On Wednesday of Bike Week and on the evening of the longest day of the year, Transition Kentish Town and Camden Cyclists set up a cycle maintenance workshop under the canopy outside Kentish Town Station from 7-9 pm.
The mechanics were Sam Parkes from Lunar Cycles, Ruth Chiat, Stephen Taylor and George Coulouris. They helped 18 owners with 18+ bikes. We also collected all of their email addresses as well as those of a few other people so that we can invite them to the next workshop.
We aim to teach people how to check their own bikes and to fix small problems. As planned, we sold people the small parts such as brake cables that were necessary to complete a job. Due to the situation, we were unable to deploy our contribution box although two grateful clients did give us a little.
One of the bikes was still wrapped in cardboard and had never been assembled and eventually it was discovered that the wheel nuts were missing, so the owner will have to get some for next time.
Another bike had a split tyre as a result of a blow out, but the owner couldn’t find a nearby bike shop that was still open. They were instructed what to buy and will maybe come next time for a lesson on how to put it all together. Or maybe they managed to learn that this time.
The flower sellers didn’t leave until about 8 pm and then the sweepers came, so we didn’t ever move into their space. We were rather blocking the footway but nobody complained. Being out of doors, people had to hold on to their bikes so were not able to watch what was going on. I think the mechanics felt bound to keep an eye on their tools as well.
We’ll move to an indoor venue for subsequent monthly sessions.
We went to Lion and Unicorn afterwards with one of the participants. We all felt that it went very well.
Thanks to Ruth, Sam, Stephen and George for sticking to the coaching and bike fixing steadfastly.
Photos by Sheridan Wilde and Paul Braithwaite