In an effort to keep bikers on the road, Sunrise Cyclery is offering free mechanic classes at their store.
The classes’ purpose is “to get people to feel more comfortable about working on their bike and hopefully it entices them to ride their bike more,” said Alexandra Bobella, the store’s manager.
The store first offered the classes last summer. After taking a break for the fall and winter, Bobella started teaching them again in June. She said she plans on teaching them throughout the year now and hopes people who attend the class will feel like bike maintenance is more accessible to them.
“Hopefully people won’t feel like it is such a huge investment, that they can do work themselves and they can just be on the road again,” Bobella said.
Kim Richardson Barker has been road biking for about four years now and said beyond the exercise benefit, she likes to bike because it helps her stay calm and clear her head. She started attending the repair classes last year and enjoys being able to troubleshoot the issues she has with her bike.
“It is really frustrating when you want to go on a bike ride and there is something wrong,” Richardson Barker said.
This knowledge is empowering for Richardson Barker and she likes being able to share it with her family members.
“My most favorite thing I learned is cleaning your chain,” Richardson Barker said. “I tell everybody. Cleaning your chain and lubing it is easy. You can do it with a toothbrush and a couple of little products, and it changes your bike.”
When it comes to maintenance, Bobella said she thinks learning how to fix the bike’s derailleur, which shifts gears, is surprisingly easy. Her favorite thing to teach people is how to fix a flat.
“We teach the old fashioned (method),” Bobella said. “You use your hands completely as best as you can, and that prevents you from causing a flat while trying to fix your flat.”
Richardson Barker said she thinks women are sometimes scared of going to bike shops and asking questions, but Sunrise helps alleviate those fears.
“Sunrise is very accessible,” she said.