Blog

September by the numbers

Open hours: 14 Volunteer open lab hours: 38.5 Encounters (an encounter is often multiple people, friends, family, a cycling group): 33 Issues worked on during these encounters: 47 Donations for tools and supplies: $94

August by the numbers

Open hours: 14 Volunteer open lab hours: 35 Encounters (an encounter is often multiple people, friends, family, a cycling group): 18 Issues worked on during these encounters: 36 Donations for tools and supplies: $26

July by the numbers

July brought us some wicked hot weather, forcing us indoors a couple of times to escape the heat. As in June, some people are return visitors, working on new or extended issues over multiple visits. Our voluntary donations were down, only $40 this month compared with $151 in June. Donations are used so that we can be sure to keep up our supply of consumable supplies such as chain lube, grease, and a small supply of parts. Please let us know if you are interested in helping out! Open hours:…

08/11/19 Open lab log

08/11/19 (LEO, AL, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather:  Sunny, nice, 70’s-80’s – outdoor operations Name of visitor – Reason for visit – Action taken – Notes Justin – Loose accessory,Saddle adjustment – Tighten loose accessory,Adjust seat – Justin’s rear rack needed a couple of bolts, also seat was too low. Charlie – Wheel issue(s),Gears – Other – Ongoing issues of shifting problems and possibly mismatched components Caryn – Pedal/crank issue,Low tire pressure-  Crank/pedal adjustment,Pump up tire(s) – Caryn is from AZ but was here and about to ride up through Canada! Her…

08/04/19 Open lab log

08/04/19 (LEO, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather:  Sunny, 80’s – indoor operations We decided to set up indoors again this week. It turned out to be a super-busy time. Most of today’s visitors had multiple issues and a lengthy stay – great day! Name of visitor – Reason for visit-  Action taken – Notes Gideon and Vivian – Brakes,Wheel issue(s),Gears Brake adjustment,True wheel(s),Derailleur adjustment – Lots of miscellaneous and interesting work on a kid’s bike Nina – Bike check – Pump up tire(s),Chain measure/discuss,Overall bike check- Nice Bianchi from Craigslist, several adjustments,…

07/28/19 Open lab log

07/28/19 (LEO, AL, MARTHA) Weather:  Sunny, 80’s. We decided to set up indoors again this week. It turned out to be a super-busy time.   Name of visitor – Reason for visit – Action taken – Notes John and Molly – Bike check – Tighten headset,Pump up tire(s),Adjust seat,Brake adjustment Charlie – Gears – Derailleur adjustment Front derailleur – very hard to get into gear on largest chainring – not entirely resolved yet. Unknown – Gears – None – Unfortunately, unclear what the exact problem was. He’s been here before,…

07/21/19 Open lab log

07/21/19 (LEO, AL, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather:  Wicked Hot, 90’s Too hot to stay set up outside today, so we moved inside and enjoyed the cool air of the stone mill building. Name – Issue(s) – Action taken Michel – Chain issue – Chain measure/discuss David – Gears – Other – Returned with box of clusters; seems to be able to take apart now.` Trevor – Bike check – Overall bike check Unknown – Brakes – Brake adjustment – Noisy front brake Unknown – Gears – Derailleur adjustment

07/14/19 Open lab log

07/14/19 (LEO, AL, MARTHA) Weather: Hot, sunny, 80’s Hot day today, but we decided to set up outside.  Not too much traffic, but most bikes that were brought in needed a fair amount of time and work to resolve issues. Name of visitor Reason for visit Action taken Notes Justin Gears,Bike check Derailleur install,Brake adjustment Rear derailleur all bent out of shape on a recently-acquired used bike. Lots of time working on it, eventually able to use. Also, brakes adjusted. Aaron Brakes Brake adjustment Needed tightening Hannah & Mike Chain…

07/07/19 Open lab log

07/07/19 (NATHAN, LEO, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather: Hot, sunny, 80’s Not super-busy today, but lots of people out riding, and several stopping by with questions. The owner of the yellow Serotta in the photo has been happy with her bike for decades! Leo and Martha enjoyed talking with her while her companion worked with Nathan to look into a couple of issues. Leo and Martha used to know Ben Serotta way back in the day in Saratoga Springs, NY, where Ben ran a bike shop called – The Bike Shop –…

