November Newsletter

The regular Farmers Market appearances are almost done for the season, with our last Saturday appearance on November 14th. The Pike Central Market closes the weekend of November 21st and will reopen next April. Look for us to be back there in the spring. However, there’s no need to fret! We’re planning workshops/clinics on specific topics starting after the holidays in January. Here’s what we’re working on:

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 3-4 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 will repeat sessions if there is enough interest.

Let us know what you think about these clinics. Give us feedback on topics, on what days of the week would work best for you (weekday evenings or weekends) and on pricing. We want to encourage as much participation as possible while still covering costs. Also, if you already have some mechanical skills, let us know if you’d be interested in volunteering at one of these clinics. Watch our website, facebook page and meetup site for the final schedule of clinics.

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.

Space, the final frontier…

Well, OK, maybe not the final frontier, but as we head into our second year as an organization, space has become a higher priority, second only to growing our volunteer and client base. Our primary space requirement right now is planning for the acquisition of bikes for the City of Rockville’s TERRIFIC program for next year. We will be working to acquire 50-60 bikes ranging in sizes from small 14 inch wheel kids bikes, to bikes with 26 inch wheels and ~13 inch frames. We currently have around 12 bikes stored in the workshops and basements of Board members. This makes it easy to work on them a bit at a time, but we are rapidly running out of space. After all, each of us on the Board have our own bikes and our family’s bikes to store too.

For this year’s TERRIFIC program, we had the temporary use of one of the milking barns at the King Farm Farmstead. This is where Bikes for the World had been storing their bikes after they had to move out of the hay barn due to structural issues, and before they were asked to leave King Farm completely. Unfortunately, the City required us to move any remaining bikes out of the milking barn after May’s bike giveaway. While the City determines the fate of the buildings at the King Farm farmstead, we have been told that no one can use that space.

Therefore, we are in search of a place to at least store bikes for the TERRIFIC program as we accumulate them. The City is looking into whether they can provide a space, but we are reaching out to our supporters to see if anyone else has a connection in the Rockville area that might be helpful.