TUNE-UP BASICS, FIXING BRAKES, CYCLING IN TORONTO Free biking workshops today (Thursday, March 22), March 29 and April 5 respectively, 6 to 8 pm. Repair services available weekdays noon to 5 pm until April 16. Reopening May 1, hours tba. International Student Centre, 33 St. George. 416-978-6849. firstname.lastname@example.org www.sustainability.utoronto.ca/projects-research/bikechain/ Rating: NNNNN
WHAT'S BIKE CHAIN? "It's a student-run bicycle repair facility operated at U of T. We opened in October 2005. We won a levy from the Student Administrative Council, so we're becoming a separate entity next year and weaning ourselves off support from the U of T Sustainability Office."
WHO CAN JOIN? "It's open to everyone. It's free to the U of T community and there's an annual membership for the general public from $20 to $60 depending on what you can pay. All workshops are free to anyone who wants to come."
WHAT WILL YOU TEACH? "The workshops are run like seminars. People don't have to bring their bikes. What happens depends largely on who comes. When we had a wheel-building workshop a lot of kids came, so we made it about understanding how a wheel works."
HOW DO WE SOLVE THE LOCK-UP PROBLEM? "We need a different type of parking that's more secure for people who want to ride a nicer bike. If we want to reach a demographic other than people who just ride shitty bikes, we have to look at other options like lockers [that hold the whole bike]. There are a few around the city, but we need more."
BEST BIKING SPOT? "Probably the Don Valley. Do you consider that in Toronto? If we're talking really urban, Kensington Market is pretty fun on a bike weaving through traffic."
LEAST FAVOURITE BIKE REPAIR? "Tuning gears. It should be one of the simplest things, but it's actually very specific to every bike. It has its own quirks and is very irritating."
BEST BIKING FUEL? "Bananas. Bananas are good. They're high in potassium and very cheap."