January 2016 Newsletter

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We hope everyone had a pleasant and enjoyable holiday. As promised, we are going to start some maintenance clinics this month. We apologize for the short notice for the January sessions. The Rockville Best Western (1251 W Montgomery Ave.) has kindly offered space at the back of their dining room for these clinics. Here’s the schedule that we’ve set up:

Saturday, January 16, 1-4pm (Session 1)
Sunday,  January 31, 1-4pm (Session 2)
Monday, February 8, 7-10pm (Session 3)
Sunday, February 21, 1-4pm (Session 1)
Monday, March 14, 7-10pm (Session 2)
Saturday, March 26, 1-4pm (Session 3)
Monday, April 4, 7-10pm (Session 1)
Sunday, April 17, 1-4pm (Session 2)

As a reminder, here are the topics for the clinic sessions:

Session 1: Basic maintenance and roadside repair This session will cover flat repair, adjusting brakes, adjusting derailleurs, chain care, adjusting headsets, pedals, seat position and "evaluation" of your ride for possible participation in session 2 or 3. We will make recommendations for any additional repairs needed, or parts in need of replacement, and provide you with a list of parts to buy. You will become familiar with tools for basic maintenance and roadside repair. We will also cover some basic terminology and names for the parts of a bike.

Session 2: Refurbishing and Deluxe Tune-up – This session will cover replacement of parts such as, cables, cable housing, chains, brake pads; along with more in-depth drivetrain maintenance and cleaning. Basic wheel truing/adjustment will also be covered. Bring the parts recommended for your bike based on the evaluation conducted during session 1, and session 2 will provide an opportunity for you to learn how to perform most of these additional repairs.

Session 3: Special Topics – This will be based on the amount of interest, but sessions could cover more detailed maintenance, repair and/or replacement of bottom brackets, hubs and headsets. Wheel building and checking frame/dropout alignment are other possible topics.

Each session will be 3 hours. We’re looking at a maximum of 10 people per session so that you are guaranteed individual attention and the chance to actually get your hands dirty with your own bike. The cost is $25 for each session. The cost of parts is not included. We may add more sessions if there is enough interest.

We will try to set these clinics up on MeetUp, but we will also take reservations by email. You can send an email to Steve Andruski (swandruski@gmail.com) indicating the clinic date that you’re interested in. For Session 3, please indicate the topic you’re interested in. We should be able to accommodate several different topics on any given date. We are still wrestling with the issue of credit card payments. For now, cash or a check will be the accepted payment methods. You can send payments to the PO box address, or bring cash on that day, but please still email Steve to reserve a spot.

If you have some bike repair knowledge, consider becoming part of our instructor team. Help give others the independence and self-sufficiency that comes with knowing how to do simple repairs. Feel free to email Steve and indicate what topics and dates will work with your schedule.

We will also be attending the Stop, Swap and Save bike flea market in Westminster, MD again on February 14, 2016 (yes, Valentine’s Day!). Stop by, say hi and see what we have for sale at that point, or if you’d like to help work the table for a few hours, email Steve and let him know.

Space, a temporary solution…

The City of Rockville has identified space that we can use until June to store bikes for the City’s TERRIFIC program. We will also be able to use the space to work on the bikes. While it is temporary, it will be a big help. We will be working to acquire 50-60 bikes ranging in sizes from small 14 inch wheel kids bikes, all the way up to bikes with 26 inch wheels and ~13 inch frames. We will be finalizing the arrangements with the City this week, and we will then post a formal call for bike donations, but feel free to pass the word. Along with bikes, we are looking for people to be part of the team to coordinate donations and help arrange work sessions to refurbish the bikes. Email Steve Andruski for more information (swandruski@gmail.com).