Photo: WenatcheeOutdoors Forum administrator, Ray Birks, thinking, "I should have brought my Link bus pass?"
Spring is the time when many bikers hear those sunny skies and warm temperatures harkening, “Time to ride!” They pry on their bike shorts, ponder how Lycra can shrink so much in one winter, roll the bike out of the garage, aim toward the Foothills and… thunk, clunk. Flat tire. Rusty chain. So much for riding.
Many people are stymied by flat tires, loose brakes, derailed chains, and other minor problems. Stymied enough, in fact, that it's back indoors to the couch and another bag of chips to figure out what a body's to do.
That's where (bugle blows) WenatcheeOutdoors comes into the mix. We’re offering a free bike clinic on March 26 to help you with spring tune-ups and teach some basic bike repair skills. We'll supply all of the tools, bike stands, chain lube, bike grease and friendly advice. All you have to do is bring your bike, in whatever condition it may be in. We will have limited parts available to get you rolling, will help you decide what you may still need to buy, and (if your issue is more complicated than we can fix that night) point you to a shop to sort you out.
What: Free bike maintenance clinic for any kind of bike.
Who: Anyone with bike issues (big or small). We welcome all types of riders, all ages of riders, and all experiences of riders (but especially beginners). Volunteers will guide you through spring bike tune-ups.
Where: Foothills Middle School (1410 Maple St., Wenatchee).
When: Starts at 7:00 p.m. Ends when problems get too hard for us to fix.
Why: We like muscle-powered adventure sports, and we want to infect you too. The more people we can get out on the road (or the trail) the stronger our outdoor community becomes. And, the more people who can bail us out when we throw a chain.
Cost: 100% free (see thanks below).
How: Bring your bike with you, tell us what's going on, and we'll help you fix it. We’re not much for maintaining dignity, so bring your basic questions like "How do I know how much air to put in my tires?" Or, "What do I do when my chain falls off?" Or, ask advanced questions dealing with bike fit, proper riding gear, or the metallurgical elements of your frame. If you have any questions about the event please contact Ray Birks or post them on the Forum.
Note: This event is not intended to supplant our wonderful local bikes shops, but inform riders about basic "before season" and "on the road" maintenance. We hope to promote greater bike ridership, which should ultimately drum up greater support for local bike shops. And, if Full Circle Cycle and the Bike Doctor aren’t busy changing your flats, they should have more time to work on your bike when the tough fixes come up.
Thanks to: Ray Birks, the forum administrator, and Marlin Peterson, all-around mountain-biking stud, for conceiving of this event, pulling it together, and being present to share their bike-fixing prowess with others. And thanks to our major sponsor,Cascade Subaru, whose support is key in keeping this site and our different activities going.
Final Note. Whether you're road or mountain biking, carry a few repair items and a pump along with you. This article covers more than repair items alone, but take a look at the kit the article recommends.
Photo: Our guys are good, but not this good. They can give advice on buying a new bike, however.