Special Projects

In addition to operating our community bike shop, the Yellow Bike Project serves the community with many specialized programs and partnerships to meet particular needs.

Read below to learn about a few of our past projects:

yellow bikes on truck

Yellow Bikes

On January 25, 1997, with the aid of Austin Bikes Not Bombs, the original YBP volunteers released the first 24 Yellow Bikes. Modeled after the Dutch White Bikes of the 1960s, Yellow Bikes are community bikes that are free to ride but not to keep. These bikes had been destined for the landfill, but were redirected out of the refuse stream, reconditioned, and released for everyone to share. To date, YBP has released hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of Yellow Bikes.

Wondering why you never see Yellow Bikes in the wild? We don’t make them anymore (reead our Q&A to learn more).

Hurricane Katrina Relief

Following Hurricane Katrina, YBP joined a large transportation relief effort in cooperation with Bicycle Sport Shop, Austin Cycling Association, and Katrina Relief Austin. In the months following the storm, YBP repaired and gave away over 300 bicycles to Katrina evacuees. This massive undertaking remains among both the most urgent and most successful efforts in YBP’s history.

Special Olympics

In autumn 2006, YBP donated bikes to the San Antonio area chapter of Special Olympics Texas to train for their Winter Games. With athletes who did not own bikes and a program lacking sufficient funding to purchase them, YBP’s aid enabled the San Antonio team to compete in this event for the first time.

Casa Marianella

Casa Marianella provides shelter and services for recently arrived asylees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in East Austin. Building a life in a new home is not an easy task, and lack of access to transportation only makes it harder. In 2011, YBP fixed up a small fleet of bikes for Casa to be shared by residents during their stay. This partnership continues, and Casa staff, volunteers, and residents can visit the shop to repair the bikes as needed at no cost.

Hope Alliance

2011 also saw YBP donating adult and kids’ bikes to the Hope Alliance in Round Rock, providing a means of transportation and recreation to those seeking shelter from domestic and sexual violence.


HONK!TX is a free, family friendly festival of community street bands from across the country. Since their inaugural event in 2011, YBP has provided roughly 40 to 50 loaner bikes for unpaid musicians visiting from out of town, mitigating the need for personal automobiles while making their stay as much fun for them as it is for us. The bikes are then returned to the shop to be sold or used for other special projects.