As a kid I had a dream – I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed. ~ John Lennon
Our first ever Transition Tynedale bike maintenance course was for everyone…
Well what can I say, the hall heaved (throughout the morning about 12 popped in, a good number) with enthusiastic cyclists determined to begin the first Open University cycle maintenance course to take place in Hexham. The atmosphere was thick with
Introductions were made…seemed more like therapy than maintenance: ‘As a lad I cycled from Bradford to Blackpool, I remember sleeping out under the stars’. Not a dry eye in the house… ‘My dad painted a silver Lilly on my bike’. Seeing that the emotional trauma might create an unmanageable situation we moved swiftly on.
Next, a test: Love your bike, know your bike. It was stressed this wasn’t a pass fail situation, just a general, what do you know, it’s a thingy bit, or a whatchamacallit, wasn’t allowed. Lots of laughs and no one made to look a fool, created for a brilliant atmosphere.
The rest of the session trundled along at a steady pace, punctuated with much frivolity, heaps of cakes (thanks Kat), liquid refreshment and sage advice from our resident expert Doctor John (otherwise known as John Swan from the Bike Shop Hexham).
Instructions on how to check, wash and lubricate your bike. Is your bike set up right? What tools do you need to make a roadside repair? Simple but important information to keep you enjoying your bike and the simple pleasures of cycling.
For those that wanted it, a ride took place, a chance to take trusty steeds off on another adventure, new frontiers, only for the brave (I exaggerate). Next time we must get more onboard for this unique opportunity to experience formation cycling, following the race line, no hands- only joking.
Quote of the day: ‘This course has saved my life…’ Yes, saved a life. The cyclist will remain nameless but he will be ever thankful for the course and the dedicated skills of a team who averted almost certain catastrophe. His life was hanging by a thread, or rather his
brake cable was, a single strand of rusty wire between him and the unthinkable. He lives to cycle another day.
The time passed quickly and before we knew it, time to wipe greasy hands and put the tools away. New friends made, new skills developed and a desire to learn more, another session will take place just watch this space. Everyone seemed to think the course was fun, enjoyed the experience and learnt something.
A huge thanks to: Doctor John Swan, Phil, Barbara, David, Ted, Wenda from Sustrans, Kat, the excellent cake maker, and all those who rolled up to make it thoroughly enjoyable experience.
If you want to support, or undertake some simple fun cycle maintenance, please contact me through Transition Tynedale.