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Calling all Reno Bike Project friends & fam, past, present, & future! Join us for our 4th St. second shop’s Grand Opening celebration and a day of contests and games, food & drink, giveaways and…[checks notes] bikes!

We’re having an all-day open house, so drop in anytime and stay as long as you can (but no later than 5p, THANKS). Here are some things to look forward to:

We have talked and dreamed about setting up a second location for such a long time, and thanks to our wonderful, diverse, engaged cycling community, we finally have. We are so excited to share it with you!

Further details TBA, so RSVP on Facebook for updates!!

Read April’s Newsletter! Monday, April 1st, 2019

Read our April Newsletter here! And subscribe for monthly news in your inbox!

Bridget As Bike Scholar Thursday, March 28th, 2019

RBP Youth Programs Coordinator Bridget Tevnan is our second member of staff this year to attend a comprehensive, two-week professional level bicycle mechanic class offered at United Bicycle Institute (UBI). We were so excited to hear about her experience, and the following all but disappoints! Read on for her thoughtful recap of the experience attending as a scholarship recipient:

As a recipient of the 2019 Quality Bike Products Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship, I had the opportunity to attend the United Bicycle Institute two-week Professional Repair and Shop Operation class in Portland, Oregon, February 18th-29th. There I met 15 other WTFnB (Women, Trans, Femme, non-binary) bike industry professionals from across the United States. While our titles and shop environments are diverse—from “for-profit owner and mechanic” to “workforce development coordinator”; “mountain bike coach” to “bike cooperative educator”; “learn-to-ride instructor” to “recumbent trike program manager”—our desire to improve our mechanic skills and bring that knowledge back to the communities we serve was a common thread.

Quick! Grab a tool!

My co-worker, Dave Barto aptly describes the course’s inner-workings in the March RBP newsletter; if you’re interested in learning more about the class, I recommend reading his blog post!

For my part, while attending UBI, I was paying just as close attention to how the instructors were demonstrating a skill as to the lecture content. The classroom was stocked with models that exposed the inner-workings of derailleurs, handlebars mounted with diverse brake systems, deconstructed shocks, and examples of worn-out components. The course was laid out in a deliberate manner, with challenging systems where failure was likely (like in wheel building, taught on day two) followed by more familiar material that built upon previous successes (like overhauling bottom brackets after mastering hub adjustments). The instructors—armed with analogies that explained these systems in layman’s terms—were thoughtful in their teaching style: always standing behind the bikes and insisting that we get up close and personal with the components. I am excited to add these techniques to my informal, outdoor classroom and develop a lexicon that more readily relates to the diverse students engaged in the Major Taylor Program!

In delivering effective youth programming, failure—a poorly patched tube, a third check on a quick release adjustment, a misaligned brake pad—is as much part and parcel of students’ experience as their successes. It’s my job as an educator to help students feel more comfortable with the failure experience, and to foster an environment where they can develop mechanical—and, more importantly, resilience and problem solving—skills at their own pace. On the flip side, as the person responsible for the maintenance of over 70 fleet bikes, any area where I can reduce the amount of time I spend on repairs and safety checks affords more time to develop better programming, engage with youth stakeholders, and further expand cycling education in Reno.

I didn’t necessarily expect to develop procedural skillsets like implementing checklists, creating more organized storage spaces, and writing detailed repair notes while at UBI; but what I most often found myself brainstorming on my commute “home” was how I might employ more efficient systems to better manage my day-to-day shop procedures. But yes, all that hands-on practice, those derailleur and brake pad adjustment tips and tricks, and a newfound sense of confidence will only help to improve my efficiency, too!

Long days called for decompression at Portland’s Hopworks

When not wrenching, we had the opportunity to live communally, in the Friendly Bike Guest House. This time outside of the classroom was where perhaps the most important exchanges were shared. We celebrated program successes, troubleshot failures, discussed the winding paths that lead us to cycling, and lamented the frustrations of working in a cis-male-dominated field. We examined, too, our individual privileges and the ways our shop environments might cling to scaffoldings that obstruct users from groups historically under-served and ignored by the bike industry. We went on group rides, visited neighborhood bike shops, geeked out on gear, and shared our favorite post-ride snacks and beers. Then, after that final overhaul and one-hundred-question certification test, we shared dinner, danced the “Mexican Cha-Cha Slide” at the helm of Chicago native and fellow scholarship recipient, Miss Keke, and of course, created a Slack channel where we can continue to exchange ideas and resources.

Taking a break from wrenching to ride in Mt. Tabor Park with past scholarship recipient Laura Solis, UBI instructor B Vivit, and folx from Sellwood Cycles.

