Bike Works’ Columbia City shop may be operating in a limited fashion (and offering great deals to essential workers), but its usual education programs are shuttered along with so many other parts of society.
But nothing can stop Bike Works from spreading bike-fixing knowledge. And this could be a great time to demystify your bike by teaching yourself how to do basic maintenance on your own. And the Bike Works Virtual Community Resources page could be a great place to start.
If you’re starting at the very beginning, Ricky Rodriguez, Senior Program Coordinator at Bike Works (and maker of Toast Tea Threads wool cycling hats), has a great flat fixing video. He can also teach you how to sew a face mask. Ricky is great.
If you don’t have a flat to fix right now, you can give yourself one using a thumb tack so you can practice. It’s one of those skills that stops being scary or intimidating once you’ve done it once or twice. And since a flat is by far the most common bike maintenance issue, knowing how to fix a flat can feel empowering. It also saves you money.
Bike Works has also posted some handy tools for learning the parts of a bike, which you can use to better search for answers to whatever problem you are troubleshooting. There are so many resources online if you just know the correct words to search.
This is also a great time to learn how to teach bike repair skills to others, including kids. And that’s where Bike Works’ virtual resources really shine. The organization has posted their incredible 254-page Frameworks document (PDF), a huge collection of bike lessons developed for their youth programs. Essentially every part of a bicycle is covered, and lessons on each part include ideas for activities.
Basically, you can use Bike Works’ guide to turn your kid’s bike into a classroom. That’s pretty cool.