By: Veronica Kacinik
From the first bike maintenance night article: â€œPicture thisâ€¦ Wednesday night Bunnie ride on Fromme, a group of bunnies ripping down a trail, and oopsies one bunnie has a crash, the Bunnie is uninjured but her bike looks like itâ€™s got a case of the wonkies (the stem is twisted and the handlebars are pointed in a different direction to the wheel)
Fearless leader Bunnies look at each other you can tell that they arenâ€™t 100% sure on the steps to fix the problem.Â Crash Bunnie (because itâ€™s more fun than naming names) proceeds to pull out her multitool and say â€œOh itâ€™s a good thing I learnt how to fix this last Wednesday at our maintenance courseâ€ â€“ Jaclyn Delacroix
That was me, one of the â€˜Fearless leader Bunniesâ€™ that didnâ€™t know what to do with the problem at hand.Â So when I heard there was going to be another bike maintenance night schedule for May 19, I was like, Sign Me Up!
Iâ€™ll admit it, my knowledge of bike maintenance is poor since I know enough mountain bikers to help a girl out, and live down the street from a local bike shop.Â But now that I am venturing on rides alone and continue to ride lead with the Muddbunnies, what is a girl to do if something happens on the trails?
I remember 5 years ago when I bought my first mountain bike from a shop, they equipped my pack with all the tools Iâ€™d need, tire levers, a multi-tool, patch kits, pump, etc. They said if I ran into any bike issues on the trail, at least Iâ€™d have the tools for someone to help me out. Till this day I always ride with a pack, but today, I now know how to take care of myself, thanks to the Muddbunnie Bike Maintenance Night!Â I wasnâ€™t the only bunnie to give up a night of riding for it, a total of 8 Bunnies ventured to Lambert to learn some bike maintenance skills and indulge in some wine, cheese and good conversation about bikes!
Our tag team of instructors was Jaclyn Delacroix from the Muddbunnie Board and Jason Louden from Lambert. The combo of two was great! Bringing such a vast array of knowledge from two different perspectives â€“ Jaclyn an avid female mountain biker and adventurer who rides so much sheâ€™s come across all kinds of mechanicals on the trail and Jason who lives and breathes bikes, both personally and professionally. That said, we were shown a number of options from do it yourself to products to making things easier and available to you at your our local bike shops.
The first topic covered was how to clean and lube a chain.Â Keeping the chain clean and lubed is so important for the overall workings and longevity of the bike drivetrain. I learnt that I was not always doing this correctly as I wasnâ€™t lubing the parts that come in contact with the cassette and chain ring.
Then we learnedÂ how to straighten your handlebars if you crash and they get twisted. Here I realized my handlebars werenâ€™t centred with my stem! So we fixed it and greased up all the nuts and bolts (Those creaking sounds that your bike starts making, sometimes a bit of grease can fix that!).
Third we learnt how to removing the front and rear wheel.Â Since I had the only DH bike, this was a little tough with no quick release, but I learnt how to remove it â€¦ and I just realized in writing this article, I should review my notes and try it again, because I have forgotten the trick Jason showed me.
Finally, this lead to learning how to fix a flat and gave me the opportunity to put some new tires on my bike. I bought my DH bike in August 2007, and even though I ride lots during biking season and a bit during ski season, my tires lasted until now. It definitely was a struggle to get the front tire off but with some muscle, it came off and I was able to learn how to fix a flat and put on my new tires.
So Iâ€™d say a pretty productive bike maintenance night for me!
A lot more information was covered and more topics discussed, and I think all the ladies left feeling more confident in maintaining their bike with the skills and knowledge they had gained.
I would like to say a big thank you to our organizers, Jaclyn and Dorothy, for putting on another bike maintenance night, and to Jason from Lambert for providing his knowledge and space for us to work on our bikes and enjoy our wine and cheese.
So the next time you see me on the trail with a bike issue at hand – Iâ€™ll say â€œIâ€™ve got it coveredâ€ and send you on your way.