MVPL Bike Stop: Bike Maintenance and Repair/Monthly Bike Clinics

Doing a basic bike repair and maintenance class seemed like kind of a no-brainer, especially in light of our installation of the Dero Fixit station. The FixIt station provided tools, now we just needed to make sure people knew how to work with them.

Bicycle repair photograph

Bicycle Repair Man de serviço photo by
CENAS A PEDAL mobilidade

In the process of publicizing some of our bike events, I went to a local bike shop that offers maintenance and repair classes and just happened to meet one of their teachers, Ryan Murphy. Ryan is a friendly, knowledgeable, laid-back guy, who is passionate about fixing bikes. I asked him if he’d be willing to do a class on basic bike maintenance and repair.

We hammered out the details. The class would run an hour and a half. We would cap it at 30 students, we’d allow people of all ages to attend and we would also invite people to bring their own bikes. The class would take place at 4:30 on a Friday in late June.

We ended up with 24 attendees, adults of all ages and a small handful of teenage boys. Ryan brought his tools and a repair stand (he also has a mobile bike repair business). He walked people through the basic structure of a bike, and used participants’ bikes to illustrate common problems. Ryan’s passion and approachability made it a great experience. He allowed the problems with the bikes that were present to shape the structure of the class.

In fact, since the majority of attendees brought a broken bike with them, we realized that it would be useful to offer a regular bike clinic. People could get advice from a professional mechanic on how to fix their bikes and introduce them to the MVPL’s FixIt Station. We decided that third Fridays would be a good schedule, from 4:30 to 5.

As of the date of writing, we’ve had two monthly clinics—each with about 15-20 attendees—with Ryan set up at the FixIt station outside the library. There seems to be a pretty healthy population of people who have bikes with problems and he also gets a lot of interest from passersby. Ryan is hands-on with people’s bikes and explains what he is seeing and doing as he works. He answers questions and is extremely approachable. It’s really a lovely program. Right now we’re considering finding him an assistant—maybe a local high school student with an interest in bikes. Regardless, we hope to continue providing this service in an effort to promote the Mountain View Public Library as a hub for the cycling community.

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth Mountain View Public Library Bike Stop blog post focusing on the results of their Pacific Library Partnership Innovation and Technology Opportunity Grant Program. This series is written by Emily Weak, Adult Services Librarian at Mountain View Public Library.