Spring Bike Maintenance with VéloCity Co-op
I can’t tell you how awesome it is to trek down to a bike shop only blocks from my home with my bike and my two daughters’ bikes for a quick spring tune-up.
Christian Myers, the co-founder of VéloCity, a DIY bicycle workshop and educational space that just opened up on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, is there to give you hands-on help on the spot, no appointment necessary. You can also do everything you want with your bike yourself and use his stands and supplies, for a small and I mean small donation — $10 an hour. (They also welcome donations of bicycles, bicycle parts, and tools.)
Nadja pulls her tricycle in the shop.
Christian looks at the issue we’re having in which the notch to allow the handle bars to turn is stuck.
He takes the entire set of handle bars off to reveal (gasp!) considerable rust. After using a lot of degreaser and elbow grease, he sadly pronounces it unfixable. Oh, it’s also missing a pedal. Nadja can still pedal it around the yard though. Word to the wise: with expensive Kettler trikes, avoid leaving them in the rain. Granted, our trike is 6 years old, and wasn’t left outside all that often.
Next up: Ana’s bike. It gets some lube on the chain with her turning the wheel, some air in the tires, and it’s good to go. We also raise the seat a bit to account for her winter growth spurt.
It takes a big heave-ho to get my cargo bike on the stand. It’s an extra long bike called an Xtracycle, with what’s called a “long tail” where we’ve mounted a baby seat. There’s also room back there for Ana to sit and hold on to a handlebar behind my seat.
Here I am with the two of them onboard a couple of years ago. This year, Ana will ride on her own bike alongside us.
Christian points me to the workbench to retrieve one of the Philips-head screwdrivers so he (I mean, we) can adjust the brakes.
My bike doesn’t need much more than that. A triple bike tune-up in less than an hour. My husband needs to stop by soon with his bike and we’ll be all set, until it comes time to learn how to fix a flat.
For more information, visit http://www.velocitycoop.org.