Saturday, March 12, 2005

Community Cycling Project

I'm a volunteer with the Community Cycling Project here in Tulsa. It's part of the bicycle advocacy component of the Tulsa Wheelmen, a local racing organization. We enjoy significant support from the bike shops, who contribute bikes and supplies. CCP runs on a shoestring, so any donation is much appreciated.

Tomorrow (Saturday) we have a Road1 class scheduled for a group of about 10. In case you're unfamiliar with the program, it's the basic road curriculum developed by the League of American Bicyclists (I started writing 'League of American Wheelmen' which certainly betrays my age!). The course synopsis is available on the League webpage, so I won't go into that here. Suffice it to say that before taking Road1, I thought I couldn't learn much more about road riding. Was I ever wrong!

Brian Potter will teach tomorrow's class. Brian was instrumental in getting most of us signed up for the first Road1 class here in Tulsa, and he ram-rodded the subsequent League Instructor class too. I learned a lot from him.

Some of our students are from Exodus House, a program for ex-offenders. It's a program supported by local churches. They provide each client with a furnished apartment complete with cookware, dishes, and even food in the refrigerator. Each client is required to have a job, and that's where CCP comes in.

Most of these people have little money, no car, and often no driver's license. We provide them with a serviceable bicycle and the instruction necessary for safe and comfortable operation on city streets. The idea is that by enabling them to travel further, we can help them find better jobs. It's encouraging that the Tulsa Transit buses are being equipped with bicycle racks too. That expands job opportunities even further.

My job for this evening is to finish the old Peugeot out in the garage. I've overhauled the front hub, headset, and bottom bracket. I have to take it to Tom's to get the freewheel removed, because I don't have that particular Shimano tool. This bike reminded me why I didn't like some French bikes back when I worked in a bike shop. And it really brought back my dislike of the original Shimano 600 brake calipers with their pivoting anchor points. They're a PITA to adjust!


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