Cargo bicycle frame building school

Frame building apprenticeship emphasizes cargo bicycles building

The Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT) announced a new apprenticeship program to teach the fundamentals of bicycle frame building, with particular emphasis on the construction of cargo bicycles, tricycles and trailers. CAT will also provide participants with hands-on instruction for starting and operating a successful cargo bicycle delivery service — a 100% CO2-free method of urban cargo transportation. Participants in this five-month apprenticeship will take home the skills and designs they will need to build their own manufacturing business and delivery service.

Utilizing the principles of social enterprise, sustainability, and appropriate technology, graduates of CAT’s apprenticeship program can join a cargo bicycle business network that will be based on concepts derived from micro and social franchising, as well as flexible manufacturing networks. “We are an organization committed to community involvement in manufacturing, using, and advocating for sustainable modes of transportation—and local business,” said Jan VanderTuin, director at the Center for Appropriate Transport. “What we have done in our community, we are certain graduates from this program can do in theirs. Our intent is to create a Human Powered Network.”

The bicycles that participants will learn how to build are based on European designs researched by VanderTuin in the early 1980s. CAT uses the cargo bikes, tricycles and trailers it builds to operate Pedalers Express, Eugene, Oregon’s first and only year round, all-weather, cargo bicycle delivery service.

The 5 month CAT program teaches:

    • The history of cargo bikes, trailers, trikes and recumbents.
    • How to build various Human Powered Machines cargo bike
    designs. All participants will build a cargo bike frameset of
    their own (cost included in tuition!)
    • Bike maintenance and repair including advanced repair
    (frame alignment, braze-ons, dropout replacement, etc.)
    • Welding, machining and powdercoating.
    • How to set up a retail shop with a workspace rental area.
    • The operation of a cargo transport business.
    • Skills for instructing youth and adults, management of a
    non-profi t social enterprise, bookkeeping, etc.
    • Marketing skills, website and graphic design.
    • How to be an affiliate of Trips for Kids and how to run a Valet Bike Parking program.
    • Organic gardening, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), waste recycling and vermiculture.

For details, registration and costs, visit CAT’s cargo frame building apprenticeship program page.

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