Teens and adults will be able to attend a two-hour hands-on bike maintenance workshop next week at the Readfield Community Library and Mount Vernon’s Dr. Shaw Memorial Library, courtesy of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

The class, which will take place Wednesday, covers routine maintenance, roadside repairs, general bicycle mechanics and how to perform a basic tune-up. Registration is required — by 8 p.m. Monday — and participants need to bring their bicycles. If participants bring their helmets they can get its fit inspected.

All tools will be provided.

The Dr. Shaw Memorial Library workshop is set for 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Readfield Community Library workshop is set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A rain date will be set in the event of inclement weather.

Erik daSilva, Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s education program manager, said the organization has formally had the “Fix-A-Bike” program since 2018.

“We have gone to schools and held it like a vocational program with middle school and high school students,” he said. “It could be a single session where we really only brush the surface, essentially covering basic routine maintenance, how to deal with trailside issues, and then some minor tune-up stuff.”

If more time is available for future meetings, daSilva said he can take the training to the point where someone could become a bicycle mechanic, and work at a shop or even start their own repair business.

He said the Bicycle Coalition of Maine had always collaborated with libraries in the past, but it wasn’t as frequent until he visited the Weld and Pittsfield libraries earlier this year.

“They both decided to promote our program through the (Maine School and Library Network),” he said, “and since then a whole bunch of libraries have reached out and said they’d love to host us.”

With the days getting shorter, daSilva said it’s a tricky time of year to host an after-hours outdoor program. Still, he said they’re trying to fit in about a dozen “Fix-A-Bike” workshops by the end of October.

Readfield librarian Melissa Small said this is the first time the library is hosting a bicycle maintenance workshop that she is aware of. Small soon contacted Dr. Shaw Memorial Library Director Alice Olson to see if she would also be receptive to hosing the workshop in Mount Vernon.

“I think it’s a perfect program to offer at the library,” said Olson. “It’s outside, and it really promotes outdoor activity, health and wellness, particularly during COVID. I feel that it’s a wonderful program they’re willing to offer us, and I’d love to do more things like this in the future.”

Small said the library staff often sees patrons riding a bicycle or walking to the building during the summer.

Due to the pandemic, the workshop will take place outside the library and guests will be spread out and have their own stations.

Each library is allowing six slots for the program, and each slot can consist of a family unit or group.

Small said the Readfield library would be open to hosting similar programs in the future.

“If it sounds like there could be more interest, we’d definitely consider it,” she said. “Any educational endeavors are always fun, and I think the library is a great place to offer that. It would be nice if we could offer more inside, but we are where we are, so we’ve been creative all summer. We’ve had outside programming for both kids and adults, and it’s been really great.”

Anyone interested in attending can contact the Mount Vernon library by calling 207-293-2565 or emailing [email protected], or contact the Readfield library by calling 207-695-4089 or emailing [email protected]


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