June by the numbers

Our first full month this season was off to a great start! Because of our great new indoor space, we’re able to keep working even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Some people are return visitors, working on new or extended issues over multiple visits. Please let us know if you are interested in helping out! Open hours: 17.5 Volunteer open lab hours: 49 Encounters (an encounter is often multiple people, friends, family, a cycling group): 36 Issues worked on during these encounters: 55 Donations for tools and supplies: $151

06/30/19 Open lab log

06/30/19 (LEO, ALAN, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather: Cool, 70’s, rain in forecast Great day at the bike lab today. The threat of rain kept us indoors, but that didn’t people from coming out to learn how to keep their bikes running.           Non-stop action included: Name of visitor Reason for visit Action taken Marc Flat tire,Bike check New tube and/or tire,Chat about local biking resources and customs,Derailleur adjustment,Brake adjustment; Marc had emailed ahead, purchased new tire and tube. Claire Gears,Low tire pressure,Chain issue Derailleur adjustment,Pump up tire(s),Lube…

06/23/19 Open lab log

06/23/19 (LEO, MARTHA) Weather: Sunny, hot, 80’s Pretty busy time today, met a lot of fun people of all ages with all sorts of bikes and bike questions. Everyone is always super-enthusiastic about riding and what they’re learning when they stop by. Emmy had emailed ahead to ask what might be needed for a flat tire on a child’s bike, and arrived with a new tube of the right size. We tried patching it, but then learned there were other holes, and moved on to install a new tube. Both…

06/16/19 Open lab log

06/16/19 (LEO, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather: Light rain, 70’s Not a very nice day outside today, but we have lots of great space indoors, and knew of at least two bikes headed our way.           Erin crashed into into a tree last fall (he was okay), and he wanted to check it over before riding it again.               Carol hadn’t used her bike in a while, and was pretty happy to stop by and get some help readying it for riding….

06/09/19 Open lab log

06/09/19 (LEO, ALAN, MARTHA) Weather: Sunny, low 80’s Nice summer weather today, with a nice variety of issues to work on. See below for an overview. Name of visitor Reason for visit Action taken Chris and Kara Brakes Brake adjustment Ryan Low tire pressure Pump up tire(s) Unknown Gears Derailleur adjustment Jay Bike check Overall bike check, will be back Jacob Gears Other Paul from Malden Local biking guidance Chat about local biking resources and customs Cary Low tire pressure Pump up tire(s) Emily Chain issue,Lubrication Lube Laura Gears,Lubrication Derailleur…

06/02/19 Open lab log

06/02/19 (LEO, ALAN, MARTHA) Weather: Cool but sunny The cool morning weather got us off to a slow start, giving us time to set up our new sun tent and catch up with news from the winter months. Things got rolling into a busy day starting around 11. During the open lab, we gave out free swag from Bay State Bike Week, courtesy of MassBike. Here’s a quick summary:   Name of visitor Reason for visit Action taken Pamela Ride-by Chat about local biking resources and customs Father & daughter…

05/19/19 Open lab log

05/19/19 (LEO, MARTHA, ROMAN) Weather: Cool with showers We had lots of free swag from Mass Bike, and hauled in a nice new tent and weights for setting up in the sun, but an unexpected change in the forecast put a damper on our second attempt at holding an open lab during Bay State Bike Week. We set up indoors and were happy to see someone walking down the path with a bike and looking for the bike lab. Roger hadn’t ridden his bike in a little while, and wanted…

Bay State Bike Week: A closer look at Waltham’s Wayside Rail Trail

Waltham News Tribune: Watch City Bike Lab and the City of Waltham weigh in on the Mass Central Rail Trail. Volunteers have worked with the Waltham Land Trust for many years to make the trail walkable. Construction on the rail trail will finally begin this year!  

05/12/19 Open lab log

05/12/19 (NATHAN, LEO) Weather: Cold and rainy We were excited to be part of Bay State Bike Week by having two openings to celebrate, BUT – the weather just didn’t cooperate on our first weekend. We opened and set up indoors, working on a pesky crank issue on one of our own bikes. No one stopped by, and the chalkboard side of our sandwich board sign pretty much melted down, so we closed up early. Next week is looking like a much better day. Fingers and spokes crossed….

