I thought people might like to hear, how cyclists are making use of the Workshop these days. This was Saturday, 29th April... morning session.
Refreshments! - tea and coffee, cooled water occasionally, fruit, sticky buns and scones…volunteers and workers can help themselves any time, or stop for a mid-morning tea break and chat..
Helping school bike project get started: We sorted out 6 suitable bikes and parts, to help a school set up a bike work project - see earlier post. the 6 bikes were taken back to Mike's house, and the school picked them up from there during the week.
2 or 3 people brought bikes for a check-up 1st bike: back V- brakes rubbing one side. Cause: 1 non-functioning spring . V-brakes come in all shapes and sizes, so we wouldn’t have another spring on hand for that particular model. Also, if one side brok , the other may be weak. . We got a new set of second-hand set of V-brakes from a salvage bike, swapped brake blocks , fitted and adjusted. Also replaced cables and outers – we have stocks of new cables; a roll of new cable housing, and a good pair of cable cutters .
2nd bike: someone told the owner “she ought to get someone to have a look at the gears” – so she did. Gears worked OK , but the back brake needed adjusting – the brake lever hit the handlebar before the brake was fully on . We shortened the cable somewhat; and showed the owner, how to fine tune the brake to the way she liked it, while riding. Some people like brakes to feel hard; others like them to be soft and gradual.
1 person wanted to practise spoke-work/trueing. He brought a buckled steel-rim wheel from his run-about bike, to do up on the wheel jig. He had the jig to himself for an hour or two, and by that time, had the hang of it. It’s not difficult, but just takes concentration at first, you have to think what you are doing. But most people find, it soon becomes second nature. Buckled rims often true out surprisingly well, and he got his within 2 mm of true, ie usable. If you know trueing you can also (a) true wheels at home (using the brake blocks, a jig is better, but isn’t essential); and (b) replace broken spokes.
Shipping Container now fitted out, with shelves down one side, and a hanging rail for bikes down the other, and boxes for sorted spares. We can store 30+ bikes on the hanging rail (pedals off, handlebars sideways, to fit them in). Makes it easier for people to find parts they need - or look at bikes on hand, to purchase or do up
Bike parts stock-pile; fast becoming one of the Bike Workshop's key resources. 7 or 8 bikes were stripped, for parts, especially common parts like saddles, pedals, bar ends, that often wear out. The bikes were old worn or rusty, so required a lot of work to get going. Even if restored, no one might want them. So they were not worthwile for "Bikes for Refugees" to take on. As they were fairly common makes - we felt they wouldnt interest anyone else either. As well as the usual haul of pedals, saddles handlebar grips and brakes - there was a Campagnolo headset; and a set of Shimano 600 gear.
The stock pile is also open to the public, to look through to get parts. We sell these to raise funds.. One visitor was e.g interested in old leather saddles, as he is able to replace the dry cracked leather & make a saddle as good as new out of it. We didnt have any of what he was looking for - but had fun hearing about it - and will keep an eye open.
Bikes for Refugees scheme:
1 guy from a refugee community, picked up his bike (a black 12 speed roadster), we’d done up for him the week before, along with a helmet, and rode home.
3 families dropped by, to donate bikes to “Bikes for Refugees”: a nice Cyclops scooter, flame orange; a good 20 in boys mountain bike; a rather good road racer, and a rather good mountain bike. We gave these numbers and tags; recorded details; then removed pedals and loosened handlebars, for storage . They’ll stay in the container, until we get an order from a welfare for bikes for a refugee family. It’s at that stage, we check them over.
Visitors: 3 or 4 other people came for a visit/look round.
This is a fairly typical Saturday morning, 3 or 4 volunteers, and maybe 10-15 visitors. Workshop is open 9 to 12, all welcome.
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