The Georgia Bikes Blog

Earn-A-Bike Programs


Georgia Bikes promotes bicycling across the state through our efforts to create Complete Streets policies, support building local advocacy organizations, and provide bike safety education among many other functions.  Our educational efforts are broadened and higher impact through collaborations. We are highlighting activities that are done in part with those we collaborate with during the year. This is to not only identify their good work and to share learning experiences, but to issue a challenge to communities to take up one of these featured  activities in your area. We also encourage those who do host many of these same activities and classes to talk back and let us know what you are doing and how it goes. Sharing is caring and the more ways of doing things the better we will facilitate our growing bicycle community state-wide.


In March 2018, we co-hosted a Earn A Bike class with Decatur Active Living and the staff at Ebster Community Center in the city of Decatur, GA.  In case you’re unfamiliar with Earn A Bike, it is a low-key, hands on, learning environment to learn bicycle safety, bike handling skills, and basic maintenance and by completing the process, the individual earns a bicycle.  It definitely creates relationships, if you have any questions about Earn A Bike program development, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  


Must haves for a successful Earn A Bike:

  1. Enthusiasm

  2. Tools that support learning.  Basic is okay! Our Tweens Guide to Bicycling is easy.  

  3. Working bicycles

  4. A supportive team

  5. Basic tools- bicycle pump with an air pressure gage, multi-tool, lights, bike lock


Learning tips:

  1. Create a program that best fits your goal, resources, and needs of the community.

  2. When working with children and young people, it is good to have at least two adults to teach, demonstrate and support.  We had four to five students participate and there were two adults. If kids are working in groups or pairs, up to eight students with two adults works well.  One to share the material and the other to float between the two groups to facilitate learning. Over eight, add an additional adult. This becomes more important when on the road, practicing a group ride.

  3. Having visuals or using the environment will help with communication.  Remember most young people do not understand the principles of driving so practice and demonstration creates pathways to learning.

  4. Providing children with written information and reviewing the principles will support their use of that tool and increase the likelihood that they will use it again in the future.

  5. Allow youth to demonstrate their knowledge and skill.  Additionally, have them to take turns leading the group.  Provide a review their skills. This feedback gives them both confidence and the opportunity to see what they did well and what need to improve.


We asked Staff at Decatur Active Living (DAL) and Ebster Community Center (ECC) a few questions about why they wanted to host this class and here are their responses!


Why did DAL/ ECC decide to host this program?
We wanted to provide a fun, educational opportunity for at risk youth to learn about bike safety and earn a bike that so many of the participants don't have. This is a new program to Decatur Active Living. We had several bikes and citizens donated some
bikes so we thought it was the perfect opportunity.

What does an earn a bike program do, provide, solve?
Earn a bike provides participating youth the opportunity to learn bike safety, the proper way to take care of their bike and for many of them; the chance to have their own bike once they complete the program. From observing bike behavior around the Ebster center, most children and teens have never been taught the rules of the road,  their importance of respecting cars and how to ride safely. Earn a bike program teaches that in a small group setting for kids to really understand the responsibility of having a bike. This program makes a difference for kids that participate and lifelong bike lessons are taught.

What do you hope this provides for the community?
Earn a bike will start a new trend in the Ebster community. Earn a bike graduates will show off their cool bikes, they will share with their friends what they've learned and their ridership will keep the bike culture diverse in Decatur. The more kids we have graduate form this program, the better chances of Decatur having safe, smart bike riders around the city.

What are upcoming kid focused bicycle-related programs at DAL?
Our annual bike camp is June 11-June 15th. This camp for kids 8-12 years old dives deeper into bike safety, proper bike handling, bike maintenance and rules of the road. The weeklong camp makes cycling fun and encourages campers to ride more often to school and with their families. The city is also offering  a Bike Rodeo event on Thursday April 5the during spring break. Our bike rodeo for kids offers bike maintenance checks, helmet fitting and a fun bike safety obstacle course. We also offer bike registration in case a bike is lost or stolen, its registered with Decatur Police department and if found, can be returned to owner.



