Matt Tennant; founder & director
Matt has 13 years of experience providing direct service to homeless and at-risk youth, including 10 years providing direct street outreach. He developed the concept for Full Cycle while building bikes with youth during overnight shifts at a shelter where he worked, and started the program in 2002. Matt loves all types of cycling, but his BMX roots have given him an undeniable love for dirt jumping (he just wears a lot more pads than he used to). Matt considers himself lucky to have been able to combine his love of cycling with his passion for youth work to create a pretty amazing job that he’s proud of. And if you bring him chocolate, he will be your friend.
Valerie Scheffler; shop manger
Since she received her first tool box as a kid, Valerie has loved to tinker. From old bikes to household appliances, she’d put a wrench or a screwdriver to it — sometimes just to discover what was inside. It is the beauty of learning how something we depend on works and the deep satisfaction of fixing what may be broken that fuels her work as a bike mechanic.
As a young adult, she began to depend on a bicycle as her primary means of transportation, and in her mind she knew she’d have to know everything about that bike, so she took it apart and put it back together again. After successfully working with her own bikes, she took that confidence and offered help to others by volunteering at free bike workshops. Quickly she learned that she loved helping people understand and work on their own bikes, and it was then that she decided to elevate what began as a hobby into a career.
Today, she applies her knowledge and years of experience as a bike mechanic in her new city with humility and a never-ending interest in discovering how life works.
Adam Smith; street outreach worker
Adam comes to Full Cycle with background in Youth Work and Bike Shops. Prior to Full Cycle he worked as the Youth Education Specialist at the Boise Bicycle Project in Boise, Idaho and as a Site Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. Adam has had a passion for bikes since receiving his first bike as a child and remembers on multiple occasions spray painting and "fixing" bikes that his uncle brought home from the city dump. Any place he has lived or visited he has found that the best way to experience the city is on a bike, riding through the alley-ways and backstreets; he also recently re-discovered using bikes as more than just a way to get around, taking up Flatland BMX and riding as many wheelies as possible. He is excited to bring his passion for bikes and youth work to his new position as Youth Outreach Worker.
Arturo Ortega; mechanic
Moving from Southern California, biking continues to be Arturo’s most reliable mode of transportation. And like the distances he traverses on bike trials throughout the Twin Cities, his knowledge and passion for bike mechanics increases. Arturo began his employment with Full Cycle as an Intern Bike Mechanic in 2013. After completing the internship, he was hired on as a Graduate Mechanic, and in time other positions followed--such as a Food Access Rider and Seasonal Mechanic. Since 2019, Arturo is a year-round full-time Mechanic and proud to be on Staff at Full Cycle.