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About the Project

Putting Wheels in Motion: A Service Learning Project

The Bicycle Recycle Project took shape around the notion that middle school was the ideal time to teach students mechanical skills that they could use for the rest of their lives. The Project gives students the opportunity to believe that school can work for them. In 2002, the Bicycle Recycle Project received the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association recognizing it as a unique and exemplary program. In 2009, Seven Hills School received California Distinguished School Recognition in part because of the Bicycle Recycle Project. Thanks to a generous grant, a state of the art Bicycle Recycle Project classroom/workshop was built in 2010. Today, the large classroom is filled with tools, bikes, parts, and exuberant students and volunteers. The Project has trained over 1500 students and built over 2000 bicycles. The Bicycle Recycle Project is continually advancing and seeking new opportunities to share the program with other schools and communities.

The Bicycle Recycle Project at Seven Hills School in Nevada City, California, provides students hands-on learning of basic bicycle mechanical skills, reinforces the value of recycling, and provides the satisfaction of helping others.

  • Encourages problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Benefits students interested in developing career pathways
  • Promotes a cooperative workshop environment
  • Increases social skills and a social conscience
  • Provides refurbished bikes that can be kept by the student or donated to a friend, family member, or community organization
Mobile Bike Shop: Putting Wheels in Motion:
The Project uses a fully equipped repair van to take learning outside the classroom and into the community.
  • Student mechanics provide bicycle repair for various community bike events such as bicycle safety rodeos, Earth Day celebrations, and clinics at schools and neighborhoods.
The Bicycle Underground: An After School Program
The after school program provides an alternative for students who may otherwise be left home alone until parents return from work.
  • Provides an after school alternative from "nothing to do"
  • Offers students in six through eight grades the chance to build bikes for themselves or others
The program enhances environmental awareness and empowers students toward self-sufficiency.
  • Community members are able to recycle their bicycles at the school.
  • The need for new products and materials is reduced when students know how to maintain and repair what they have.
  • Bicycle parts that are headed for the landfill are recycled and turned into usable bikes.
Bicycle Day at Loaves & Fishes: Involving students in a larger community
Students are given an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life and see that bicycles can open up a world of possibilities to those without transportation.
  • Students travel annually to Loaves & Fishes, a charitable organization dedicated to feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless in Sacramento.
  • Students provide onsite free bicycle maintenance and repair clinics for up to fifty guests at Loaves & Fishes.
  • Bicycle lights, locks, baskets, tire repair kits, water bottles and water bottle cages are distributed to guests.
  • A free raffle of student-built bikes brought from the Bicycle Recycle Project is the day's highlight.
  • Students learn that bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for some homeless people and can help to rebuild their lives.
Seven Hills Trail Raiders Bicycle Club
 Seven Hills Middle School will be offering a Bicycle Club enrichment program to the student population.
  • Provides the student body with a bicycle club that is safe and fun.
  • Helps students build personal responsibility, confidence and self-esteem.
  • Expands student participation in a healthy activity through organized weekly rides.
  • Empowers students to become more self-reliant by providing instruction at all levels of bicycling skills, bicycle maintenance, bicycle safety, and emergency on-the-trail repairs.
  • Students will learn to respect others as well as the environment through learning multi-use trail etiquette, trail advocacy, and trail maintenance.
  • To promote cycling as an easy, healthy and fun activity within our school and community.
How to Support the Bicycle Recycle Project:
Are you good with a wrench and screwdriver? The Bicycle Recycle Project welcomes volunteers. Contact Ben Preston (530) 265-1840 x 8143
Bicycle and Tool Donations:
Please call (530) 265-1840 x 8143
Please check into the main office to donate your bike 
Seven Hills Middle School
700 Hoover Lane, Nevada City, CA 95959
Cash Contributions:
Please make checks payable to:
Nevada City School District/Bicycle Recycle Program 
and mail to:
800 Hoover Lane
Nevada City, CA 95959
"Without the opportunity to learn through the hands,
the world remains abstract and distant,
and the passions for learning will not be engaged."
The Case for Working with Your Hands
By Mathew B. Crawford
New York Times 5/21/09