2018 Georgia Bike Summit Bid for Proposals

Georgia Bikes Request for Bids: 

2018 Georgia Bike Summit Host City

Event Date: Fall 2018, date TBD

Applications due: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 5PM to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Georgia Bikes is the voice for a bicycle friendly Georgia. Our mission is to promote bicycling and to improve bicycling conditions throughout the state. We see the bicycle as both a sensible means of transportation and an enjoyable form of recreation. By creating friendlier conditions for cycling, we will improve traffic congestion, air quality, public health, and the overall livability of our communities. For more about the organization and its programs, visit


To share best practices and disseminate information about creating bicycle friendly communities, Georgia Bikes hosts the Georgia Bike Summit every Fall. The purpose of the Summit is to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders  - bicycle advocates, cycling enthusiasts, bicycle retailers, elected officials, law enforcement, transportation planners and engineers as well as representatives from the fields of public health and tourism – to collaborate in building a bicycle friendly Georgia. A secondary purpose of the Summit is to the showcase the bicycle culture and amenities of communities throughout the state. Toward that end, the Summit is hosted in a different city each year.


Previous Summit locations:

·        2010 – Savannah

·        2011 – Athens

·        2012 – Augusta

·        2013 – Roswell

·        2014 – Columbus

·        2015 – Milledgeville

·        2016 – Jekyll Island

·        2017 – Macon       


For photos and information about previous Georgia Bike Summits, visit:


Host City Representative: Scope of Work and Responsibilities

The host city shall provide an individual representative to serve as the primary liaison between Georgia Bikes and the host city for the 2018 Georgia Bike Summit. The host city representative will be expected to:

  1. Work with Georgia Bikes’ Executive Director to develop a six month timeline that corresponds to the Scope of Work and by which to manage and implement the planning and coordination of the 2018 Georgia Bike Summit;
  2. In collaboration with the Executive Director, establish a 2018 Georgia Bike Summit Committee comprised of local bicycle advocacy organization leaders/staff,  local bicycle retailers, and, if appropriate, representatives from public health agencies, CVBs, and local government;
  3. Attend 2018 Georgia Bike Summit Committee teleconference and in-person meetings as scheduled by the Executive Director;
  4. Coordinate local event sponsorship solicitations, lodging discounts, publicity, media outreach, and invitations to elected leaders and transportation officials

Outlined tasks above may be modified and other tasks relevant to the development of the 2018 Georgia Bike Summit may be assigned as needed, based upon mutual agreement of the ED and Host City Representative.


Qualifications for Host City

The 2018 Georgia Bike Summit Host City will be an accessible, safe, and welcoming venue for a multi-day conference focused on bicycling issues in Georgia.


Required qualifications include:

  • Presence of an active local non-profit advocacy organization with a mission focused on on-road/paved trail bicycle safety and advocacy
    • Local advocacy organization must be able to provide 6-8 volunteers for logistical needs
    • Local advocacy organization must coordinate Summit social event(s) and group bike ride(s) for Summit participants
  • Conference facilities that can accommodate up to 200 Summit participants and attendees
    • Facilities must include a plenary session room with seating for up to 200 individuals, plus at least four breakout workshop session rooms that can seat up to 65 individuals each
    • Facilities must be safely accessible by bicycle to and from lodging options
  • Lodging options that are safely accessible by bicycle to and from Summit facilities and event locations
  • Facilities for pre- and post-Summit social events that can accommodate up to 250 Summit participants and attendees
    • Facilities must allow for food and beverage service
  • Catering options for social events and conference meals/ snacks
    • Caterers must be able to accommodate a full range of dietary needs, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free meal options

Preferred qualifications include:

·        “Bicycle Friendly Community” designation or active pursuit of such designation

·        Bicycle rental or bike share opportunities for Summit participants

·        Free or subsidized conference facilities

·        Opportunities for mobile workshops

·        Vocal support for the 2018 Georgia Bike Summit from local elected officials




Application Process

Interested communities are invited to send their bid via email only to Elliott Caldwell, Executive Director, Georgia Bikes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 PM EST on Friday, March 23, 2018.


Proposal Guidelines

Bids should include the following:

  1. Name and contact information for Host City Representative;
  2. Contact information for local advocacy organization in host city;
  3. Narrative explaining why the community is the best host city for the 2016 Georgia Bike Summit with specific reference to required and preferred qualifications outlined above;
  4. List of three most recent comparable events or conferences held in the community.


Questions? Contact Elliott Caldwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.