Our approach to assisting others to become better able to maintain and repair their own bicycles is based on the belief that learning to become more self sufficient (and to assist others) is time well spent.
40 years ago, every family had someone who could fix bikes.
This meant, if your bike developed a fault, your dad or brother could fix it, and the bike was ready the same evening. Also there were plenty of opportunities for you to learn the skills yourself, by watching them.
Nowadays, if your bike gets a problem, most households don’t have anyone that knows how to repair it.
We think that this actually presents a real barrier to cycling, because it means, once a bike has a fault, people find it requires a lot of time, trouble or expense, to get the fault repaired. For that time the bike is off the road and if the repair is expensive, the bike may be left in the shed permanently.
For many people, the shop that sold them their bike – department store, discount sports stores and toy stores – won’t touch repairs, and won’t know where does.
The cyclist then has to find a bicycle shop that can do repairs, and take the bike here. This means waiting til the week end, a special car trip to take the bike to a repair shop and another special car trip a week later to pick it up.
Learning to become more self sufficient (and to assist others) is time well spent.