Dear Full Cycle,
It was almost seven years ago when I found out you needed an experienced mechanic to create a bike shop and an internship for young folks. When I first heard about your visionary programming that Matt was developing and the new position he had created to expand services, I knew you and I were meant to be together. It felt like the universe was laying out a perfect plan for us. And today, as my time here comes to an end, I can say that our time together has been truly perfect.
When I started, you were a dingy auto garage with heaps of parts lying on the floor and BMX ramps in the basement. Slowly but surely Matt and I got you cleaned up and ready for business, filling you with quality used bicycles to sell, professional work stands, and actual bike tools. During shop hours, paid interns helped us run the show, and when we weren’t open for business we gave bikes away to youth who needed free transportation. All of that magic still happens today.
Matt and I have always taken care of you and made sure you were a happy space that was both safe and fun for everyone to hang out in, and Matt will continue to do so with integrity and humor. We’re lucky to have other awesome staff on board to help your mission continue. Rita continues to be, hands down, one of your biggest champions and solid devotees. Jendeen and Josh make sure that our young folks get what they need outside of the shop. Erin is here to hold it down with mechanical skills and jokes for days.
While our team of dedicated staff have kept – and will keep – things growing and flowing, the young people that you were created to serve are the shining stars of my time here. Since 2008, 113 young people have been given the opportunity to gain not only employment experience, but also to check in before their shift every day and share how they are feeling, to go for bike rides, to visit other bike-related businesses, and to make friends. The stability your safe space provides has helped so many youth secure housing, health care, food, and emotional support. All 113 interns, plus the hundreds of young people who have made free bike appointments over the years have made my life richer. The youth have been some of my most impactful teachers, and they have always impressed me with their resiliency and brilliance.
Full Cycle, I want to thank you for giving me so much. You have taught me what it means to meet people where they are. To be mentored by some of the most dynamic leaders in our community. To be a part of an agency that encourages innovation. To keep encouraging and equipping people to ride bikes. To help make a real difference in people’s lives. It has been perfect.
I wish you all the very best.