So last night I stuck the bike in the trunk and drove over to see how this worked.
"Bikerowave is a bicycle repair collective, much like the Bicycle Kitchen, Bike Oven, or Valley Bikery here in LA County. We provide space, tools, and equipment in order to effectively teach people how to build, repair, and maintain their bicycles. We are a not-for-profit all volunteer member run organization. Our goal is to empower cyclists with the basic knowledge to maintain their steed, as well as enable them to more easily connect with the cycling community."
I felt like I was in Kindergarten again. Dan helped me get the bike on the bike rack and walked me through every step of the process. What tool to get, where to get it, what to tighten, what to loosen.
He found a suitable new derailer in the back, but then decided I needed to true the wheel. Really? How . . . Wait, I'm at Bikrowave, they'll walk me through it. I got handed off to Joe who showed me how to adjust the spokes and a few other things to make the wheel work better.
It was so easy! When I hesitated, he pointed at what I had to do next.
Why don't we have a place like this in Anchorage? The bike shops wouldn't be happy with people giving this away free. Sharing versus selling. Would a lot more sharing and bartering of talent ruin our economy or mean that a lot more people would become more self-sufficient and less dependent on a paycheck? Today's bottom line capitalism with smaller businesses being bought out by bigger ones that demand maximum profit, means helping and sharing with others is bad.
And at the end I asked what I owed. $3 for the used derailer and $7 for the hour of bike stand time. (Just look and they have various deals - but really, had I taken this to REI, it would have been at least $45 and more likely over $100. And taken several days. I was one of the last 'customers' there and the volunteers all got sandwiches and sat around talking about a variety of things and I heard a few philosophers mentioned.
I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant to actually go do this, but I really love having a bike here. They are only open in the evenings on weekdays, closed Fridays, and open days on the weekends. So I made myself go try something new and different. Wow, I can't believe that I changed a derailer and trued the wheel.
And their blog suggests they do a lot more things - sort of like the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage. I'll get them to check this post and see if we can find a way to set up something like this in Anchorage.
Oh yeah. Can't ride my bike right now. The gears are great, but when I put the tire back on the wheel, I must have poked a hole in the tire. I'll go back tomorrow and fix that.
For west side LA folks - they're on Venice between Centinela and Grand.