Safety, Maintenance & More with Bike Easy Instructors
Allene La Spina, Bike Easy Instructor, on teaching at Alvar Library as part of our 2016 Back to School Safety & Repair Workshop series
Equipped with a bag full of bike repair gadgets, a bright red rain coat and a minor frown to the rain, I biked across town to Alvar Public Library a couple weeks ago on August 13. As I crossed the French Quarter, my coat camouflaged with the multitude of people celebrating the Red Dress Run. Some might have thought that I was about to join the festivities – after all, my jacket was red and with the rain it was pretty much all you could see. However, my destination was a bit further down the road and my prerogative was not to party, but to review all the info I was about to teach as part of my LCI (League Cycling Instructor) duty at the Bike Easy Safety & Repair Workshop – a series of Back to School workshops throughout August across town at various library locations.
You see, as part of Bike Easy’s Mission to make bicycle riding in New Orleans easy, safe and fun, these workshops are intended to educate both savvy and new riders on the rules of the road, how to maintain their bike, and in general how to be more comfortable riding around. We laid copies of the most recent bike map, brochures, coloring books, bike repair gadgets which included, three types of pumps, patch kit, tire levers, wrench, lights, night gear, helmets and, of course, snacks provided by the awesome Library crew.
One of the first requests by attendants was to show proper bike locking techniques. After a quick demo, we described the different types of locks and the best ways to keep your bike secure. We also demonstrated how to patch a tire – quite a popular request in these sessions – and had our attendants practice with the busted tubes we had there. We also showed how to fit a helmet, discussed how we all used our bikes and even suggested best routes and times for bike commuting.
As I reloaded my bike with all the things we brought to teach, I breathed a sigh of relief at the fact that being an LCI and sharing bike knowledge was much easier than I thought it would be!
-Allene La Spina