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Bicycle Overhaul

I can believe that it’s the last day of Bike School. I’ve been here for three weeks and it was more awesome than I could have imagined. This week we covered brakes, headsets, and re-threading bottom brackets. I also got to bleed two types of hydraulic disc brakes and change the oil on a suspension bike. And the instructors gave us the briefest introduction, just a small taste really, of frame building. I’m pretty sure I need to come back for Bike School’s three different welding classes!!

The instructor told us that suspension systems (now almost standard on mountain bikes) may be the fastest growing part of the bicycle industry. He went on to say that the technology is so impressive that other industries are picking up on it. Clearly, I am far outside the realm of cycling sports, or any sports for that matter, because I had absolutely no idea what sorts of industries he might be talking about. When I asked, he said what now seems pretty obvious: motorcycles and car racing. Right, that makes sense.

On Thursday, to show what we learned, we each did a complete bicycle overhaul. I’m confident that I will get faster. But this time it took me about five hours! It was super, super fun, though. During the last three weeks, we looked at all the systems in a bicycle one at a time. Performing the overhaul was a chance to bring it all together by doing it all at once. The instructors signed off on our work as we went along, and I felt great that their comments about my work just involved minor tweaking, not major things like “that’s not where the pedals go!”

I learned so much in my time at Bike School. I clearly have a lot more practice to do. And I look forward to getting back to Memphis to do just that! I hope I’ll be seeing you around Revolutions, soon. And maybe we can do some wrenching, together!!

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