Women learn nuts and bolts of bicycle repair
Flat tires, floppy chains, squeaky brakes: The more you ride, the more things fall apart.
And some women in South Shore don’t want to have to walk to a shop to fix these things, so they showed up for a free basic repair clinic last week at Wattabike in Meyers.
The group of 10, young and old, learned how to fix a flat, remove a rear wheel, use a carbon dioxide pump, replace brakes and adjust the gear-shifting mechanism, called the derailer.
There’s no need for women to be intimidated by the mechanics of a bicycle, said Kent Wattanichinda, owner of Wattabike in Meyers.
“Women should know they can do this stuff. It’s easy,” he said. Wattabike is a full-service repair and retail bicycle shop.
In the women-only setting, the riders felt more comfortable asking questions and were soon getting their hands dirty removing tires, pumping tubes and yanking on chains.
Anne Bratton showed up with friend Roxanne Harding to learn why their chains keep falling off their gears. It turns out the derailer can be adjusted and shifting technique can help.
The two women bought road bikes this year and will be riding together for the rest of the season. They wanted to make sure they knew the basics because they won’t be depending on any men to bail them out if something breaks.
“This was a great clinic,” Harding said. “Now I know I can change a flat. I might not try to adjust the derailer. I’ll take it into a shop for that.”
Daunelle Wulstein said she’s tried to learn from her husband, but he always ends up doing the repair for her. Learning hands-on made it all click for her.
“When you are out there by yourself or with your girlfriends, you don’t want to have to wait for someone to come along who knows how to fix it,” she said. “This is a great service to the community.”
What: Another free clinic on basic bike repair
Who: guys and gals
Where: Wattabike, next to Roadrunner in Meyers
When: Wednesday, July 5, 6:30 p.m.
On the Web:
Tips and pix on tuning, changing flats, riding technique and more at http://www.jimlangley.net/crank
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