SBTS Knights of the Lost Sierra Earn-A-Bike Program

Emma smiling with her Santa Cruz Chameleon bike.

SBTS is excited to announce the return of its Knights of the Lost Sierra Earn-A-Bike Program! Through the generosity of Michael Knighten’s original 5 Bucks-A-Foot Santa Cruz Bicycles donations, SBTS was able to start this Earn-A-Bike Program in 2018. Michael won the 5 Bucks-A-Foot bicycle and could have chosen any Santa Cruz bicycle worth up to $10,000. Instead, he worked with SBTS to supply five Santa Cruz Chameleon bicycles to local youth instead of reaping the benefit himself. Talk about paying it forward.

We are excited to continue this program and provide the opportunity to earn a SALSA RANGEFINDER mountain bike in 2023 in honor of the late TJ Stalzer, an avid mountain biker who recently passed away doing what he loved- mountain biking. TJ loved biking the Downieville trails that SBTS maintains, so his friends and family raised funds to donate to SBTS in his honor: “We feel it is a fitting tribute to have his friends and family donate to the organization that has been responsible for building and maintaining so many of the trails that he loved, so that future generations of riders can share in that enjoyment – the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.” We thought it fitting to use the funds to bring back Earn A Bike and provide the opportunity for local youth to share in the love TJ had for our trails and mountain biking.

Maintaining trailHow it Works

In order to Earn A Bike, participants agree to volunteer with SBTS in an industry education and training program that includes trail stewardship and event management.

In order to earn the Salsa Rangefinder bike, the following requirements must be met:

  • At least 8 dates of service, totaling 60 hours of volunteer work
  • At least one day engaging in event management operations of a large scale SBTS
  • event. Options include:
    • Quincy Epics April 28-30 & September 22-24
    • Lost & Found Gravel Festival June 3-4
    • Downieville Classic July 15-16
      • *Other event prep/service opportunities will be available to round out the 60 hours if desired
  • 40 hours minimum diggin’ dirt on Lost Sierra Trails. Options include:
    • Weekend Mountain Epics
    • Trail Daze or any other SBTS coordinated volunteer day
    • Students must bring a family member/friend to TWO diggin’ days
  • Attend an end-of-program BBQ/bike ride on the new Rangefinder to celebrate your
  • accomplishment and honor TJ’s memory.
  • Write a thank you letter to TJ’s family and friends for their generosity and paying it
  • forward.

In an essay or video submission, applicants should answer the following questions:

  • Name, School, Grade, Phone number, Email
  • What do you know about Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship and the organization’s mission? What does community mean to you? How does your community support you?
  • Why is service important?
  • What can you gain from providing service to your community?
  • Why are you excited to help improve and steward public lands?
  • How will you challenge yourself in this program?
  • What are you most excited to learn about through the program?
  • What strengths will you bring to the program?
  • Why do you want to Earn A Bike?

Please send questions and applications to Kyle Stone, Program Manager, at