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Bikes Not Bombs Earn-A-Bike Instructor Training Manual

From Bike Collectives Wiki

What exactly is this Training Manual?

The lesson plans in this manual are designed as technical aids to guide the teaching of adults and older teens who are being trained to become volunteer Earn-A-Bike instructors. The lesson plans cover a wide variety of subjects from riding a bike safely in the city to how to true wheels. In the course of teaching this content, each lesson also demonstrates the teaching methodology we use with young people in Earn-A-Bike.

Why Did Bikes Not Bombs Develop this Manual?

Bikes Not Bombs (BNB) began teaching Earn-A-Bike classes in school parking lots and playgrounds around the Boston area in 1990.

Towing a set of tools around the city in a bike trailer, we were able to reach many youths in their own environments. However, as we soon discovered, it was difficult to maintain consistent relationships with young people without a youth center. In 1994 we moved into 59 Amory St. in Roxbury, Massachusetts and ran our first in-house Earn-A-Bike program in the new Bikes Not Bombs World Headquarters.

Now that we had established a home base, we had a place to teach our classes as well as a place where volunteers could come and receive training. As the number of students taking Earn-A-Bike grew, so did our need for trained volunteer instructors. We found that in order to teach mechanics and bike riding to the high standards our students deserved, we needed a student:instructor ratio of no more than 3:1, and we developed the Bikes Not Bombs Instructor Training course offered here at BNB once a year.

The class lasts for ten weeks and is designed to train anyone, no matter what the mechanical skill, how to be a helpful aid in an Earn-A-Bike class. Finally we needed a manual to go along with this class that would teach mechanics as well as our teaching methodology. Besides wanting a manual as a companion to our classes, we also wanted to give bicycle activists from around the world a chance to create Earn-A-Bike classes of their own. That's why we created this manual.

What can I use these manuals for?

If you are currently a member of the Bikes Not Bombs Instructor Training course, you can down load these manuals, print them out, and study them or bring them to class with you. Though we cover all the subjects in the manual in the class, it's always good to have the information in written form for your reference, and to personalize it with your own notes from class. Once you begin to teach, keep these pages handy as a check list for covering all the steps in a process.

The lesson plans are designed to walk a person through the necessary parts of an entire Earn-A-Bike class and through each step in the mechanical processes we are teaching. If you already have an Earn-A-Bike class set up, you can use these manuals as a technical reference. If you are looking to establish a program similar to the one we have created here at Bikes Not Bombs, you can use these manuals as a guide to creating your own Earn-A-Bike class. Teaching a batch of volunteer instructors can be a great warm-up exercise for teaching young people!

Remember, this is a free manual to anyone who wants it. Download it, put it to use, and create more bicycle culture around the world.

Good Luck!!

P.S. If you do reproduce all or part of this manual, we ask that you acknowledge BNB. We'd also love to know how any of you are using it. Thanks!

1 Introduction - What it means to be an instructor, rights & responsibilities

2 Flat Fixing - Tire and Wheel (Pneumatic Suspension) Systems

3 Rotational Systems: Bottom Bracket Overhaul & Adjustment

4 Basic Tools

5 Rotational Systems: Hub Overhaul and Adjustment

6 Selecting a Bike

7 Bicycle Safety Skills

8 Rotational Systems: Headset Overhaul & Adjustment

9 Suspension System: Wheel Truing & Spoke Tension

10 The Braking System: Cable Tension - Spring Release

11 Cantilever Brakes

12 Rear Derailleurs

13 Front Derailleurs

References PDF Download of Instructor Manual