Thursday, February 7, 2013

Master. Mechanics.

Every class, kids learn how to use tools, how to repair something that's broken, and how to take responsibility for a project. Every class, we start with very structured, step-by-step procedures, move on to some independent work and eventually end up just standing back and letting good things happen. This picture is of good things happening.  Today, every student in that room helped someone else or was helped by someone else.

This guy, after several days of goofing off and needing constant redirection, finally hit his stride with, of all things, wheelbuilding.  He spent a solid forty-five minutes learning to true his rear wheel and most of the balance of the class teaching another student to do the same.  The transformation was incredible!

This guy took some pretty serious disappointments in stride and spent two hours bringing back to life the sorriest-looking Specialized Hardrock (a pretty solid mid-range mountain bike) I've ever seen. It looks great, with new shifters, new saddle, new fork and new grips. What a boss!

I don't remember what's happening here, but that face is way too hilarious not to share.  Apparently whatever he's doing, it's pretty strenuous.

This class definitely discovered the wonders of bottle cages, and a few of the kids spent their extra time after finishing their own bikes carefully re-bending them to fit the Trek Store bottles I have for them.  Anybody have any good leads on super cheap cages?

 They took the lists of problems with their bikes (that they had made), the expertise that they and others had gathered from earlier class, and fixed an entire room full of bikes! Some kids spent tons of time carefully cleaning their bikes, some spent the whole class embroiled in serious mechanical problems, and there was at least one girl who spent the time after repairing her own bike becoming an expert on every repair by going around the room and getting everyone else caught up! I can't wait until next week, when we will be learning traffic safety and riding our new bikes. So pumped up about the changes in these kids already! 

PS stay tuned for a Strawberry Hill criterium to raise money for FreeWheels! Killer route on smooth streets in an historic neighborhood full of delicious restaurants, coffeeshops and a ceramics studio? Oh yeah!

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