The Campaign was called out today on its first urgent repair job for the Beauty and the Bike project. The Cycling Campaign has been commissioned to provide a repair and maintenance service for the wonderful dutch bikes for the duration of the project. The bikes are being hired by the young women from Velodarlo, a self-managed bicycle sharing scheme that makes attractive dutch bikes available to the people of Darlington for a small charge.
Until now, we’ve been dealing with minor issues such as cabling, basket installs and re-tightening nuts and bolts after bike transit. But today Nicole called with a rear tyre puncture, after a thorn got into the inner tube. The Excelsior bike, like most in the Velodarlo fleet, has 28″ wheels. A call to Halfords revealed that these are regarded as “rare these days” in this country. Funny how a town can be so behind the times that “modern” here is already becoming “out of date” elsewhere, but that’s so-called entrepreneurial capitalism for you.
So a 27″ inner it had to be. Step forward the heroes of the hour, Campaign members Andy and Marie. They were over to Nicole’s house within the hour complete with tool kit, and had the tube replaced after another 30 minutes. After the job, they both said that the task with a dutch bike is totally different to the usual UK mountain bike, with chain guards and hub gears to grapple with. And with the size and type of spares also differing, the chances are that one of the local bike shops would have had problems. But they reckon that with a few more tube changes, the Campaign should have the collective knowledge to manage future issues without a problem.
Nicole is now back on two wheels again, and will be seen on the roads of the town tomorrow morning on her way to her Maths GCSE.
Good Luck Nicole!