Thursday, March 17, 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 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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