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« Older Entries Newer Entries » Catch Up with Major Taylor! Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

This spring 25 middle and high school students from EnCompass Academy, Hand Up Homes for Youth, and High Desert Montessori School (HDMS) graduated the Major Taylor Program (MTP). Riding a collective 2,852 miles across Washoe County, students challenged themselves, tackling hilly routes, congested roads, and new bike mechanic skills with positive attitudes and the support of their classmates. 

This is our fifth year working with HDMS, and early adopter of the MTP. Youth Programs Coordinator, Bridget Tevnan, remarks, “The Montessori Method really complements what we’re trying to accomplish through the Major Taylor Program. Whether it’s making educated traffic decisions, sharing words of encouragement as we pedal up Washington Street to Rancho San Rafael Park, observing nature in local green spaces, or working through failure while learning new mechanic skills, HDMS students seem particularly ready to engage in our curriculum.” Bar defensively bringing up the caboose of our twelve-person bike train, teachers Robin Barry and Jessica Estes lead by example—demonstrating the transformative power of engaging youth in education where choice, exploration, independence, and accountability direct instruction.

Bridget goes on, “I’ll never forget the first team-building activity I presented to the HDMS students. Standing together with a bike on a tarp, they were tasked with flipping over the tarp without anyone stepping off. I’d done this activity with other groups, and most of the time, the “strongest” kid would hold the bike. The HDMS group, though, applied skills we’d learned early in the week to remove the wheels and then divided the pieced-out bike amongst three students. Seeing such a collaborative and creative approach really informed how I structure our classes.”

This quarter included unique programming for HDMS students as they used bike riding to explore interdisciplinary subjects. A short ride up Wedekind Road brought us to Be the Change Project. There, we visited Katy and Kyle Chandler-Isacksen’s homestead and learned about how permaculture, low-impact building materials, solar power, and of course, bike commuting fit into a lifestyle that is healthy on individual, community, and global scales. On another ride along the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail, students stopped at Fisherman’s Park to engage in a watershed lesson from long-standing partners, One Truckee River.

With exciting plans for complete street development along Wells Avenue and Oddie Boulevard in the works, students rode existing facilities, compared the corridor to routes near their school with more robust multimodal infrastructure (think: Victorian Avenue), read articles about the costs and benefits of adding protected bikes lanes, and practiced their writing skills with letters of support addressed to RTC Washoe. During a presentation, Project Manager, Maria Paz-Fernandez answered questions about the project’s funding, urban greening, and careers in civil engineering.

Finally, we joined community members in delivering donated books to Kate Smith Elementary School through Washoe County’s annual “Ride for Reading” event. Bridget’s comment: “It was inspiring to see these middle school students riding with council and community members alike. I think they were stoked to caravan through Sparks behind a police escort. The cowbells and cheering that welcomed us at Kate Smith were exciting, too!”

It probably goes without saying, but we believe it’s this type of multifaceted, engaging, and hands-on education that is desperately needed in our community, and we’re so grateful to our community partners for their continued effort and support!

Does the Major Taylor Program sound like a fit for your school, organization, or after-school program? Rocking a fleet of KHS mountain and road bikes, we’re looking to expand! Contact Bridget Tevnan this summer to schedule Fall 2019 classes and beyond!

Tri-Lab at Craft Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Join Reno Bike Project, Craft Wine & Beer, and the Holland Project for a special collaborative fundraising street party featuring the debut of the limited-edition Tri-Lab beer from IMBĪB Custom Brews, art auction (a new take on RBP’s long-running We HeART Bikes show), music, drinks, food, silent auction and raffle, a special outdoor film screening, games, killer merch, and lots more – all for a good cause!

Fine Motor, Night Rooms and KWNK Reno Community Radio DJs will be performing; Uncle Buddy’s Reno will providing delicious fare on the wood-fired grill; and we’ll be screening two award-winning animated bicycle-themed films once the sun goes down.

Imbib’s Tri-Lab beer is a blend of new-school and noble hops laid down over a classic pilsner base. It’s a refreshing lager for sunny days that’s been double-dry-hopped with friendship. Also features a special artist-designed label!

Hope to see you at Craft (22 Martin Street) on June 6, starting at 6pm for a one-of-a-kind collaboration between long-time partners to support youth and community programs! ♥

RBP Is Hiring: Mechanics Wanted! Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Reno Bike Project is currently accepting applications Mechanic Educators!

If you are someone with mechanical chops as well as great people skills, patience (but also good hustle), and compassion for others, look into a position as a Mechanic Educator in our community bike shop—full time preferred, part time available. Make daily substantial impacts on our community by educating and encouraging cyclists to be self-reliant, motivated, and knowledgeable.

Cyclofemme 2019 Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Reno’s Cyclofemme Ride and Social event is returning Sunday, May 12th, 2019! Ride Reno with friends and family, participate in our active & uplifting cycling community, and learn about local groups you can go on more rides with!

Just like last year, we will be convening on Mother’s Day. Start your morning in the saddle, with free breakfast and one of three group rides that leave starting at 9a, then return to mingle and connect with friends and resources at the after-ride social until 1p. Enjoy the courtyard social and take advantage of the chance to get introduced to local cycling groups, complimentary drinks, music, and more!

This year, we are theming around “the power of motherhood,” and honoring women cyclists who help nurture and support Reno’s bike community, particularly youth.

More details available when you RSVP on Facebook!

Read May’s Newsletter Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Read our May Newsletter here (and some corrected links here)! Subscribe for monthly news in your inbox!

Sign Up for Summer Camp Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Are you a middle or high school interested in riding and wrenching this summer? Pedal on with Reno Bike Project during our two public ride camps! All equipment provided and sliding-scale scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis! For more information, and to register, use the links, below. 

Summer Camp Session 1 (June 24-28)

Summer Camp Session 2 (July 22-26)

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; 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)

We’re Havin’ a Bike Swap Friday, April 5th, 2019

Coming April 20, as part of our 4th Street Grand Opening, it’s our first Bike Swap in YEARS!

In addition to giveaways and discounts, a raffle, alleycat & other games at the Grand Opening celebration, we will also have great deals on good-as-new, used, and vintage bikes. Even if you aren’t necessarily interested in buying a bike, browsing can be lots of fun for the family or pack of pals.

If you’ve got a bike (or five) you’re ready to let go to a new home, avoid the Craigslist/FB Marketplace weirdos trying to haggle or trade and let RBP handle the sale for you while you spend the day out or relax at home. Those who consign bikes through RBP have flexibility to drop the bike off at our shop on 4th St early (starting April 15). All bikes that do not sell should be picked up between 4-5:30pm on the 20th—or donated to RBP, who can issue you a tax-deductible donation receipt.

You’ll take home 80% of the sale price, while a 20% consignment fee will benefit Reno Bike Project’s education, advocacy, and outreach programs. This is the one time (every few years) when we offer the opportunity to consign, so don’t miss the occasion to put the bikes you’d like to sell in front of one of the best groups of folks looking to buy!

Please contact Genevieve with any questions and drop your bikes for sale off at 635 E 4th St. starting on 4/15!

4th St. Grand Opening Monday, April 1st, 2019

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!

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