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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083

    Volunteering as a local mechanic?

    I'm considering volunteering as a mechanic/bike helper in my area. Has anyone here experience from something similar?

    I see badly kept bikes all the time, especially kid's bikes, and it makes my fingers itch. It would take me 15 minutes tops to make many of these much nicer to ride, just by lubing the chain, adjusting the brakes and topping up the tires. Oh, and adjusting the seat post to a good height. Many parents around here buy bikes for their kids but don't ride themselves, and I'm guessing they're just a bit clueless about normal maintenance. And as a total stranger I can't just walk over to some random kids in the neighbourhood and start complaining about their bikes ;-) I have a grown kid myself, so I don't know the younger ones any more.

    So I'm wondering how to arrange this. I'm thinking one evening a week for a month, because it's easy to remember. "Bike Tuesday", every Tuesday in May, for instance. And I'll be at home, where I have a bike stand and all the tools, so it'll be strictly local. I want it to be very very low-key, so that kids will feel comfortable just wandering by if they're curious. So no phoning ahead for an appointment. But - that means I may end up with a frustrated line of ten kids who turn up at the same time. And I'm only one person, so there's a limit on how fast I can work and how many bikes I can take.

    Any ideas on how to arrange this in a sensible way, without making it too formal?

    (I tried holding a maintenance course for teenagers once btw, which was hugely frustrating, as they expected to be entertained and allowed to interrupt and do other stuff throughout. I am not a born teacher! I ended up reading the paper and telling them to ask me if they wanted to learn something.)
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,204
    What a wonderful way of sharing your expertise!!!!!
    Perhaps talking to the parents of children whose bikes could use some help about your willingness to work on their bikes for free and help the child learn about maintenance.....that could be a good way to start out and get parents and children talking about it.

    My only experience is when I first moved here I joined a group of women who got non-working bikes from police auctions, rebuilt them and gave them to organizations who passed them on to children in need. It was a good experience all around!
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    What a wonderful way of sharing your expertise!!!!!
    Perhaps talking to the parents of children whose bikes could use some help about your willingness to work on their bikes for free and help the child learn about maintenance.....that could be a good way to start out and get parents and children talking about it.

    My only experience is when I first moved here I joined a group of women who got non-working bikes from police auctions, rebuilt them and gave them to organizations who passed them on to children in need. It was a good experience all around!
    Thank you! I hope to make this work. If there's not enough interest or need right here there's a school just down the street where I could post a sign.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

 

 

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