04/28/19 Open lab log

04/28/19 (LEO, MARTHA, ROMAN) Weather: Cool, some sun, then clouds and a few drops at 1:00 It was a very busy 2.5 hours before things slowed down just as the weather changed. Here is the summary: Name of visitor In a group of some kind? Reason for visit Action taken Marianne No New bike Marianne had built most of her new bike the previous day, and came to us for final adjustments and to check everything over: Brake adjustment,Pump up tire(s),Derailleur adjustment,Adjust fender(s) Eamon No Gears Derailleur install T No Wheel…

04/14/19 Open lab log – Opening day!

04/14/19 (LEO, MARTHA, ROMAN) Weather: warm (60’s) sunny Nice and busy opening day, with cooperative weather!   Visitor In a group of some kind? Reason for visit Action taken Ben and his Dad A family Low tire pressure,Pedal/crank issue Pump up tire(s),Other Alvaro No Wheel issue(s) Bearing adjustment Justina A family Chain issue,Saddle adjustment Lube,Adjust seat Cady A couple Wheel issue(s),Chain issue Bearing adjustment,Lube Mikel A couple Gears Derailleur adjustment Carlos A family Low tire pressure Pump up tire(s) T. No Wheel issue(s) Referral; will return with new spokes Joe…

Spring 2019 dates announced

Happy Spring, everyone! We hope you’ll excuse the terrible pun, but we’re gearing up for our 2019 season and have some dates to share with you. In April and May, we’ll be open from 10:30am – 2:00pm on the following Sundays: April 14 & 28 May 12 & 19 – both ends of Bay State Bike week! After that, we start our weekly schedule, June through October. There are a couple of exceptions due to private events at the Museum that will be seen on our schedule, so check here…

10/21/18 Open lab log

10/21/18 (LEO, CONSUELO, ROMAN) Weather cool (50s) partly sunny We started the day off setting up inside, and then moved outdoors when after the sun warmed things up a bit. Things started off slowly until just after noontime.             Unidentified person came by and lubed chain. Candace stopped by with a child’s bike that needed a general light overhaul. This involved: Adjust handlebar and cables align and adjust brakes, fill tires, tighten chain, lube chain, lube brake cables. Special thanks to Candace for her very…

10/14/18 Open lab log

10/14/2018 (LEO, JENNIFER, ALAN) Weather: warm (70s) sunny Toni arrived with three kids and their bikes. Each bike needed some work. Toni, her kids, and a neighborhood friend were all a delight to work with. Fix flat, rotate handlebars, lube chain Fill tires, straighten handlebars Tighten brakes We had plenty of red lights to go around. With Mom making good on her promise of working bikes, the kids left on bikes all fixed up and ready to explore!

10/7/18 Open lab log

10/7/2018 (LEO, NATHAN) Weather: warm (70s) sunny Oops, no photos for you today, but it was another good day at the bike lab. Not too many people stopped by, but as always, it was great to work with every one. We LOVE welcoming kids to the bike lab. Christie and family were super-enthusiastic! Peter: Oil chain. Check stretch (result: chain at end of “good” zone) Christie: Raise handlebars, filled tires, centered front brakes. Checked seat height on 2 child’s bikes: raised on one. Interested in “bike rodeo” for elementary school:…

9/23/18 Open lab log

9/23/2018 (LEO, ALAN, CONSUELO) Weather: 60-69 degrees, Cool Name not recorded: Needed air in her tires and her kick stand adjusted. She took a picture and said she’d post it. Mike: Single speed bike where the chain popped. Seemed to be working now, though. Joe: Came in with a wobbly tire. Roman inspected it. Turns out the tired got hit and damaged the rim. Roman worked on it and improved it but the rim needs replacing. Toni’s family came in with a rear flat and a broken chain on 2…

9/16/18 Open lab log

SUN 9/16/18 (LEO, MARTHA, ALAN) Weather warm (80s) sunny Another great day at the bike lab, with lots of people out enjoying what weather forecasters dubbed the last real summery day of the year. Mikel: Mikel has been at the bike lab before, so it was great to see him come back with a new project. This time he brought a new rear shift cable to install. He wanted tool and process and guidance/verification. Was able to use the bike stand and tools, working mostly independently. The install went fine….

