Youth Programs

BOLT (Bicycle Outdoor Leadership Training)

6-month leadership development program for Freshman and Sophmores

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 – 5:30 PM, February 21 – August

  • 9th-10th Grade
  • Monday (initially) and Wednesday  3:30 – 5:30 PM
  • Program Fee: $1,500 – SUBSTANTIAL scholarships are available (APPLY HERE!)

Program Description:  The BOLT (Bicycle Outdoor Leadership Training) Program is a 6-month program for young adults in 8th-10th grade who want to develop in the areas of bicycle maintenance, outdoor skills, and community service. Through a series of workshops, classes, overnight campouts, field trips and outdoor adventures, students will gain valuable skills in bike maintenance, outdoor living, and leadership. Students will be provided with all of the equipment, tools, transportation, and knowledge necessary for the adventures and challenges that will be presented. The program culminates with a week-long bike-packing trip that will be planned and executed by the students. The program fee for the BOLT Program is $1,500, however, substantial scholarships are available.

The program will meet twice a week, Mondays (for the first two months) and Wednesdays, after school from 3:30 – 5:30pm. After the second month, students will replace their Monday session with 2 hours of assisting in one of the Gear Hub’s other programs or areas (i.e. Youth Apprenticeship, Youth Wrench, Women and Trans Wrench Night, Gear Hub shop/retail, volunteer nights, etc.). There will be three weekend overnight campouts during the course of the program (March, May, July) and a week-long bike-packing trip in August.  By the end of the program, the leaders will ride away with a deep understanding of bike mechanics, maintenance, and traffic safety; mountain bike riding skills; an introduction to bicycle industry opportunities and will be certified as Junior Maine Guides.

Application Coming Soon!

Applications Due Feb 7

Huffy Hauler Inside Edition

Youth Wrench

Every Wednesday and Friday from 3 PM – 5 PM at the Bike School

Free drop-in hours for youth under 16!

Kids can work on their own bike, volunteer to build a shop bike or help a friend. Youth will have an opportunity to learn basic bike maintenance, such as how to properly clean and lube a chain and patch a flat tube, and even true a wheel! All youth will be guided by a Gear Hub mechanic and volunteers on the proper and safe use of tools at all times in the shop.

Youth and their parents must fill out a permission slip together before youth can participate.

Download Youth Permission Slip Here

Youth Mechanic Apprenticeship

4 week mechanic skills training program for youth ages 11 – 13

Tuesdays and Thursdays 3 – 5 PM,  January 4 – January 25

This 4-week program is designed for youth ages 11-13 who want to learn valuable skills in bike mechanics, maintenance, traffic safety, and leadership. The apprentices will meet twice a week after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. By the end of the program, the apprentices will walk away with practical skills in bike mechanics and maintenance, riding and traffic safety, and also a bike that they will build and tune themselves.

This advanced program is limited to 4 students. Download an application here or pick one up at the Bike School. Please deliver complete applications in person to the Portland Gear Hub Bike School at 85 Anderson St. or the Gear Hub Garage at 155 Washington Ave.

Youth Apprenticeship Application

Congratulations to our Youth Apprentice Graduates! (September 19 – October 12, 2017)


Kids Bike Rodeo

A community earn-a-bike afternoon for kids ages 4 – 8

Friday, November 3 at Kennedy Park, 3 – 5 PM

In partnership with the East Bayside Study Center and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine

20 kids ages 4 – 8 from the East Bayside Study Center earned bikes, helmets and locks upon completing a bike rodeo course and visiting bike safety stations. Kids learned to properly fit their helmets, lock their bikes, learn the ABC Quick Check for bike maintenance, and practiced traffic safety skills in a rodeo course mapped out in the Kennedy Park basketball courts. All kids bikes were donated to the Portland Gear Hub and repaired by volunteers!

Girls Mountain Bike Camp and Bike Overnight

Aug. 21 – 25, Monday – Wednesday morning with Thursday/ Friday camping trip

Learn the ropes on the trail and with a wrench in this awesome new girls’ mountain bike camp hosted at the Bike School. The camp will run in the mornings Monday – Wednesday and culminate in an overnight bike camping trip down to Camp Ketcha. Instructor and mechanic, Leia Crosby, will lead the group on a route of trails, paths, and easy roads down to Camp Ketcha where the campers will get to swim in the pond, set-up tents and make a fire, and wake up to ride the trails across Camp Ketcha’s 107 acres in Scarborough. Throughout the week, the riders will build confidence and have fun practicing handling drills, group rides, shifting and braking demos, and basic mechanic lessons.

Ages 10 – 14

Summer 2018 Programs will be posted in January of 2018.

Youth Instructor: Leia Crosby

Leia grew up in South Portland and has lived and traveled all over the world. She has worked with youth and adults in the outdoors as a wilderness therapy guide and outdoor educator.  In 2015, she rode the TransAm, a 4,000 mile bicycle route across the United States along secondary roads. Since then she has lived and traveled through New Zealand, and most recently returned from Mexico where she completed the Baja Divide, a 1700-mile bikepacking route along the dirt roads of the Baja peninsula.  Leia is excited to be back in Maine and eager to share her passion for cycling with this vibrant community!

Holiday Bike Blitz

In December of 2016 we hosted our 2nd Holiday Bike Blitz. Over 60 volunteers gathered at Oxbow Blending & Bottling on Washington Ave to repair 70 kids bikes for the holiday season. The bikes were donated to youth organizations in the Portland area: Front Street Study Center, Portland Parks & Rec., Mayo St. Arts, the Root Cellar, and East Bayside Community Policing.

Funding for parts for the bicycles and the event was provided by Martin’s Point Health Care.

Please contact us if your organization would like to be the recipient of free kids’ bikes next year!