Our She-Bikes "Fix-A-Flat" classes are great for all femme-identifying riders
Natalie, our fix-a-flat instructor, shows Deborah how to take her back wheel off

 

At Cascade, we believe that every rider deserves a safe space to learn and grow in their bike riding and maintenance skills. That’s why we offer the “She Bikes Fix-A-Flat” class and other maintenance classes for femme-identifying riders.

For Deborah, who attended our most recent August small group class with teacher Natalie, she remembers fixing bunches of flats as a kid, but has gotten out of the habit as an adult. She wanted a refresher course that was taught by women because she’s looking to get back on her bike and hit more trails so she can get comfortable riding again.

“It’s a very different feeling in this class,” said Natalie. “A lot of the women that come to these classes say their partners help with all the maintenance on their bikes. Now, we’ve given them the tools to help themselves, and that enables them to go on longer solo rides.”

Flats are the most common issue that needs fixing on a bike, so the Fix-A-Flat class is taught often. Natalie and Deborah went step by step through the process:

  1. Checking tube size, tire pressure, presta valve.

  2. Taking the tire off the wheel (via drop out on Deborah’s one-speed).

  3. Taking off the rim by first breaking the beads and then using a lever tool to take the tube out. 

  4. Pumping puffs of air into the tube to find the problem area causing the flat. 

    1. If necessary, patch it and let the tube “rest” if it is new enough and can be used again.

  5. Line the tube up with the value and check what caused the flat on the outside of the tire.

  6. Place the tube back in the tire and make sure it sticks to the beads again when you blow it back up.

Deborah works her tube and tire back on to her bike wheel

Basic bike maintenance, like changing a tube, doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s accessible to everyone, from beginning riders to advanced, and can greatly reduce stress before longer rides. To register for one of Cascade’s adult bike maintenance classes, sign up here: https://cascade.org/learn/adult-classes. Classes are $35 for premium members, or $40 for basic members.

Sara Kiesler's picture
Sara Kiesler