dandy basic bike repair workshop at Beyond Green environment summit


Derek Chadbourne of The Bike Joint, teaches Beyond Green participants about basic bike repair.

Text and photos by Tammy Thorne

On Sunday October 27, 2013, dandyhorse participated in the Beyond Green weekend for young environmentalists on U of T's St. George campus. Our dandy workshop was about basic bike repair. We invited participants to learn basic bike repair like cleaning, lubing and tightening the chain and patching and pumping tires. Then we worked together to prepare this blog post about what we learned in our workshop with respected bike mechanic and advocate Derek Chadbourne.

Ashley Nhan is a high school student in Mississauga who plans on studying life sciences at Waterloo. She wanted to know how to fix a flat.

Henry Qu is studying environment and health at U of T and he wanted to learn how to replace his front hub.

They both wanted tips on winter cycling.

Derek draws a hub on the chalkboard while explaining how bearings are packed.

Henry Qu and Ashley Nhan learned how to fix a flat tire and asked for advice on how to bike year-round.

Derek shows us how to remove the tube from the tire.

Patch kit.

Prepping the patch for application to the tube.

What did we learn today that we didn’t know before?

"I learned how to fix a bike. I didn't know any of this before today," says Ashley. "It’s different in Mississauga – we have bike lanes but they aren’t used that often. I do feel safe in the bike lane though and we have one near Square One – they painted the lane green and there’s a box that helps you to turn," she added. (We then discussed the usefulness of bike boxes on U of T campus and reviewed articles about bike boxes too.)

Henry says he didn't realize how important signalling was until today. (We shared stories about close calls with other cyclists.)

We capped off the one-hour session by talking about the importance of being visible while you are biking. We discussed winter cycling and how to ride safely with inclement weather conditions. For example, because there’s so much salt on the road you need to put a little more effort into making sure your bike and chain are clean. It’s a good idea to bring it in at night and wipe it down. Always oil your chain after you’ve been in wet conditions.

I learned that Derek has repaired over 4,000 flat tires in his life. Maybe more. (Derek also pens our 'dandyMechanics' column.)

We also discussed why biking is important for the environment.

Ashley says that greenhouse gases are the biggest issue facing the environment today, so biking is important when it comes to mitigating climate change because: "You don’t use any fossil fuels or release any emissions when you ride a  bike.”

Henry says that for him, the biggest issue facing the environment today is the fact that government policies are still so solely focused on economics, instead the environment.

Let's hope Henry goes into politics and Ashley starts a bike club in Waterloo. Big thanks to Derek Chadbourne, owner of The Bike Joint, for being so dandy!

As an initiative of the EcoMentors program, Beyond Green aims to connect over 1,000 young changemakers under 30 for a weekend of interdisciplinary hands-on workshops, inspiring talks and performances  and collaboration to spark change. The Summit focuses on the concept of taking education to action by bringing participants through a learning journey towards affecting positive change.

From Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, Earth Day Canada  hosted the first environmental summit of its kind in Toronto. Titled Beyond Green, the summit featured all-star speakers, interactive panels and hands-on workshops. Over 100 community groups and organizations covered wide range of environmental topics during the three-day event, organized by Earth Day Canada’s EcoMentors program.

Founded in 1990, Earth Day Canada is a national environmental charity that provides Canadians with the practical knowledge and tools they need to lessen their impact on the environment. The EcoMentors program trains youth between the ages of 15 and 24 on ways to engage other youth to act on environmental issues in their local communities.

Related on the dandyBLOG:

dandy Mechanics: Handlebars

dandy Mechanics: The Chain

Mapping bikeability in Toronto: research by The Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank from dandyhorse issue 10

First Ontario Youth Summit on biking

Bike Box Bike Spotting



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