Volunteer Mechanics Workshops

Historically, our Volunteer Mechanics Class met Thursday nights for 3 hours and worked through a 10-week, once-a-week curriculum concerning all of the systems found on a bicycle. This was run and developed by Chris Nelsen for years, and successfully spread mechanics knowledge through the community with dividends.

For those of us lucky enough to taken the class with Chris over the last few years, we know how great of a program it was, and the extent to which it was the unique creation of Chris. Since Chris moved to Seattle this Spring we have been scrambling to decide how we would fulfill the educational component of our mission, beyond the hands on learning that happens in our shop, at co-ops started by B4H, and at external events.

We’re inviting you to a more abbreviated yet continuous series of 2-hour sessions that involve a brief lecture and introduction at the beginning, and then a guided, hands on component for the remainder of the class. By having 2-3 sessions a week, the work being performed in the classes can be integrated into the life of the shop more, allowing for repairs to occur as students learn how to do them. This approach lends to a variety of outcomes:

  • those of us staffing the shop can reserve a handful of bikes that, say, need a front hub overhaul, and stage them for the class, prioritizing and moving forward on other projects, saving the repair as a learning experience.
  • students hoping to master their own bikes can look forward on the calendar, see a system they know needs attention, and come in to fix it, using our tools and grease, and learning the overhaul process for that system in the process.
  • a new student could breeze through the class in a month and get an introductory diy degree in bikes, while someone else could dabble indefinitely and build up an education that way.
Let us know if you can make it, and if you’re interested in staying on this list of active students and volunteers. We look forward to continuing to increase access to bikes by learning and sharing skills.

The Volunteer Mechanics Workshop is held Wednesdays from noon to 2 and Thursdays from 5 to 7. We can accommodate a limited number of students, so please RSVP [info@b4hpdx.org] to make sure there is space. If you wish to address and fix or overhaul an issue on your bike covered in that session we request a donation.


Download our Curriculum

Bikes for Humanity is dedicated to demystifying bicycle maintenance. In support of this goal, we offer our curriculum as a download. This is the same curriculum used to train volunteers at our shop and co-ops. Enjoy!

B4HPDX Volunteer Mechanics Class Curriculum.pdf

External Workshops

At all of our external repair events, the bicycle owners can observe and learn from our repair techniques and processes. B4HPDX can host external workshop events, depending on resource availability, scheduling, and equitable consideration. Please email info@b4hpdx.org with External Workshop inquiries.