Isis Cyclists’ cycle maintenance course

In February 2010, seven Isis Cyclists attended the group’s first bespoke (pardon the pun!) cycle maintenance course which was organized in collaboration with the Oxford Cycle Workshop. The course was taught by James Dawton and consisted of three 1½ hour sessions held on Saturday afternoons at OCW’s Ashlar House on Glanville Road.  We were encouraged to bring our own bikes, although if this was not possible we shared bikes. The cost of the course was £33. The following topics were covered:

1. Repairing punctures to the rear tube (including removing the rear wheel and tyre)

2. Adjusting gears, including the unjamming of chains

3. Adjusting brakes (brake wear, block position)

The course was concerned with giving us the confidence needed to get ourselves home should our bike breakdown. We achieved this goal and all left the third session keen to practise our new found skills.  The following quotations are from the course participants:

“I’ve never done any bike maintenance and I found it very accessible, and easy to follow.”

“Instructions were clear with lots of extra bits of useful info.”

“It was just at the right level for me and I had many of those – ‘ah, that’s how it works’ moments. James was a great teacher, very thorough and engaging. Just today I was chuffed to bits when I sorted out a problem with my back gears. So I would highly recommend it!”

“James was very patient and created a relaxed atmosphere that gave everyone the confidence to ask questions.”

“James is very patient, a good teacher and his experience shows with all of his helpful tips and explanations about why things are done a certain way. All very empowering!”

If you would like to attend such a course in the future please let us know by emailing if there is sufficient demand, we may organise another one at a later date.

Lucy Wright, 25 April 2010


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