I love a bit of DIY, but the main challenge is having the know-how in the first place. And yes, of course there is tried and tested method of 'trial and error', but that error bit can be a bit frustrating and not to mention time consuming.
So, on a slightly different but related note, I'm a member of Economy of Hours (ECHO) which is a skills swap site in East London. I had spotted the offer of the use of London Bike Kitchen, so decided to cash in some hours. Having had a enough of my gears causing me grief (with all those potholes - a fully functioning bike is a necessity!), last week, my bike and I made our way down.
Incase you don't know the concept:
LBK is an a DIY workshop where you work on your own bike which has the the aim of:
- promoting self reliance and confidence through education
- making cycling more accessible
- getting more people from all backgrounds on bikes
I was a little apprehensive about turning up because bike shops can be a little intimidating - maybe a man having a go at you when your bike has been stolen, or generally looking at you in disregard because you don't/do have a xxx, and not to mention the blond hair.
But, all was well, as I was welcomed by Jenny, the Director. It was mid-afternoon before the after work rush so luckily I was provided with a stand straight away and a friendly bike expert and off I went.
- how to stop my gears from slipping
- how to fit the new brake pads I had at home in my cupboard
- what I need to clean and oil to keep the bike in good condition (not as obvious as you might think)
- not all bike places are scary
They do a variety of courses, some gender specific which I might try out. If you want to pop in and fix your bike you tend to pay by the hour for the space, then parts on top. Oh, and they give you tea.