9/9/18 Open lab log

SUN 9/9/18 (LEO, ALAN, ROMAN, MARTHA) Weather cool (60s) cloudy We were sitting at the lab just watching the river flow by when a someone passed by on a fully loaded Surly. The rider was wearing a beach hat and crocs – as he passed by, Alan called out something like “Where are you headed?” The rider was already slowing down to come back and check us out. His name is Russell and he is A M A Z I N G – he’s been riding his bike around the…

9/2/18 Open lab log

SUN 9/2/18 (LEO, MARTHA) Weather Sunny 75 – 80 We’re excited that all our tools, stands, banner, etc., are now located in a single space inside the Charles River Museum. This week was our first time setting up and taking down from our new storage area – much more efficient! Stacy: Adjust right brake centering. Review lube and general maintenance. Anthony: General discussion of how to keep the bike clean. Rider from Boston: Use map to show route to Auburndale. Robin: Lube chain, Demonstrate and give pant leg wrap, Spoke…

8/26/18 Open lab log

SUN 8/26/18 (JENNIFER, LEO, MARTHA) Weather Sunny 75 Beautiful weather today. Lots of people out riding, including Lime Bikes from neighboring towns (Waltham will be online hopefully sometime soon), and plenty of miscellaneous issues to keep us busy at the bike lab. Richard: Use 15mm wheel nut wrench, Patch sidewall blowout with folded dollar bill, Patch leaking tube (used personal patch kit), Splice rim tape with band-aids. We think our work with Richard gets a Triple Innovation Award today. He used the Charles River to find the leak in his…

8/19/18 Open lab log

SUN 8/19/18 (NATHAN, LEO, WITH ASSIST FROM ROMAN) Location: outdoors Weather: Mixed clouds & sun 65-70 degrees, windy Much nicer weather this week following last week’s washout, though it was a bit windy. It was quite busy at opening, then seemed to slow down mid-day. Here are our notes: Chip: Increase rear derailleur cable length to get highest gear. Review issue with chain coming off largest (3 total) chainring when shifting from mid to large chainring while in highest (evidently second highest .. see cable adj above) gear. Front derailleur…

8/5 Open lab log

SUN 8/5/18 (LEO, MARTHA WITH ASSIST FROM ROMAN) Location: outdoors Weather: Hot hot! It got pretty busy this week, but lots of accomplishments after a difficult first encounter. Read on!     Father and 2 sons: One son’s bike needed air in tires. We let out air in one tire to straighten stem before adding air The bead had slipped out of the rim so when we filled the tire, the tube blew. It was a 20″ tire and we didn’t have a replacement tube. The boy and bike were…

7/29 Open lab log

SUN 7/29/18 (NICOLE, HAINK) Location: outdoors Weather: hot and sunny Here are this week’s tasks completed per bicycle: – adjusted brakes – severe chain suck; chain had double-backed on itself and was wedged between frame and small chainring; ended up removing crank to untangle; also adjusted brakes; will return to learn how to replace brake pads – full cable and housing swap for both brakes and derailleurs; donated leftover housing – racing bike consultation – creaky bike eval – likely due to surface rust on all drivetrain parts – bike…

7/15/18 Open lab log

SUN 7/15/18 (LEO, MARTHA) Location: outdoors Weather: hot and sunny (93 degrees) Was it the hot weather or the World Cup that kept the number of visitors low today? Not sure, but we did have a few encounters. Here’s the summary: Amy: Amy brought her bike in after not having ridden it in a while. The bike was missing its rear wheel quick-release skewer. Martha made a quick ride home to pick one up that had been donated to us a few weeks ago. It’s alittle short, but works for…

7/8/18 Open lab log

SUN 7/8/18 (LEO, JENNIFER) Location: outdoors Weather: Hot & Sunny (95 deg) Location: outdoors Weather: Sunny (85 deg) Notes: other volunteer – Roman Another hot day today, but a steady stream of riders came by with various issues. Andrew: Lube chain Such: Lube rusty chain, adjust and lube brakes, pump tires. On rear derailleur, clean rust and cable tension adjustment Ralph: Adjust rear derailleur and brakes Doug: This one wins today’s prize for the weirdest problem! Doug’s bike had significant corrosion from travel in the Florida auto train (was it…

