2022 Grants Challenge

Human-powered revolution for community by community

Idea by Re:Ciclos

Re:Ciclos recycles discarded bicycles and scrap metal to redesign and refabricate them into Cargo Bicycles that are painted by local artists and redistributed to community members, businesses or organizations to utilize them in their daily lives in combating greenhouse gas emissions and structural racism. We work to contribute to a more peaceful, healthy, ecological and fun Los Angeles while engaging young adults from local educational institutions in an apprentice program actuating workforce development and youth empowerment.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

CRSP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Climate and Environment

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Los Angeles’s urban planning is structured around single-occupant motor vehicular transportation rooted in structural racism, environmental inequity and unsustainable mobility. Our city allocates more space to moving, storing, fueling and transporting cars than any other kind of space, including housing, green space or schools. Re:Ciclos is a project directly addressing this unjust and unecological reality, especially in BIPOC communities, by recycling bicycles and scrap metal to redesign and refabricate them into cargo bicycles that are then distributed to a diverse set of community members who are committed to replacing as many car trips as possible in their daily lives. The project additionally works with young adults in an apprentice program to actuate workforce development and youth empowerment in fostering new leaders while collaborating with local artists to paint our cargo bikes in solidarity with our vision of a healthy, ecological and sustainable future for all.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Funding from the LA2050 Grant supports general operations, facilities and staffing for Re:Ciclos to continue developing its current cargo bicycle fabrication and apprentice projects and to grow its capacity both internally and externally. Our project is specifically seeking additional funds toward hiring a Communications and Media Coordinator staff member to assist in the vital work of public engagement, dissemination of information and on-the-ground community outreach. Our project strives to continue to create strong and impactful programming and to replicate its efforts around the county in community maker spaces, bicycle repair co-ops and educational institutions in an effort to provide this essential resource to as many communities as possible. The benefits of the Re:Ciclos cargo bike project include: >Reduced greenhouse gas emissions >More peaceful and healthy communities and community members >Youth empowerment and leadership building >Improved congestion, as 60% of car trips made are 5 miles or less >Active transportation and engaging civic life >Reinvestment in local economies by creating human-scaled cycles of commerce

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

A Re:Ciclos-envisioned future Los Angeles is one where historically marginalized communities are actively building healthy, vibrant, community-focused forms of mobility to combat global climate disruption, mobility injustice and deteriorated urban life due to the excesses of car infrastructure and culture. Funding from LA2050 would ensure that we can continue to build cargo bikes and distribute to communities most in need and to help develop new leaders in our apprentices who are not just a future workforce, but a future political body. Our clients and apprentices alike take an active participatory role in creating a new paradigm for healthy transportation. Re:Ciclos intends to build 2 cargo bicycles a month in 2023 in our shop space and grow in the years to come to build 20 cargo bikes a month collectively around the county to engage with communities on the local level and help usher in sustainable mobility practices in the neighborhoods most in need.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

In late 2020, amid the Covid pandemic, Re:Ciclos worked with a young man in the gang-prevention program with the Bresee Foundation. Our young apprentice spent 10 days building a cargo bicycle for a local bread maker looking to sell her goods at farmer’s markets. The proof of concept was delivered and today our young apprentice will be entering a welding program at Los Angeles Trade Tech College and our client has since gotten rid of her car. This account exemplifies the cross-sectional impact that Re:Ciclos produces. Through miles traveled on our cargo bikes, materials diverted from the waste stream, greenhouse gas emissions reduced, car congestion lessened and more active-transportation space utilized, our program both helps our clients and apprentices lead by example and helps our city generate and track vital usage and mapping data on the environmental, social and political benefits to our diverse communities when we have access to clean, just and fun mobility.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 60

Indirect Impact: 10,000