Cycletastic is a community project in the Kilburn area with the aim of providing access to cycling. As I have written in previous posts, I am mainly involved when there are Dr Bike events (what are those?) that need someone to help organise the people and the volunteers, acting as the go-between.
However, Cycletastic is now moving ahead from just providing a bike maintenance service to people, to one where they also help teach people how to maintain their bikes. The first basic course was set yesterday, and as a complete novice at this, I decided to go along.
We were around 6 trainees in all at the course, with Chris, a Cycletastic volunteer and qualified instructor, and another 4 volunteers with cycle maintenance experience. This meant that I could always pull someone over to my bike if I had a problem quite quickly – very good for impatient me!
Being a basic course, the first part of the afternoon was filled with learning basic things about the bikes, such as what kind of bike we have (I have a mountain bike!), and how you can tell the different bikes apart. We also got a basic overview of the different parts of the bike. It was soon time to start getting down and dirty though!
One of the most common repairs probably required is the fixing of a puncture. So this is what the course mainly focussed on. We learnt how to remove the front and the back wheel of the bike, and this was followed with how to fix a puncture, and which punctures are too bad to fix, and a new inner tube is probably preferable.
Unfortunately, this took quite long for the novices we were, and the time soon ran out. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t have time for more – I want to learn it all, and I want to learn it now! Yes I know – there is the intermediate and advanced courses coming up, and we were all invited to go up to the shed whenever we want to learn more, and get on with fixing our own bike.
All in all a positive experience. There was enough material in the course to keep me engaged, but not too much that it was overwhelming!I felt that the speed was good for the novices it was meant for. Good job Chris!
As for you? Are you interested in learning something about bike maintenance? There is another basic course coming up in November. If you are a bit more advanced, there are also intermediate and advanced courses if you’re interested! There are still some places available on some of the courses, so do get in contact with Josie if you’re interested!