7/1/18 Open lab log

SUN 7/1/18 (LEO) Location:   outdoors Weather: Hot & Sunny (95 deg) Wicked hot day today! Here’s a summary of what we worked on: Colleen: Seat height adjustment. Andrew: Front Brake centering (nice side pull). Richard: General inspection: adj. brakes & derailleur-stop, oil chain Man (didn’t get name): recover braking w/ very worn brake pads (need to be replaced) Jim: Used stand & tools & occasional 3rd hand to replace shocked forks Alex(andra): Pump up front tire, Rear brake hard to apply & wouldn’t release: lube cable and loosen lock nut…

6/24/18 Open lab log

SUN 6/24/18 (LEO, ROMAN) Location:   outdoors Weather:  cloudy, low 70’s Kind of raw weather today, but that didn’t stop people from being out and about on their bikes. Many thanks to Roman for dropping by again and helping out! Always a pleasure to have him volunteer with us. Justin – air in tires, adjust both brakes. On rear brake, missing one screw – adjusted ok for now, but need to get a replacement screw.   William – air in both tires Teresa – air in both tires Lorraine – clean…

6/18/18 Open lab log

SUN 6/17/18 (LEO, MARTHA) Location:  outdoors Weather: sunny, hot Notes: other volunteer – Roman; We need more chain lube. A couple of longer projects today, as well as several quick in-and-outs. Beth – interested in doing some bike maintenance workshops at Watertown High. We talked about possible resources for that, including ourselves and CommonWheels in Allston. She’ll be in touch. Dennis stopped by looking for a rear shift cable ferrule, which we had and he installed. Donna came by to get some basic information about the bike lab. She plans…

6/10/18 Open lab log

SUN 6/10/18 (JENNIFER, LEO) Location:  outdoors Weather: 70’s, sunny Beautiful weather today! This is the start of our weekly opening season – we aim to be open every Sunday through October. We’re open rain or shine, but last minute changes can always happen, and we will always try to update you via our website and social media (Twitter and Facebook). Here’s the recap for June 10: Man’s bike needed front V-brake adjustment Man’s bike with recurring flat on inside of tube. Gave advice to check rim tape. Another person’s bike…

5/20 Open lab log

SUN 5/20/18 (LEO, MARTHA) Location:  outdoors Weather: 70-80 degrees, mixed sun and clouds It was another back-to-back busy day at the bike lab today, the second Sunday and final day of Bay State Bike Week.  Here’s the run-down: Bob – fix slow leak on rear tire. Mela – raise seat, fill tires. Eden – head set plastic debris gasket was squeaky – fixed with small amount of oil. Roxanne – front brake rubbing – wheel was out of true, with one spoke quite loose. Fixed. Difficult to reach brake levers…

5/13 Open lab log

SUN 5/13/18 (JENNIFER, NICOLE, CONSUELO) Location:  outside Weather: 50-55 degrees, cloudy This was the first Sunday of the Bay State Bike Week. It was a little chilly today, but still plenty of people rolled by with miscellaneous issues: Air in tires for 2 bikes. Gears adjustment for 3 bikes. Squeaky brakes fix for 2 bikes. Front derailleur replacement for 1 bike. Brake cable housing lube for 3 bikes We were pleased to be joined by Adam S., who has indicated interest in volunteering with us at some future bike labs….

New season opens at Watch City Bike Lab

Our 2018 season kicked off with an opening on April 22, Earth Day.  The weather cooperated and volunteers on hand that week report a busy time. It’s great to see everyone out on their bikes! We also held two open labs in May, on the 13th and the 20th. Both were quite busy. Apologies to those who came at 2:00 on the 20th – our bad! We incorrectly posted the end time as 2:30…  we hope to see you on June 10 when we expect to be open next. Open…

10/8 Open lab log

SUN 10/8 (LEO, JENNIFER) Location:  inside Weather: drizzle at 10:30, band of showers passing through until about 1PM, then cloudy Temps in 70s. We set up inside. 2 stations worked non-stop from 10:30 through 1:40. Jonathan: Adjust rear derailleur, rear brake (just needed lube), brake lever position. Karen: Adjust handlebar center and rotation, adjust and tighten kickstand, Replace brake cable/housing, checked tires for leak. Also replaced tube in small child’s bike wheel. Karen was return customer and supplied parts. Maureen & Richard: Maureen: Straighten bent derailleur wheel cage, re-assembled/seated r.derailleur…

