Hwy 10, West of Mandan

Hwy 10, West of Mandan

Monday, May 6, 2013

Developing New Skills: A Visit to Barnett Bicycle Institute

Following more than a year of rescheduling and delays, I finally attended a bicycle mechanic course at Barnett Bicycle Institute (BBI) in Colorado Springs early last month.  I participated in the beginning 40 hour course called BAM (Bicycle Assembly & Maintenance), which was suited to home mechanics like myself.  The course was excellent through-and-through, with plenty of hands-on experience under the watchful eyes of seasoned instructors.

In addition to acquiring basic maintenance skills, I also attended a night course on wheel building.  The course, taught by John Ellis, underscored the deliberate, step-by-step approach for lacing and truing wheels.  I found wheel building an enjoyable activity (relaxing, really).  As an added plus, I brought new rims and spokes along with Shimano 105 front and rear hubs from my Koga-Miyata and applied my new skills to build two wheels.

(Wheel components)
(Built wheel)
Not all time was spent attending the course or practicing new skills.  I was able to venture out twice on my bike, first to Red Rocks Canyon, and then later in the week to Garden of the Gods.  Both rides were enjoyable, and only minutes away from BBI.

Reflecting on my week at BBI will always bring good memories, as well as a lasting appreciation for what it takes to keep your bike’s performance at the highest level.  Thank you BBI!