The Build-a-Bike Journey

Our most in-depth course, the Build-a-Bike Course embarks participants on an exhilarating journey through the anatomy of the bicycle. Over the an odyssey of five sessions, they are guided in how to properly disassemble, clean, and completely rebuild a bicycle. Each day delves into a different topic. “We go over overhauling the bearing systems, wheel truing, replacing all brake and shifting cables. Everything gets a fresh new start,” explains the Education Coordinator Oma, who considers Build-a-Bike her favorite class to instruct.

In BICAS’ mission of transportation accessibility as a vital facet of equity across all areas of life, equipping our community with the foundational skills to repair their own bicycle is indispensable. For those with a preference to expand from the hands-on guidance offered in Community Tools and delve into a more structured learning experience, this instructional space provides the ideal environment for this growth.

In each four-hour session, with a break halfway through, students are able to try their hand at each adjustment for themselves, ensuring a balance between integrating new concepts and avoiding overwhelm with instructor support. “Build-a-Bike is also really fun because you get to see so many ‘Aha!’ moments, because you’re working so intensely with the systems,” Oma explains.

“We just finished a Women Trans Femme Build-a-Bike
and it was super fun!” recalls Oma.

In the shorter sit-down portions, the instructor explains the basic anatomy of each system with assistance of a whiteboard, passing around dissected bike parts to provide a tactile understanding for students. In the hands-on wrenching portions, students work in pairs to overhaul these systems on an actual bike, gaining a deep understanding of how they function in practice. This dynamic approach keeps each session remains engaging and fun.

Structured to accommodate numerous learning styles, students bounce off each other, each being a part of each other’s learning journey. “I’ll explain something that isn’t quite clicking for someone,” Oma adds, “but then someone else will step in and say, ‘Oh, it kinds works like this’ and it will click. It’s really fun to see how different people understand and help one another understand.”

Even beyond knowledge building, this class curates a relaxed, focused social space, where connections form and camaraderie strengthens among students — who inspire and support each other as they experiment and troubleshoot together. No one stands alone. “It’s really cute seeing people make friends in the five-week Build-a-Bike program. Program participants work in pairs on the bikes and we rotate pairs so you really get to meet new people while learning a new skill!” Oma explains.

Incontrovertibly, the skills and experiences gained in this course remain with class participants on their own bicycle journeys.

Until the end of May, Build-a-Bike registration is discounted to $50 for all five sessions. Students can pay 50% of the registration fee with Work Trade credit. Work Trade is earned at BICAS during normal open hours. Register in-person at the front desk. Upon completion of this fun course, each student receives $60 BICAS credit to spend on shop time to fix up their own bicycle.

The next Build-a-Bike Class is each Saturday from April 27th to May 25th, 10 AM to 2 PM each day.

Learn more, or register now!