On Thursday, Birmingham Bike Foundry had our first tool club (this is where for £10 a year you can have access to our workshop and tools for one evening a week and work on your bike under our mechanics' guidance). It's a really useful way of building up your confidence with your maintenance skills but not having to worry about messing up your bike or buying expensive tools. Anyway, this is an anecdote not an advert! I decided to help out at as many as possible to build up my own confidence and to be on hand for those ladies who want a bit of help or bike-related chatter. Our first customer was the lovely Kay, who had been bought a bike for her birthday but found that she didn't like the old-style gear setup and wanted to convert to a single speed to make life easier for herself on her short, flat commute to work. Kay decided she wanted to learn how to do it herself so she came along to the workshop to use our tools and get some advice. Not afraid to get her hands dirty, she took off her gear changers and gear cables and then using a chain breaker/chain tool she disconnected the chain to take off her derailleur. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to take off the cassette this time round but we have a shiny new freewheel to put on next time. Kay put her chain back on, wielding the 15mm spanner like a pro and is now happily cycling around (albeit it in the rain) on her new single speed!
Hope to see you there. x