Do you know how to repair a flat tire or fix a chain that’s fallen out of the derailer? I’ll confess, I don’t know how to do either of these things and it’s one of my biggest fears while riding; I’ll get stranded with a flat or loosely hanging chain. As embarrassing as this is, lacking the skills to fix these simple problems is an easy fix because local bike organizations and some bike stores offer free bike maintenance workshops. Yes, you read that right: FREE!
Take for instance the <a href=”http://www.bicyclekitchen.com/” target=”_blank”>Bicycle Kitchen</a> in Los Angeles. They are a nonprofit bicycle repair organization run by volunteers who offer tools and stands for individuals to work on their bikes. The volunteers won’t necessarily fix your bike for you, but they will teach you how to repair common problems such as flats or derailed chains. They ask for a $7 donation, but it’s a <em>donation</em>. If a person really doesn’t have the cash, they won’t turn them away. Their goal is to encourage biking and that means being able to keep your bike in working order.
Another option is local colleges. In Long Beach, <a href=”http://www.bikelongbeach.org/Events/Read.aspx?ArticleId=50″ target=”_blank”>California State University Long Beach</a> has partnered up with the city to offer classes on basic bike safety, including simple repairs. Depending on how bike friendly your city is, this might be an excellent option to learn how to work on your bike and brush up on bicycling safety.
Nonprofit organizations, such as <a href=”http://toddscalendar.com/event/2012-01-29/free-workshop-bicycle-maintenance” target=”_blank”>Boone Bike Initiative</a> in North Carolina offer free bicycle maintenance workshops.
Since classes are free, or very low cost, many of these organizations have a limit to the amount of participants. Some allow you to sign up in advance, like the Boon Bike Initiative, and others are first-come-first-serve.
<em><strong>What are you waiting for? Learn how to repair a flat!</strong></em>