A huge THANK YOU to UBI owners Ron and Denise Sutphin for their vision; the scholarship sponsors in supporting professional development for WTFnB mechanics who are underrepresented in the industry; faculty Stephen Glass, Richard Belson, B Vivit, and Jeff Menown for their instruction, expertise, and patience; RBP Program Director, Genevieve Parker, for covering my MTP classes; Reno Bike Project for paid time to attend this training; and to my 15 classmates for sharing their strength, stories, and the workbench!

Each year, The QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship supports 32 WTFnB mechanics with professional development training through hands-on learning, component-by-component study, and formal lecture at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland and Portland, OR. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, keep an eye out for the application in early October 2019!

Register for Spring Break Ride Camp! Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Know a middle or high school student that wants to improve their bike handling and maintenance skills? Who’s interested in riding to, and playing in, our beautiful Washoe County Parks? Well, encourage them to ride with Reno Bike Project this spring break through our Major Taylor Ride Camp. All equipment and stoke provided! More info is on the flyer below, and venture forth using the links below.

More information and sign ups:
March 25th-29th camp
April 1st-5th camp

Requirements: Youth must be 11-18 years old, stand between 4’10 – 6’7, and know how to ride a bicycle. Participants should arrive having eaten breakfast and wearing comfortable/weather-appropriate clothing, and closed-toe shoes.

Tuition: The camp fee is $150.00 per participant; if tuition is a barrier to participation, please contact bridget@renobikeproject.org; sliding scale pricing and scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis. All equipment is included, including a reusable water bottle (to keep), and a bike, helmet, gloves (to borrow)

Read March’s Newsletter! Friday, March 1st, 2019

Read our March Newsletter here! And subscribe for monthly news in your inbox!

Welcome to the Board Friday, March 1st, 2019

We’re excited to welcome Matt Hudson, the newest member of RBP’s Board of Directors. A little about him:

Matt Hudson Head Shot

Matt is an avid lifelong cyclist. He believes we would all be happier and better off if we spent more time in the saddle. He has 35 years experience as a Rigger, Rope Access Technician, and Businessman. Matt is currently the Director of Safety and Training for Rhino Staging and the President of Rhino Access. He is a past President and Board Member of the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians. He is a Certified Safety Professional, an ETCP Certified Professional Rigger, and a SPRAT Level 3 Rope Access Technician & Evaluator. He has earned Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Experiential Education.

Professional Development Thursday, February 28th, 2019

During the last two weeks of January 2019, RBP Mechanic Educator Dave Barto attended a comprehensive, two-week professional level bicycle mechanic class at United Bicycle Institute (UBI) in Ashland, Oregon. We asked him to share about the experience and what he took from it. Dave begins, “Although I have worked as a bike mechanic since 2009, I believed I would benefit from formal classroom training. I have been wanting to attend this class for the past 10 years.”

The class structure was short lectures and a large amount of time for hands-on learning of all systems, on different types of bicycles. The class was limited to 15 students. Three different instructors alternated through lecture topics, and during hands-on portions, all three were available to answer questions, provide guidance and evaluate progress. The class met Monday through Friday for eight-hour classroom instruction periods. Students also had an opportunity to attend four, two-hour evening sessions to work on class exercises or personal bike projects.

Students in the class ranged in age from 18 to 65. Most either currently work as mechanics or want to open their own shops. A few students were not currently employed as mechanics but were taking the class to develop skills to perform professional-level service on their own bicycles. One other mechanic was employed in a community bicycle shop.

At the end of the classroom training all students had the opportunity to take a written exam to receive certification as a “Bicycle Technician.” I was one of 12 students in my class to pass the exam and receive this certification.

During the class, I learned new techniques in wheel building, hydraulic brake systems, bicycle fit, and suspension service and setup. This class was my first opportunity to fully service a bicycle suspension system. One of the most important things I learned is that each manufacturer provides a large amount of technical information specific to their equipment. This information is available and should be reviewed as necessary before repairs and final adjustments are completed.

The new techniques and repair methods I learned at this class will help me become more efficient with my time on each repair. I would encourage my co-workers to consider attending this training.

Thanks for the yarn, Dave! In fact, we do have one other staff member currently attending the same courses in Portland on a QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship. We are looking forward to hearing from Bridget about her experience, next.

Read February’s Newsletter Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Read our February Newsletter here! And subscribe for monthly news in your inbox!

Read January’s Newsletter Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Read our January Newsletter here! And subscribe for monthly news in your inbox!

Holiday Break Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

RBP is closed from 12/23/18 thru 1/1/19. We’ll see you back on Grove St. on 1/2, and our new, second shop at 635 E 4th St. opens to the public on 1/4. Happy & fulfilling holidays to all!

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