Before we get on with the post here’s a musical interlude to get you in the mood.
On my list of things to do before I’m 60 I have the challenge of completing a long-distance bike ride. I have a bike – it cost me £10 from a charity shop. I even have a couple of panniers – they cost a couple of quid each from Lidl in Germany. So I’m all set to go, right? Well, not quite. I know nothing about bike maintenance and as my bike is old and cheap this could be a problem. I’ve read blogs by long distance cyclists who have experienced all kinds of problems with their top of the range bikes, so I’m sure to experience a few jitters from my super cheap bike.
With this in mind I went in search of a cycle maintenance course that would at least teach me the basics. I found this course run by Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. They hold various courses in various places, including an all-day intensive cycle maintenance course in Manchester for £49.
The course promises to teach:
- Puncture repair: wheel removal, locating punctures, fixing punctures, wheel refitting.
- Wheel truing – essential for better braking.
- Brake adjustment for powerful, silent stopping.
- Adjusting hub bearings for maximum life and smooth running.
- Gear adjustment: including fitting new cables and fine tuning front and rear mechanisms.
- Bottom bracket and headset adjustment.
I don’t even know what most of these things are, but I’ve booked and so hopefully I’ll soon not only know what they are, but will be able to transform my dilapidated ride into a spic and span, smooth-running dream machine.