Sunday, October 23, 2005

Community Cycling Project, Saturday, October 22

We had 5 students for yesterday’s class. Unfortunately, there were 5 no-shows. This had the practical effect of making the class a lot less stressful, and getting the bikes ready was a breeze. Usually, we let the students choose a bike in their size prior to the start of the classroom instruction, then attach a rack, fenders, and accessories. This makes for a busy morning. But with only 3 students in need of bikes, it was easy.

Tom Brown was there to help with the mechanical work. Tom’s a genuine, professional bike mechanic with a shop in Tulsa. He works quickly and efficiently. I’m much slower and I could learn a lot from him. One problem I’ve run into is being unable to complete some job because I don’t have the appropriate tool. Tom suggested that four of us meet at the shop after hours periodically to get the donated bikes ready. This is an idea worth pursuing.

Another idea we talked about was getting some kids interested in bicycle repair, perhaps through Scouts.

Brian Potter did most of the lecture, with some assistance from Gary Parker and Sandra Crisp.

One student was my son, Jordan. He liked the practical part of the class, but like most kids, he wasn’t too excited about sitting through lectures. He gets plenty of that in school. The kid is growing fast. He’s outgrown his old Nishiki, so I set up my Schwinn High Sierra as a single-speed for him. He was thrilled! The kid rode it like an over-sized BMX bike, bouncing around the parking lot, and just generally showing off.

We broke for a late lunch at Mexicali, a Mexican restaurant north of downtown. It usually takes some time to deliver the food there, so Brian took advantage of that to do some additional instruction. We had a leisurely meal, but then I realized we had only 3 hours until sunset and there were more parking lot drills to cover, as well as the check rides.

We managed to finish up just as it was getting dark. Jordan and I weren’t staying for the Commuter course, so we pushed off for home. He helped me unload the bikes, tools, and equipment from the car. We just stacked all of it in the garage. I was too tired to put it away. A couple of ibuprofen helped as did a hot shower. I fell asleep fast!


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