ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – This time last year, Jackie Musick was a mechanic at a Sacramento bike shop.
Then wheels began to turn when someone from Roseville’s Cooley Middle School asked him if he’d teach a new program called “Geared Up.”
“I can’t take credit for pioneering the program. There’s a program up in Nevada City called ‘the Bicycle Recycle Project,’” Musick said.
Geared Up is a class at Cooley Middle School. Some kids take it for part of the year, others the entire school year.
The nuts and bolts of it? They fix bikes.
“So there is actually a pretty good amount of science technology, engineering, mathematics stuff, the STEM elements,” Musick said. “They call them that we’re kind of sneaking under the radar.”
Before Geared Up got off the ground, it needed the one thing to get them in motion: bikes.
That’s where the Roseville Police Department came in.
“This is all just kind of happening at the same time. It was pretty cool,” said Sgt. Josh Simon from the Roseville Police Department.
Sergeant Simon runs the Roseville Police Activities League (RPAL), which collects lost or stolen bikes that go unclaimed. Most are in bad shape.
RPAL started a program to repair the bikes and give them back to people in need, but it never really got off the ground.
“There was a period of time where the bikes in the storage shed just sat,” Sgt. Simon said.
Then Cooley’s vice principal called, asking if Simon and RPAL had any extra bikes for the new Geared Up program.
It sure did.
“RPAL has come through in a huge way. So far they’ve donated about 30 bikes, I believe, and they just have a constant flow for us when we need them,” Musick said.
Now the wheels are spinning, and Cooley middle schoolers are getting the bikes back in tip-top shape.
“I ride scooters, but I wanted to do this just so I could have the experience,” said seventh grader Nick Williams.
Students like learning how to fix things, but they say the best part of it all is giving the bikes back to RPAL, which then gives them to people in need.
“Helping other people that need bikes,” Josiah Donaldson said.
Glenn Tate had the honor of receiving the first bike rebuilt by Geared Up students.
“It’s a really good quality bike and it’s going to get me through the season for sure,” Tate said.
Tate is a senior at Roseville High School. He wanted to join the mountain biking club this year, but didn’t have a bike or the means to get one.
“I talked to the teacher and everything and he said maybe they could find, like, a good deal and everything. But mountain bikes are really really expensive,” Tate said.
Tate’s mom Brenda called RPAL, which had just started the partnership with Cooley. It was perfect timing.
The students fixed up a Specialized bike in about a week.
Glenn’s now ready to ride when the mountain biking club begins practice in December, thanks to a program helping people reach a new gear.
The Cooley Middle School Geared Up! Bicycle Technology Program accepts tax deductible donations of any used bicycle or bicycle part, regardless of condition. If you have a donation, please contact Jackie Musick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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