Bay Area bike repair meetup October 12, 2005 3:11 PM   Subscribe

On Sunday, 10/16, CTP and I will be holding our first monthly free bike repair clinic in Berkeley. We're offering free repair, free advice/teaching on anything relating to making your bike work. All Bay Area MeFites are invited to come get a free tune-up, help with repairs, or just hang out. [details inside]
posted by scarabic to MetaFilter Gatherings at 3:11 PM (19 comments total)

location: behind 3017 Fulton St. Walk up the driveway to the back
time: noon to 5pm (weather permitting)

We'll have tools and can do repairs, but we aren't providing free parts. If it turns out you do need a new tube, nut, derailleur, whatever, we will send you to a shop with a note describing what you need.

We'll be teaching something different each month. This month it's patching tubes.

I'm inviting MonkeyFilter as well, and posting the event in various places.

If you are so inclined, we accept gifts of beer :)
posted by scarabic at 3:11 PM on October 12, 2005

Can I just say "this is great?" Kudos.
posted by fixedgear at 3:36 PM on October 12, 2005

Thanks for holding the workshops! I'll be out of town this weekend, but please invite us to next month's!
posted by rajbot at 3:51 PM on October 12, 2005

Ashby BART is only 4 blocks away, btw.
posted by scarabic at 4:43 PM on October 12, 2005

Cool - good to see someone giving back to the community.
posted by dg at 4:55 PM on October 12, 2005

I don't have a bike, but I really want one. Anyone got an extra?
posted by grateful at 5:35 PM on October 12, 2005

That's incredibly cool. Come out to the East Coast and do one!
posted by Miko at 6:20 PM on October 12, 2005

Alright scarabic, so you might be good for something after all.

There's a community collective here that (among a dozen other things) does bike workshops: Tuesday evenings they handle bike repairs, and Thursday evenings are for assembling whole bikes from their stock of old used parts and frames. (They're lucky enough to have a small building with a basement, but then they're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit taking tax-deductible contributions.) I wish their bike clinic been open in the summer of 2004 when I was having all kinds of trouble trying to follow printed instructions in library books.

So yeah, it's a worthwhile idea youse have; I hope it works out well.
posted by davy at 8:06 PM on October 12, 2005

I'll be there if I can. Should people bring anything besides thier bikes? As in libations?

(Psst: show up around dusk and he'll show you where he melts the bodies!)
posted by squirrel at 11:41 PM on October 12, 2005

You have my wrench.

Well, you would if I lived anywhere near that coast.
posted by drezdn at 11:56 PM on October 12, 2005

This is the coolest thing I've ever heard. Man, sometimes I wish I lived in SF. Well done Scarabic.
posted by sic at 12:40 AM on October 13, 2005

I live on the other side of the glob, but that's a great way of promoting cycling, good job!
posted by fvw at 11:50 AM on October 13, 2005

Yeah, you should see the bike he rides to work!
posted by squirrel at 1:32 PM on October 13, 2005

I don't ride my bike to work, sadly. I don't even take BART to work. Neither is an option, due to the un-BART-able location of my office 30 miles away and over the Bay Bridge. I did replace my car this year with something more fuel efficient (a practical and idealistic thing to do these days) but, having reached the limit of what I can do personally it seemed like helping promote bike ridership was the next best option. There are also more selfish reasons for doing this, like training more people to work as mechanics in our Burning Man bike repair camp. But that entire enterprise exists in part for the same reason: promoting bikes. For many at BM, riding a bike is a rare thing, and whatever we can do to help them enjoy it for that week (and maybe teach them a thing or two about their bike) is, I hope, a way of encouraging them to use it more often.

Light a candle in the darkness and all that.
posted by scarabic at 6:57 PM on October 13, 2005

btw if anyone knows how to contact yentruoc, let me know. She visited our shop out at BM and I wanted to send her an invitation but I can't find an address for her on MeFi or MoFi.

Cheers! Bring your bikes!
posted by scarabic at 6:59 PM on October 13, 2005

scarabic- check your email.
posted by ambrosia at 8:12 PM on October 13, 2005

thanks, ambrosia!
posted by scarabic at 8:46 PM on October 13, 2005

I joke, but I feel your pain scarabic. Anyone who has lived in a really biker-friendly town (like Davis, CA) has enjoyed the ease of mind that is a bike-centered life. Iowa City is like that, too. It's not set up like that so much in SF. It's a different kind of living. You're contributing to a good thing.
posted by squirrel at 9:48 PM on October 13, 2005

I'm pleased to report our maiden voyage was a success. We had a nice group of folks out there with us most of the day, including our own gorillawarfare and squirrel. fandango matt dropped by and donated an abandoned salvage job, which I had fun dismantling. We patched a big pile of old tubes, looked at a few friends' bikes, learned how to rebuild a wheel hub, drank some beer and enjoyed some delish snacks (courtesy of gorilla warfare, who had biked out from Palo Alto).

We did poke at a few issues on a few friends' bikes, but got hardly any walk-in traffic at all, so it was good we had other stuff to keep us busy. I did hear a bunch of people walking or biking by the house, seeing the sign, and saying "huh! free bike repair!" so I'm hoping we'll build some demand over time. I think we got through this one without pissing off the neighbors so perhaps a little more publicity would be safe.

Fandango: here's what's left of the donor. At one point I needed to find some kind of leverage bar to slip over a crescent wrench so I could get the freewheel off. I scoured the back of the house and came up blank. So we broke out the hacksaw and made use of yet another piece of the bike:

It was a good thing you brought that thing in for dismantling. It was one crazy mismatch of ill-fitting parts, just barely macguyered together, and was liable to kill someone.

I learned a few things and met some cool folks, and I think a good time was had by all. It was a fine way to wile away a gorgeous Indian Summer afternoon.
posted by scarabic at 8:45 AM on October 17, 2005

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