Zen and The Art of Cycle Maintenance

It is really worth your time to learn basic bicycle maintenance, which can save you money and adds joy to riding. Hammersmith & Fulham Adult Learning and Skill Service (HFALS) is currently offering Level 1 and Level 2 workshops at £5 per each level.

Rubber gloves and spanner. Photo © Z Holmes

I attended both workshops and was satisfied with what I’ve learned. Equal numbers of men and women had turned up. The course is a great investment if you are a collector of fancy road bikes. An owner of a Trek Domane said: “Evans decided to charge me £35 just by looking at my bike.”

I did the workshops using my hybrid lady bike (I own a road bike too). For women, the workshop builds confidence when going to cycle shops. Women are more likely to be intimidated and ripped off at the mechanics than men.

Photo © Z Holmes

Our teacher, Diego, told us that he also builds bicycles. That triggered my curiosity about bike building workshops.

Apart from acquiring skills, there is something therapeutic about taking bike parts apart and putting them back together again. We were also taught to listen to our bikes for particular noises.

HFALS Bicycle maintenance workshop. Photo © Z Holmes

“I can still hear that wheel hissing!” Diego said without looking at my attempt to straighten the bent spokes.

Eventually we all managed to fix our wheels until they became quieter and spun smoothly. The collective silence in the workshop was almost Zen.

I really recommend bicycle maintenance workshop for your peace of mind.

GLUE RATINGS: ★★★★

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3 comments

  1. You know I must have a problem: I’ve gone to 2 different bike maintenance workshops and still haven’t tried fixing my own flats. It does help to understand the parts so that one can speak with the bike mechanics for a repair job. Or which parts combinations are the best to buy.

    Happy repairing. At least you’ll save some money.

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