The guidelines are simple: work hard, earn a bike. For low-income, at-risk teenagers in South Arlington, Phoenix Bikes offers a unique opportunity to learn mechanics, business, and biking – all at once. Earn A Bike students spend 25 hours building their own bicycles, take group rides around the region (exploring DC and staying active), and complete a service project and job skills training. After earning a bike, students can stay on to master advanced mechanics and help their peers through the basics. An entrepreneurship program offers the chance to pedal further: working the register, assisting customers, and developing a personal sales project. The new “Mobile” Earn A Bike program will extend the experience to neighborhoods beyond the Arlington shop. And when rain interrupts a group ride on Friday, Phoenix provides a safe space to relax and socialize. While Phoenix facilitates students’ transitions to jobs and academic programs whenever possible, students are encouraged to see the shop as their home base – a place both to fix a bike wheel and ... to build and grow.

Headquarters: VA-Arlington County

Where They Operate: VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Falls Church; The majority of youth participants reside in Arlington County, VA, but Phoenix Bikes also serves youth from surrounding Northern Virginia counties and throughout the greater Washington DC Metro area.

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Veterans/Military Families; Immigrants/Refugees; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: Gunston Middle School; Hammond School; Kenmore Middle School; Swanson Middle School; Thomas Jefferson Middle School; Williamsburg Middle School; Wakefield High School; Washington-Lee High School; Arlington Tech; New Directions School

  • Number of youth served in Phoenix Bikes programs annually:   450
  • Number of bicycles donated to community members in need annually:   100
  • Number of adult volunteers engaged annually :   150
  • Number of affordable bicycle repair services provided to the community annually:   1750
  • Number of adults educated in bicycle repair topics annually:   100

Awards & Recognition

Best Business Award - Nonprofit, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, 2016


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Budget (FY2011)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Phoenix Bikes is: Less than $500k

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