9/10 Open lab log

Sun 9/10 (Nathan, Jennifer) Location: outside Weather: nice, mid-70’s A woman came in with a coaster brake that wasn’t working very well. We weren’t sure how to adjust it. After taking it off the bike, fiddling a bit, and putting it back together, it seemed to work better.  Adjusted brakes and rear derailleur on a new Walmart bike. Wheels were also slightly out of true. The owner may come back to have that looked at. Adjusted brakes, derailleurs, and seat, lubed chain and pumped up tires on another bike.  Straightened…

9/3 East Coast River Relay and open lab

We were honored to be a stop on the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s East Coast River Relay on September 3. The East Coast River Relay is the 25th anniversary of East Coast Greenway Alliance. For 10 weeks, events are being held in communities all along the East Coast Greenway to celebrate healthy watersheds, active living, and local culture. We partnered with the East Coast Greenway Alliance, The Waltham Land Trust, the Charles River Watershed Association, and our host organization, the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation. Here was the day’s schedule: 10:30 –…

8/20 Open lab log

Sun 8/20 (Leo, Martha) Location: outside Weather: nice, upper-70’s Danny and Alia – stopped by because they saw a poster for the East Coast River Relay at Starbucks up by Market Basket (maybe Sonja from the Waltham Land Trust put it there). Mostly they wanted to see what we’re about and Danny especially was interested in getting involved. General discussion of cycling around Waltham as well. Michael has a son who is a new international student at Brandeis. He was out scoping out Waltham and wanted to see what we…

8/13 Open lab log

Sun 8/13 (Haink, Nicole) Location: outside Weather: nice, upper 70’s-low 80’s This was a very busy bike lab. Thankfully, we had the help of John Allen.   3 – 4 people stopped by to pump up their tires. Someone stopped by to get some advice on what to do with their bike they hadn’t used in a while. A woman stopped by to have a bike evaluated for her son (who had ridden it over there; someone gave it to them). The cable housing was really cracked and probably could have…

8/6/17 Open lab log

Sun 8/06 (Leo, Martha) Location: outside Weather: nice, mid-70’s Leo worked for over 2 hours with a gentleman with a Schwinn that had been in a crash and had a bent derailleur. In the end, it was rendered serviceable but they had to set limit screws to prevent shifting too far and causing things to jam up. Lauren and her mom Ines stopped by. Lauren is a high school intern at the Waltham Recycling Department and has been helpful getting information about the bike lab onto the City’s recycling pages….

7/30/17 Open lab log

Sun 7/30 (Nathan, Leo, Martha) Location: outside Weather: nice, upper-70’s Will stopped by and said he wants to return  next week for some derailleur help. Someone wanted to donate a bike for recycling. Explained we’re not set up to do that right now. Future possibility but certainly not this year. The group of people who were going to come today ended up being two: the husband of the person whom we spoke with originally, and their friend Mahmood. They both brought bicycles. Nathan worked with Mahmood to re-center the rear…

7/23/17 Cooper Street fire!

Sun 7/23 Due to the massive fire at the Cooper Street  development directly across the river from our location, the Museum and the Bike Lab were closed on July 23. The fire has since been declared arson by the Waltham Fire Department. Here is the July 23 statement from the Museum: IMPORTANT: The Charles River Museum will be CLOSED TODAY due to the ongoing situation with the fire across the river from our location. Additionally, there will be no Watch City Bike Lab today. We urge everyone to stay clear of the area…

7/16/17 Open lab log

Sun 7/16 (Leo, Martha) Location: outside Weather: hot, mostly clear, mid-80’s Two gentlemen stopped by with an old bike – the cogs on cluster had fallen off the cluster. After a lot of work getting it off, it turns out that the smallest threaded cog was cracked. Then they brought back another bike with similar freewheel, took that off also after a lot of effort, but when we tried to substitute it onto the first bike, it thread portion was the wrong diameter. Don’t know if he’ll come back with a…

7/9/17 Open lab log

Sun 7/09 (Leo, Martha) Location: outside Weather: nice, mostly clear, upper-70’s Kate and Ben: Discussed learning to fix and maintain bikes (2 bikes w/derailleurs); Kate: Straightened tube valve stem and centered rear brake; Ben: lubed and adjusted position (centering) of rear derailleur. Also centered front brake. Alison: checked to see if needs chain lube – advised not to lube as chain was rather dirty and not dry – more lube at this point would just attract more dirt and carry it into chain. Advised to clean chain and then lube….

