● Be kind to your bicycle – take a bike maintenance course.

Now that spring seems to be here to stay, your bike is eagerly awaiting a little attention, including some basic maintenance. So maybe it’s time to take a bicycle maintenance/mechanic course.

It can be difficult to know exactly what will be available from year to year, but you can always check with your bike shop to see if they will be offering anything, or if they know where you can sign up for such a course. Moreover, bicycle clubs often arrange for maintenance courses or clinics for their members.

This year Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is offering a whole slew of bike maintenance clinics. Most cover the basics, such as how to repair a flat, do some minor tuning, and diagnose problems. These clinics last about an hour and cost $10. MEC also offers some intermediate/advanced clinics that last the better part of the day, and cost $60 (however, the last time I looked, there were not many places left in these courses).

Bushtukah also offers a couple of basic bike maintenance” courses (check their calendar to see exactly what is available). Their courses usually last an hour and a half, and are free (although they ask that you RSVP them via email if you plan to attend). One of their more interesting offerings is a women’s only course that will be taking place on April 19.

CycleFit CHICKS, a women’s only cycling club, is offering three bike maintenance clinics in May and early June at Bicyclette de Hull in Gatineau. These cover the basics such as how to fix a flat and broken chain, and how to make adjustments to brakes and gears. These clinics cost $35 and last 2 hours.

In the east-end, Full Cycle offers an in depth series of “ Bike Mechanic’s Courses“. The cost is $125 for all six courses, or $30 for each individual course. However, these courses are only available during the summer, when the mechanics have more time on their hands after the busy spring period. Nevertheless, Full Cycle does try to offer some basic courses in the spring on such things as how to fix a flat. You should check with them on what they will be offering and when.

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