Revolutions Bicycle Co-Op

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Back to School

It took some doing getting to Ashland because the new cargo bike is 6 ½ feet long! And there were six of us inside, with Teddy’s parents along for the fun. But we made it and it is a beautiful mountain town.

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Bike school started on Monday and it is amazing. The class format is lecture, demonstration and then try it out for ourselves! On Day 1 we did wheels, hubs, freewheels and cassettes and wheel truing. Then we came back on Day 2 and moved on to pedals, chains, cranksets, chainrings and bottom brackets.

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Look at this tool set up! There is one or two students per station and eight stations!

The instructors are just super. They offer great advice but consistently let me do the work. One instructor even crossed his arms over his chest, one time when I asked a question, showing me that he was not going to grab the tools and do it for me. Other times, an instructor will show me the work on my own bike. But they are always sure to either undo that work or let me do it on the other side.

When I came to Bike School, wheel hubs were something that truly baffled me. At Revolutions, I have watched others clean the hubs. But how to use the wrenches just made no sense. I now have a very good understanding of what is happening and how to do it. I found the same thing with pedals. Yesterday, the instructor showed us where to stand, how to hold the wrenches and how to use my body weight to my advantage. I have not, once, had anyone say that I am too small to work on a bike. But they have given me tips on how to gain greater mechanical advantage, if I’m having trouble getting enough strength behind a maneuver.

Our bikes on the work stands:

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Tuesdays and Thursdays offer an after-class session to try something out again. Last night I did my front hub after doing the rear hub in class. It was great to have more time to practice.

With a nine hour day, there’s not a lot of study and reflection time afterwards. But I am learning lots and asking lots of questions!!

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