No group ride today; instead, today was the second New Brunswick Ciclovia for 2014. As last time, the New Brunswick Bike Exchange had a location (next to the stand for PRAB, out parent organization); we set up another mechanic stand, and Paul B, Mike B, and I did some wrenching on a number of kids bikes and way too many toy-store bikes.
I'm conflicted about toy-store bikes. There is definitely a place for low-end, affordable bikes for people who don't want to commit several hundreds, or several thousands, of dollars into something they may not use much, However, even in the cases where these bikes come with adequate components, they are rarely adjusted adequately, and many come with mismatched parts, or cheap parts, or cheap, mismatched parts, that make close adjustment impossible. Much of what we did today was adjustment on toy-store bikes, and it's frustrating.
But much of it was fixing kids bikes, and they're great. They're usually simple, and just need a tire inflated, or a tube patch, or a chain put back on, and they're ready to go. The kids are delighted, as are the parents (as best I could tell; many of the parents don't speak any language in which I am conversant).
Some people couldn't believe we were doing this for free, and, in truth, I wasn't; I tried to make sure that any person I wrenched for, or the parents of any kid whose bike I worked on, took info about the Exchange. We can always use volunteers and donations (and customers!).
We were busy. I only got a few pics, because once we started, we were going right along. First, setting up with the PRAB staff:
David, and Mike B:
(Laura, I couldn't resist the one below.)
Thank heaven Paul found that shady spot!
Next one's in October. You ought to come out!
Edit: In a group email about this post, I was referred to as "Volunteer Extraordinaire". While I'm grateful for the title, I have to insist that Paul get the title as well. He's at the exchange most shifts, I understand, and has been deeply involved with its success since he started.