Bike Dr Maintenance Workshop

Jillian Woolmer
City of Cockburn

Organising a bike maintenance session on a school oval during a community festival sounded like a good idea and plenty of people were interested in coming along. I wondered how I could attract attention on the day so people could find us. I came up with a good idea. Just wear my red Nutcase helmet and high visibility jacket. It was easy to pick me out. I just walked around and spoke to everyone I saw with a bike and headed them in the right direction. It did not take long until we had a circle of the riders that had signed up in earlier, working away on their bikes. Several families participated in the event. It was good seeing fathers and sons working together to maintain their bikes but even better seeing sisters working on their bikes. Having it on the weekend was a good way for staff members and community members to be able to have the time to participate.

Many other people at the community festival saw the bike circle and came over and watched for a while. I was able to talk to them about bike issues and I am sure many of them went home and pumped up their bike tyres and went for a ride. I gave out many maps and encouragement to ride to school and to work. Combining a workplace and community event was a good way of organising an event where otherwise I would have had limited numbers.

I will let you in on my secret. This time, I did not ride to the event as it was on the weekend and far from my home. The work vehicle I was using did not have a towbar, so I did not bring a bike. By wearing my helmet and high visibility jacket, everyone assumed I had ridden. There were so many bikes around, no one even noticed as they assumed that it was tied up nearby. Instead of using my bike basket to carry merchandise, as I usually do, I used a folding shopping trolley bag. I kept my helmet in that as well, until I needed to wear it for shade and to be spotted.
Lessons learnt
  • I recommend that you have one person that watches and talks to anyone that approaches the 'circle'. Bike maintenance participants registered in advance and paid a small fee to participate. Several festival patrons, not aware of this, wanted the Bike Dr to check their bikes, like they do for the Pop Up sessions we organise. I was able to keep the onlookers back so they could still listen but not get in the way of those hard at work maintaining their bikes under the guidance of the Bike Dr.
  • Ask for some shade to be provided. Trees, awnings, shadecloth, umbrellas all would have been useful. I liked the location as it helped the event to be a very visible activity but it became quite hot by 12 noon.

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Kylie (Your Move)

Hi Jillian, You've got some great tips in there on how to activate your Bike Dr Maintenance Workshop. It sounds like a great event that sent participants home with lots of tips and practical experience on how to look after their bikes.

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