Support bike/youth programs in North Minneapolis

Sep 7, 2012

Venture North's first summer was a great success!

Second /All About Bikes/ graduating class
Second /All About Bikes/ graduating class

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 

we hope you and yours had a chance to partake in our action-packed summer programs! We’ve had a really busy summer here at Venture North, and we are pleased to report that thanks to your generous and unwavering support, we engaged neighbors on the Northside and beyond in fun and educational activities appropriate for various age groups!

Some of the highlights of this summer included:

  • Bike Fest 2012, a series of summer bike safety and bike education courses for children. From late May through June, 166 children from 13+ neighborhoods came out to North Minneapolis parks to participate in Bike Fest 2012. Venture North staff and volunteers performed free safety checks, minor repairs, tune-ups, and adjustments to children's bikes. Kids toured several "safety stations," where they learned about basic bike maintenance and safety, eventually earning a “Golden Ticket,” presentable to Venture North for admission into an Earn-A-Bike class. Along the way, kids earned free helmets and locks and had a chance to enter in a drawing to win a bike!
  • Crunch, Zip, Zoom, a summer day camp based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning designed to help kids develop skills for college while forming healthy habits. On Thursdays during Crunch, Zip, Zoom, kids earned a lock and a bike helmet by participating in bike safety courses and in group bike rides to Cedar Lake and Theodore Wirth Parkway, where they practiced using hand signals when making turns or stopping. Crunch, Zip, Zoom, run by Redeemer Center for Life in partnership with Venture North, was able to accommodate 45 children ages 5-12.
  • The first graduating class of our pilot program, Pedal Power 2012 STEM Camp, celebrated its accomplishments on Saturday, August 18, 2012. Pedal Power provides middle school girls with asset-based programming and with a positive social cohort, developing critical thinking skills along the way. We seek to inculcate a social environment that celebrates educational achievement and strong character in order to give girls the self-esteem and confidence necessary to succeed in school and to attain economic success. 
  • Venture North graduated its second class of All About Bikes students! 6 young bike-mechanics-in-the-making ages 15-18 completed the curriculum and are now ready to take on their first internship as bike mechanic apprentices! We hope to be able to host the interns at Venture North and welcome your support to reach this goal--please click on "donate" to make a contribution!

We are so thankful for all of your support as we continue to create programming that is impactful not only in underserved youth's lives, but also for our society as we encourage and enable youth to share their skills, talents, and gifts and to grow into tomorrow’s leaders. Thank you for partnering with Venture North in this very worthy goal.

Pedal Power girls learn about bikes
Pedal Power girls learn about bikes


Jun 6, 2012

1st All About Bikes class graduates; more to come!

Congratulations to the first graduating class!
Congratulations to the first graduating class!

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 

On Wednesday, February 29, staff joined 5 bike mechanic interns from the Northside, ages 14-23, as they celebrated their successful completion of the very first All About Bikes training course. Over 16 weeks, the young mechanics involved in the program studied bicycle history; bicycle vocabulary, parts, and materials; and proper bicycle adjustment, eventually progressing to bicycle repair and bike building. Students also learned how to share their personal strengths to arrive at a common goal and gained customer service and relationship building skills.

With your help, we were previously able to purchase tools for individual work stations, where students worked on their final projects, which consisted of assessing used bikes, deciding what parts could be re-used, dismantling the bikes down to the frame, and rebuilding them from the ground up! These "First Class" red bikes will be used for various Venture North events. We are also thankful to the youth for leaving a legacy at Venture North.

Several of our graduates are currently participating in 12-week paid apprenticeships at The Hub Bicycle Co-op in South Minneapolis; they began their apprenticeships in mid-March. Congratulations to the students! 

What's next for Venture North? In addition to running various summer programs educating youth and community about biking, we are preparing for the next round of young mechanic interns beginning in mid-June. You can find out more about our community events, programs, and services on our new website, , or on our facebook page, 

Thank you for young ongoing support and enthusiasm as we continue to help young leaders develop their strengths and their neighborhood!

The bicycle tools donors helped us purchase!
The bicycle tools donors helped us purchase!


Feb 21, 2012

Venture North mechanics classes speeding ahead!

Dear Friends of Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 

Thanks to your generous support, VNBWC's All About Bikes is charging full speed ahead! With your help, we purchased tools to support our young mechanics's learning, expanding our state of the art bicycle mechanics classroom. The classroom is now equipped with 8 work benches stocked with all tools necessary to perform a tune-up on nearly any bike, allowing students to work using their own tools during class. The tools are professional bike shop quality Park Tools, which are the industry standard and what our young mechanics will encounter once job hunting. Park Tools is a Minnesota company.

Thanks to these improvements to our classroom, we will have the capacity to teach 16 students at once. Your contributions also helped us purchase a Master Mechanic tool set. Many tools require special training for safe and effective use; once trained to use these tools, students will be able to check them out from this Master Mechanic toolkit during class.

Venture North helps youth in the community find their strengths and capitalize on them. By empowering local youth with job skills and mentoring support, we are working to shift the perception of this community from a need-based one to an asset-based one, recognizing and celebrating gifts, beginning at the individual level. Venture North is supporting youth as they become tomorrow's community leaders and as they learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) applications through mechanics training. 

Thank you for continuing to partner with us in this very important work! 

Retail Lab interns learn about basic bike repair
Retail Lab interns learn about basic bike repair
All About Bikes mechanics hard at work in class
All About Bikes mechanics hard at work in class


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Project Leader

Laurie Beckman Yetzer

Finance Director
Minneapolis, MN United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Support bike/youth programs in North Minneapolis