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eminva
08-21-2013, 08:55 AM
Hello --

Earlier this month, I took an Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance Class at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR. My purpose was to learn a little more than I could in a shop class so that I could do the basic maintenance for our family's bikes and also to be better informed when I help others, either along the trail or in the 'hood. I was also visiting a friend in Ashland and enjoying that region.

The class was thorough, well organized and interesting and I learned a ton! The instructors were knowledgeable and patient. The classroom was well stocked with tools and had plenty of workspace. Hopefully I will remember 10% of what I learned.

Our class materials consisted of the Park Tool Blue Book and a folder that had an syllabus/outline in it. Each day we focused on a different part of the bike. First the instructors demonstrated and then we did the same thing hands on (either with our own bike or a school-supplied bike). The instructors watched us work, answered questions and provided troubleshooting assistance. By the end of the week we had completely overhauled a bike.

There were 16 students in the class. Most were like me, cycling enthusiasts who wanted to learn more for their own edification. There were others who were seeking employment in the bike industry or had the goal of operating a bike shop or bike rental business (and several stayed a couple weeks longer for the "pro" course).

I feel like I learned more than I could have taught myself. We are fortunate in our region to have several bike co-ops, like Velocity, and maybe with time and patience I could have learned as much at one of those places, but it seemed impossible to make the time for that in my hectic life. This way I got a comprehensive education in a short time frame.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Here are some photos:


Working on Brakes:
3530

Bottom Bracket All Taken Apart:
3531

Graduation!
3532

Liz

consularrider
08-21-2013, 09:49 AM
Someone I've ridden with took a similar class through Cycle Life in Georgetown a couple years ago. It was once a week for about two months and was sponsored by Park Tools. The Park Tool website includes a locator (http://www.parktool.com/dealer/locator?radius=50&location=arlington%2C+va&is_parktool_school=on) for Park Tool school participants. That's all well and good, but I went into a couple of the shops websites and this isn't something that they prominently featured, probably have to contact the shop directly to see what they are doing. Still, it is something I'd like to do.

ShawnoftheDread
08-21-2013, 09:59 AM
I can't wait until Liz quits this lawyering stuff and opens a bike shop.

dasgeh
08-21-2013, 10:02 AM
I can't wait until Liz quits this lawyering stuff and opens a bike shop.

There are probably enough of us to open up a law firm/bike shop combo...

eminva
08-21-2013, 10:47 AM
I can't wait until Liz quits this lawyering stuff and opens a bike shop.


There are probably enough of us to open up a law firm/bike shop combo...

Not to burst anyone's bubble, but one of the instructors was talking to a few of us during a break about the economics of owning or working in a bike shop. So that plan will only exist in the dream world, at least for me.

More interesting are retirement possibilities -- the man sitting next to me in the graduation photo is retiring from his career in San Francisco and is opening a bike rental operation at the largest state park in California.

Liz

consularrider
08-21-2013, 10:49 AM
Not to burst anyone's bubble, but one of the instructors was talking to a few of us during a break about the economics of owning or working in a bike shop. So that plan will only exist in the dream world, at least for me.

More interesting are retirement possibilities -- the man sitting next to me in the graduation photo is retiring from his career in San Francisco and is opening a bike rental operation at the largest state park in California.

Liz
Let's see, I'm due to retire next year ..... just saying. ;)

ShawnoftheDread
08-21-2013, 10:58 AM
So that plan will only exist in the dream world, at least for me.

Liz

Booo!

Steve
08-21-2013, 12:26 PM
Someone I've ridden with took a similar class through Cycle Life in Georgetown a couple years ago. It was once a week for about two months and was sponsored by Park Tools. The Park Tool website includes a locator (http://www.parktool.com/dealer/locator?radius=50&location=arlington%2C+va&is_parktool_school=on) for Park Tool school participants. That's all well and good, but I went into a couple of the shops websites and this isn't something that they prominently featured, probably have to contact the shop directly to see what they are doing. Still, it is something I'd like to do.

Yep, I did the Park Tools School at Spokes (http://spokesetc.com/about/park-tool-school-pg965.htm) and really enjoyed it. It sounds like maybe mine was a little bit less hands on than Liz's, but still I thought a worthwhile time for a novice. I learned quite a bit and it has helped me with at least the minor repairs and adjustments that I have made over time.