every program at BNB is active, hands-on and peer-led. Our programs ask for a great deal of commitment from participants, but they also provide mentorship, support and opportunities for growth within BNB.

Bikes Not Bombs is committed to working against the pervasive adultism in our society. We believe that the best youth programs are ones that involve young people not only as participants but also as consultants and ones that give young people the opportunity to self-manage and become leaders.

In BNB’s Youth Programs, participants have the opportunity to learn everything from basic bike maintenance and city riding to all the skills needed to work as a bicycle mechanic. Maybe you’re someone who needs to learn how to ride, maybe you want to take home your very first bike, or maybe you’re an experienced rider; no matter who you are there is a BNB program for you. Check out the options and how to apply here and feel free to call, email or visit if you have any more questions.

About Each Program

Boys and Girls, ages 12-18
Earn-A-Bike is a learning and earning bicycle program. Over the course of the program (five weeks during the school year or three weeks during the summer), participants will completely overhaul a bicycle while learning how to safely ride and navigate the city of Boston. During mechanics lessons, participants will be taught how to repair a part of the bicycle; then they’ll roll up their sleeves and do it themselves. On group bike rides, participants will learn the ins and outs of Boston’s system of bike lanes and paths, riding to and from parks, basketball courts and local businesses. Read more...
BNB alumni and friends/family
Bikes Not Bombs isn't just for current program participants or Youth Employees. We offer fun activities and events for all past participants, youth staff, and their friends.  Want an easy way to get or stay involved? Come to Youth Bike-In, ride with us on Unity Bike Rides and Thursday Night Volunteer Night. Read more...
Girls, Femmes, Trans, Women, Womxn only, now all ages!
Sisters In Action [formerly Girls In Action] is BNB’s program for all girls, femmes, trans, women, womxn. Just like our co-ed Earn-A-Bike program, Sisters In Action (SIA) combines bicycle mechanics and riding and is a great way for sisters ALL AGES to learn new things, make friends, get active and earn a bike of their own! In addition to mechanics, SIA offers fitness, safety, and environmental activities, as well as weekly workshops or field trips! You might visit an urban farm, learn how to do henna tattoos, or do community service, all while meeting other cool GFTW and learning how to completely rebuild a bike.  Read more...
BOCA, Bikes Not Bombs' Youth Organizing Program, is designed to bring young people together to make community change through cycling. We want to create healthy communities where our people especially our youth can thrive and aren't deprived of an opportunity. Read more...
Youth, 15 and older, co-ed
Advanced Mechanics The Advanced Mechanics program at Bikes Not Bombs is a Professional Development program run for Youth Programs Employees by the Mechanics at the BNB Bike Shop. The program runs annually in the winter and serves to increase Youth Employees' mechanical knowledge and make them more effective Program instructors.   Apprenticeship Bikes Not Bombs also operates an Apprenticeship program (formally known as Vocational Education or Voc Ed) as a stepping stone in the Pathways program. The Apprenticeship is for youth (age 15 and older) and provides a unique job training opportunity for those who are motivated to learn bicycle repair and mechanics. Apprentices work one-on-one with skilled BNB Bike Shop mechanics learning all of the systems of a bicycle and receive detailed explanations coupled with hands-on learning. Read more...
Boys and Girls, ages 12-18
STRIVE is a comprehensive transition program providing support services to Boston Public Schools students with disabilities. STRIVE is part of Boston’s School to Career/Technical Vocational Education system, developing training and employment opportunities for students in a variety of career pathways. The program serves students from all of Boston's public high schools. Read more...
Boston youth, ages 15-18, who have successfully completed two BNB programs
All of Bikes Not Bombs programs are run by Youth Employees, program alumni who are trained to teach mechanics lessons, lead group rides and be amazing peer leaders. Youth Employees at Bikes Not Bombs also receive one-on-one mentorship and professional development training in resume and cover letter writing, job interview practice, gender sensitivity and teaching techniques. Teens may also be employed to work with Chain Reaction, BNB's mobile bike shop program. Youth ages 15-17 are encouraged to apply through the City of Boston's SuccessLink.  Read more...
Adults 18+
Do you love cycling and want to share that passion with Boston youth? Are you looking for a meaningful way to volunteer with a local non-profit? If so, Adult Volunteer Training might be for you. This 2 week course, taught by BNB Youth Employees provides the foundation in basic bike mechanics, teaching methods, role modeling and leadership, and age and gender sensitivity that you need to successfully volunteer in BNB Youth Programs. In exchange for this free program, Adult Instructors are REQUIRED to volunteer a minimum of one program day per week from 4:00pm-7:00pm in at least one session of Earn-A-Bike or Girls In Action. (See upcoming program sessions here).   Read more...
Mechanics time during Girls In Action.

BNB Youth Programs on Facebook!