Project Bike Trip, a technical bicycle repair program in its second year at Scotts Valley High School, is training students in the technical aspects of bicycle repair.
The class originated with Berri Michel, the owner of Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz. Michel saw a need in her store for more bicycle mechanics, and in an effort to fill that need, Project Bike Trip was born.
The 10-student class meets three days a week at Scotts Valley High School. The class is taught by Bobby Richardson.
Gabe Multer, a road racer and mountain biker, joined the class because of his passion for bicycles
“I wanted to learn more so that I could fix my own bike,” Multer said.
Morgan Hunter and Tim Renn, two other students, said that they loved learning how to build the wheels and hope to learn about tuning soon.
“It’s just fun and hands-on,” Hunter said. “You get dirty and greasy. It’s better than taking notes.”
Michel said that building the wheels can be complicated and is a great skill for cyclists.
After first being taught on new bicycles, the students have started to work on older ones to gain a hands-on approach to what they have learned.
“It’s not like a class out in the dirt somewhere with some benches,” Michel said. “It’s really in a classroom with real benches and real tools.”
Project Bike Trip uses a curriculum with lesson plans that go step-by-step through the assembly of a bicycle, and in doing so, Michel said, the students learn how the moving parts of a bike work together.
“It aligns with core academics and career preparation,” said Michel.
Co-sponsored by Scotts Valley Cycle Sport, Project Bike Trip also benefits students by providing them with an advantage in the bicycle industry. In class, students learn the rules of the road and also become novice bicycle mechanics.
Organizers hope students will use their experience by working as bike mechanics as they go through college or joining the bicycle industry full time after high school.
Michel hopes to add the teaching and disassembly of electrical systems to the class curriculum. Michel and her staff are creating manuals for the electrical systems that should be ready by next year.
Volunteers are welcome to assist the class, which launched a second section at Santa Cruz High School in January.
Scotts Valley High students can register for next year’s bicycle tech class — currently, there is no waiting list.
“Students love bikes,” Michel said. “What better vehicle to teach all sorts of needed topics?”
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