SLCBC Earn-a-Bike Curriculum
Since we partner with after / summer school programs we don't have control over certain things. As a result, teaching plans are adapted depending on class size, class length, and number of classes. While it is important to have a plan, it is equally important to be adaptable when things come up. We don't live in a perfect world, but we don't fight it either.
With every method below, have kids pair up into teams. They rely on each other more (instead of the teacher) and you will need less tools and space for bikes if you have 6 teams instead of 12 individual kids with bikes.
Free for All
This sounds bad, but if you have enough volunteers / paid staff it can be a great way for kids to just jump in and learn. The big dilemma is the student teacher ratio, since each kid is going at their own pace -- some will get done too fast, too slow, and all of them will have constant and redundant questions.
Turn each kid into an expert on different tasks, like repacking 3-piece bottom brackets, 1-piece bottom brackets, running brake cables, etc.,... so each time that someone needs help you have kids teaching each other. There is no better way to learn than teaching. The pit fall is that most kids will need to be reminded that they need to "show" their peer how to do it but not "do it for them". Another pit fall is remembering which kid knows which task, and hoping they all show up every time.
Before each class, fully demonstrate the task or show it in video format like Bicycle Tutor. Break the teams free and while each kid might not remember everything, every kid will have a piece of the puzzle -- sit back and watch them start collaborating.
Welcome to the Shop
The first time should be full of questions, not lecturing, help guide them to ask the questions you want.
Q: What is this place?
A: This is a community bike shop, not a retail bike shop, which means you can come and use these tools, find parts, and volunteer.
Q: When can we pick out our bikes? (This question will repeat)
Q: Got Pegs? (This question will repeat)
A: We may have a few, if there isn't enough to go around and people fight over them -- no one gets them.
Q: Where are the bathrooms?
A: They are in the back of the shop. So that we don't run out and you have to go home with dirty hands, please do not waste paper towels or hand soap.
Q: Do you have water?
A: There is a cooler to the right of the refrigerator, please write your name on a paper cup and use it the entire time you are here. If you have any water left over you can dump it in the garden in front and then throw away the cup.
Q: What spins on a bicycle?
A: Front Hub, Rear Hub, Headset, Bottom Bracket. You will be taking them all apart.
Q: Does everyone know what makes them spin?
A: Ball Bearings, most things that spin use ball bearings. BBs are an acronym for Ball Bearings, but the ones we use in the shop are too heavy for a BB Gun.
Q: Where are the tools?
A: There are 6 benches and each of them has their own stand and their own tool sets painted different colors. Before you wash your hands, make sure you put all your tools back. If you have extra parts, let us know and we will give you a zip-lock bag and a sharpie to put your name on and to put your small parts in. For larger parts like wheels and cranks use the zip-ties provided on the benches.
Parts of the Bicycle
Flat Tire Repair
Bicycle Tutor: How To Overhaul Wheel Bearings
Repacking the Front Hub
Repacking the Rear Hub
Bicycle Tutor: How To Overhaul a Threaded Headset
Repacking the Headset
Repacking a 3-piece Bottom Bracket
Repacking a 1-piece Bottom Bracket
Pick a bike
They have learned everything, so now they can pick out their bikes and work in teams to finish them.