Project Leads: Justin Wiley, Austin Andrews, Marcelo Felipe Garzo Montalvo, Chris McDermut


BicyCAL Mission:
BicyCAL is a student founded and cooperatively run organization at UC Berkeley whose mission is to empower UCB students, faculty and staff to successfully integrate the bicycle into their daily lives. To that end we seek to provide a space where members of our community can learn how to maintain, operate and love their bicycles in an inclusive and safe place. We offer peer-to-peer bicycle repair and maintenance education in a radically positive environment.

TGIF Grant:
$12,000 (additional $10,900 awarded in 2011 as part of the Campus Bicycle Initiative grant award)

BicyCAL logo

Project Theme: Transportation

Project Location

2009 Application Submission

2011 Application Submission


Project Description: This project increased usage and awareness of bike-based transportation for students, faculty, and staff through an education and outreach campaign and the opening of a bicycle hub that provides free bike maintenance and bike repair education.

2009 Grant Goals:
Open a BicyCAL "storefront" on Lower Sproul that offers free bike maintenance and tutorials. Offer bike-maintenance based workshops, bike-literature, safety gear, and locks at the bicycle storefront. Promote Bike to Work Day and other bike-based events. Educate the campus about biking as a sustainable, healthy mode of transportation. Recruit student bike mechanics who will provide volunteer time. Collaborate with Green Bike Share, Yikes Bikes!, and the Campus Bicycle Committee. Expand the Green Bike Share program to include a fleet of 40 bikes and work with Yikes Bikes! to provide bike stations and mentorship programs to underfunded local schools. Assist UC Berkeley in achieving its Cal-CAP goals by getting more community members to switch to bikes as a mode of transportation. Target three UC Berkeley emissions sources: Faculty and Staff Commute (9%), Student Commute (2%), and Campus Fleet (1%) and potentially avert 3 metric tons of GHG emissions per year. Increase the number of campus cyclists by 250 new riders and avert use of 5,000 gallons of gasoline per year (assuming 20 gal/person).

2011 Grant Goals: Increase the immediate impact of the shop by hiring three student mechanic interns, who will help expand hours of operation and train additional volunteer mechanics. Increase the shop's tool inventory and add a repair-oriented sales inventory Increase shop visibility by hiring an operations/outreach, adding signage and banners in, developing print media for distribution, increasing web presence, and continuing outreach through peer-to-peer education. Ensure shop organizational and financial sustainability. The sale of high-demand repair items (such as cables, housing, and brake pads), as well as helmets, locks, lights and other accessories will allow the shop to generate a revenue stream.

TGIF Blog Posts about BicyCAL

Project Posters

2010 2011

2009-2010 Accomplishments

  • Worked with a local bike design firm, which proved difficult since most desired parts were from European distributors. Started looking towards finding local alternatives.
  • Held meetings to finalize storage and security of the mobile bike coop.
  • Developed a recruitment strategy and started posting job descriptions around campus.
  • Decided to purchase a front-load worksman cargo tricycle (
  • Met on a weekly basis to develop the design of the bike, the recruitment plan, and the overall approach, strategy and vision for the student bicycle cooperative.
  • Received reallocation approval from TGIF to use $1000 originally slotted for PR firm to a stipend PR student position ($500/semester x2).
  • Found two core members interested in managing the bike cooperative. One of these students is a freshman who is very interested in managing and helping to gain support from other students on campus. The other student is a senior, but she has great organizational skills and has been a real asset to our past bicycle endeavors.

During the course of the Spring 2010 semester, BicyCAL could be found twice-weekly at the North Gate and on Upper Sproul fixing bikes. The group provided both free maintenance and education for roughly 50-100 bicyclists. BicyCAL's greatest accomplishment was gaining access to a maintenance and educational HUB, to be located in the lower/upper Sproul breezeway. BicyCAL will be setting up a home base for bicycle maintenance and education that will be open 2 days a week starting the Fall 2010 semester. BicyCAL plans on submitting a reallocation for funds so it can put some of the grant money towards the space. BicyCAL's outreach and publicity has been conducted mainly through the repair days and its blog. BicyCAL also distributed materials at the 2010 Bike-to-Work Day and to local bicycle shops.

2010-2011 Accomplishments

November 19, 2010 marked the opening of BicyCAL's free bicycle peer-to-peer maintenance and education shop, located on Sproul Plaza in the Cesar Chavez/MLK stairwell.
BicyCAL helps, on average, 7 customers per day of operation and during the 2010 fall and 2011 spring, BicyCAL held 31+ days of operations, assisting an estimated 220 bicyclists stay on the road. Relying solely on volunteer mechanics, BicyCAL was able to open three days a week, three hours per day during the spring semester. BicyCAL also launched a website and Facebook page.

BicyCAL Customers Spring 2011
Final Report

Next Steps: The two biggest challenges faced by BicyCAL have been recruiting enough volunteer mechanics to provide steady shop services and publicizing BicyCAL's services to the UC Berkeley campus community. BicyCAL plans on tackling these issues in 2011-2012 with the help of a 2011 TGIF Grant, which will provide funding to hire shop staff, and collaboration with Campus Bicycle Initiative, which will help BicyCAL's education and outreach efforts.

BicyCAL at Campus Bike Day2011-2012 Accomplishments

  • Expanded open shops days from 3 days a week to 5 days a week, M-F, fifteen hours per week.
  • Helped 288 bike riders with bicycle repairs.
  • Completed the following services for customers: trued wheels, adjusted brakes, raised seats, indexed derailleurs, tightened loose bottom brackets and helped a customer build a whole bike up from scratch.
  • Received donations from Clif Bar Foundation's 2-Mile Challenge in the form of a new pump, a new tool set, a truing stand, polylube, and Clif Bar seat covers to keep cycler's seats dry when it rains, a donation value of about $1200.
  • Collaborated with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, the Campus Bicycle Initiative, Bike to Work Day, Clif Bar
  • Held free bicycle repair presentations/workshops twice a month on a Wednesday evening at the shop.

Project Photos

Spring 2012 Metrics

BicyCAL Customers Spring 2012

Final Report

2012-2013 Accomplishments:

  • During Summer 2012, BicyCAL opened Fridays from 12-4pm.
  • During Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 BicyCAL ran a bicycle repair DeCAL: Bicycle Mechanics and Repair, Mondays 5PM in 119 Barrows. The DeCAL consisted of 2 hours of lecture per week. Subject matter included the theory behind the basics of bicycle repair and the class provided hands on experience on all components. The class also included 1 hour of field study every two weeks, giving students the opportunity to practice and improve their repair skills at Bike Day, a campus outreach event designed to help other students with their bicycle problems.
  • BicyCAL leaders have been working with Lower Sproul Redevelopment planners, trying to figure out new future space for BicyCAL as their current space is set to be demolished.
  • During Spring 2013, BicyCAL opened 3 times per week Mondays from 12-3pm, Wednesdays from 12:30-2pm and Fridays from 12-3pm.
  • Hired BicyCAL TGIF Funded Interns for Head Mechanic and Operations Intern, but discontinued in Fall 2013 because the people who held the positions were just as happy to do it as a volunteer position.  

Spring 2013 BicyCAL Mechanic Bios 

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.