It starts with fixing flats

The Major Taylor Project just started its Earn-a-Bike program with the after school bike club at Global Connections High in SeaTac, and the first day was a success. With eleven excited teens waiting to get the opportunity to pick out a soon-to-be-theirs bike, I was worried that everyone would be coveting the same bicycle. As luck would have it, because of height differences and style preferences, the bikes were claimed with very little conflict. Then it was time to teach something.

The first class is traditionally a class based on learning the basics. We reviewed the bicycle vocabulary for the important components of the bicycle, taught them how to check the size and recommended pressure for individual tires, fixed flats and even demonstrated the basics of truing a wheel – with four adults helping the process, it is amazing how much can be covered. Everyone got the opportunity to patch a tube (some of them with holes that I created on the fly), and all the bikes now have ridable wheels. Excitment is already building for our next class: Brakes.