By Jessica Kostka /// Staff Writer
In the bike garage of J. R. Howard, every Wednesday night 6-8 p.m., Steven Kung offers a unique opportunity to Lewis & Clark bicyclists of all skill levels. Kung, a passionate cyclist from a local non-profit organization called Bikes for Humanity PDX, teaches an eight week class designed to give a complete overview of bike maintenance.
“This week, we’re focusing on linear-pull V brakes and cantilever brake adjustment,” Kung says, while he tinkers with a bike in front of him on the floor of the classroom. “Next week, it’s caliper brakes. It’s extremely important to adjust your brakes often, especially in Portland’s rainy weather.”
This is Kung’s second time teaching this class here on campus. He taught another eight-week session last term, and we can hope that he will continue to teach more of these classes in the future. His goal is to train the student volunteers at the Bike Co-op so that they may successfully offer their services to the LC community. He says that the Bike Co-op, which is also in the J.R. Howard garage, offers a wide selection of tools and parts as well as services. If they don’t have the supplies you need, they have the capacity to order more at generously discounted prices. However, any student, faculty or staff member can stop by Kung’s class to learn more about bikes without having to train for Bike Co-op work. LC student Hunter Feiss (’15) admits that he just pops in to get some repairs done, not specifically to become a volunteer.
Whether you want to learn to help others fix their bikes or just fix your own, the Wednesday night Bike Workshop is the place to be for anyone who enjoys cycling. Portland is well-known for its biking culture, so why not come get involved? Whether you just ride your bike to class or go out on long rides on weekends, it’s important to be knowledgeable about how equipment functions so that you can fix it yourself in a crisis. With that experience stored safely under your helmet, you can feel comfortable on your bike and, in Kung’s words, just “ride to be.”