7/2/17 Open lab log

Sun 7/02 (Jennifer, Leo) Location: outside Weather: nice, upper-70’s   2 Cyclists: Directions: Trail map, esp Auburndale Will: Brakes overhaul (2 new pads), adjust Alex: Check Kaytie’s bike. Center one brake assembly. Cyclist: Squeaking disk brake. Leo was going to check for stuck pad, but Jennifer suggested 1st verifying wheel seating and alignment. Turned out wheel had not been completely seated and was slightly out of alignment. Jennifer also instructed how to use pad position adj. screw. New Schwinn (just assembled by owner): General check. Adjust center rear derailleur. Align…

6/25/17 Open lab log

Sun 6/25 (Martha, Leo) Location: outside Weather: nice, mid-70’s Another great bike lab today – folks especially interested in talking about cycling in, around, and through Waltham. Our map displays from February were quite useful. Couple from South Boston: Air and directions: Trail map, especially Auburndale Cyclist: Air Cyclist: Air and directions: Trail map, especially Auburndale Cyclist: Political discussion bikes/racks/Waltham Child’s bike: Rough true wheel, Adj brake pads, center brakes Cyclist: Directions: Trail map, especially Auburndale. Cyclist: Air and directions: Trail map, especially Auburndale.  

6/18/17 Open lab log

Sun 6/18 (Nathan, Leo) Location: outside Weather: nice, mid-70’s Naomi: Align brake pads. For daughter: Adjust brake tension and handle position. He: Adjust cone, rear wheel. Rear brake tension & centering. John: Lube rear derailleur and cables. Adjust limits and tension both derailleurs.

6/11/17 Open lab log

Sun 6/11 (Jennifer, Leo) Location: outside Weather: nice, mid-70’s Here’s a quick recap of the open lab: Sharon: Rotate brake pads (she had primarily been forced to use rear brake to avoid going over handlebars, so this is also a big safety improvement). Rough true rear wheel. Adjust brakes. Investigated loose crank: appears to need new bearings. Sharon stayed an hour or so using stand and tools and discussion to better understand bike maintenance. Leo asked Sharon to return so he can replace damaged spoke nipples. Mike: Adjusted rear derailleur Cyclist:…

6/4/17: Summer season begins

 6/4/17 (Nicole, Haink, Roman) In the summer months, we try to be open every Sunday. June 4 was the first of our weekly openings, and it was a BUSY, busy time, one of the busiest Open Labs we’ve ever done. Luckily, one of our regular drop-ins stopped by and turned a few wrenches with us during the madness. Here’s a summary of the day’s encounters: Brandeis student came in with wobbly front wheel – opened up front hub, added grease to bearing balls, re-adjusted bearing preload, and re-assembled. Big improvement! Our…

Bay State Bike Week Open Lab log

Sun 5/21 (Leo, Martha, Jennifer, Haink, Nicole) Location: outside, some inside Weather: nice, mid-60’s This was our Bay State Bike Week event, and many of the bike lab organizers were able to be on hand for all or part of the day. Fun day! –          People tend not to come very early, so we will start encouraging earlier arrivals. –          The first two people were out touring around between Cambridge and Waltham. They pumped up their tires, asked about local bicycle routes and trails, and asked for directions to a nearby café….

May 7 bike lab cancelled

Please note that due to a private event at the Museum this Sunday, the Bike Lab will be closed on May 7. Our next open lab is on May 21. We’ll be celebrating Bay State Bike Week, and we’ll have swag! Hope to see you then!

More April sun… then showers

Sunday, April 30 was quite the busy day!  Two folks that had moved from California stopped by, primarily to have the brakes looked at on an old road bike. We showed them how to adjust one brake, and then they were able to work on the other! A couple stopped by with a well-used bike (Roadmaster). Bearings were shot in the rear wheel and the bottom bracket but we got the rear shifting and fixed the front brake, but we also had to say that it would probably be cheaper…

April snow showers

Sun 4/2/17,  Location: outside; Weather: sunny, low-50’s (great outside in the sun) The day started off a little… bleak, but we headed on down to open up the bike lab anyhow. Eventually the sun actually came out, and so did the people! The first person that came by had a puzzling issue with his brake cables. Both brake cables and inline housing length adjusters were sticky in housing and/or frozen. It took a very long time, but eventually with a little lubrication and some elbow grease, they worked free; also adjusted cable lengths….

Road trip to Bike! Bike! Southeast

Bike!Bike! is an annual international conference organized by and for community bicycle projects. This conference is a space for participants from shops and related advocacy groups to converge in a different city each year over a 4 day period to have workshops and strengthen our social network. The annual Bike!Bike! conference is hosted in a different city each year; regional Bike!Bike!s can take place at any time, in any location. A regional gathering took place on March 16-19 in Alexandria, VA, hosted by the awesome folks at VéloCity Bicycle Cooperative….

Open lab featuring Waltham cycling and walking paths

School vacation week We were open during museum hours for February school vacation week this year. We prepared a couple of display boards showing the Charles River Path as well as the Mass Central Rail Trail, and put out various flyers about cycling and hiking in Waltham (thank you, Waltham Land Trust). The weather ranged from somewhat seasonal 30’s to surprisingly un-seasonal, crazy-warm 70’s.  With temps 50 and above, and the sun shining, we were able to work outside on two of the days. Here are some highlights: Thu 2/23/17,  Location: inside, warm 50…

Building Community through Bikes

Check out this column from one of our founders. Yay Nicole! Building Community through Bikes at the Fall Festival  

Summertime!

Sure is hot outside these days, but a ride along the river catches some nice breezes. Ice cream on Moody Street is a nice treat, and a stroll through the museum is also a great thing to do on a sultry Sunday afternoon. At the bike lab this summer, we’ve met a lot of awesome folks – people new to cycling, people just getting back into it, and experienced riders and mechanics. The most common issues that people want to learn about include adjusting gears, adjusting brakes, pumping up tires,…

Summer hours – open every Sunday!

Beginning this Sunday, June 5, we will be open every week (except July 3). Make a plan to stop by – we open at 10:30 and close up at 2:30. And did you catch this article from the Waltham News Tribune?

Our May roundup

It’s great to finally start seeing more spring- and even summer-like weather! Several folks dropped by during our open labs on May 1st and 15th. We helped adjust some misbehaving derailleurs on a couple of bikes, adjusted a set of squeaky brakes, oiled some chains and pumped up some tires. Doug stopped by. He rides almost every day into the Museum of Science and back, and reports that his gears continually skip both up and down. Here are Leo and Dan looking over Doug’s derailleur and demonstrating how he can…

Out and about on Sunday

In stark contrast to our snow-filled opening day on April 3, the weather for our next open lab this past Sunday was wonderful – warm and sunny, and not much of a breeze to worry about if you’re concerned about headwind. It seemed like half the city was out and about: walking, riding, chilling, and pitching in to clean up Moody Street. Watch City Bike Lab organizers Jennifer, Leo, Martha, and Nathan were on hand, as well as our friend Jay and our “youth crew,” Jayson. Here are some of…

Opening day

We moved into our space at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation today (thanks, CRMII!). April 3rd and the weather was, well, snowy and cold, so we didn’t see a lot of people out walking and cycling, but we were happy to welcome visitors and let them know what we’re up to. Jayson put a new tube and tire onto Mayor McCarthy’s wheel. Next open lab, we’ll take a look at the brakes and cables. It won’t be long before her bike is ready to roll! Thanks as…

Food & Wine Festival

We had a great time as featured guests at the Museum’s annual Food, Wine and Craft Beer Festival on Thursday, March 31. Several of the Bike Lab’s organizers were on hand to explain what we’re all about. We ran a slideshow and handed out refrigerator-ready flyers. On display were two bicycles that have been in Mayor McCarthy’s garage for decades – we’re fixing them up to make them road-worthy. Stay tuned for more on this project! Special thanks to Joe Niedbala for designing our beautiful event banner.

In the news!

Here’s Haink in Martha’s copy of the Waltham News Tribune! We had a great time during our first Farmers’ Market day – hope some of you will be back to see us next month.