On one side of the Provo Bicycle Collective’s work space lies a pile of unrideable bikes. Some are missing wheels, others are missing a frame and are just wheels.
On the opposite side is a row of shiny bikes of all sizes. They are all rideable and look nearly new.
Between the broken and the fixed bikes, instructor Adam Khalilullah is teaching a group of kids how to fix a bike as part of the collective’s Earn-a-Bike program. During this class, he’s focusing on changing pedals and adjusting the seat.
“Remember what I said about threading everywhere on a bike,” Khalilullah asked. He got nods and several affirmative responses from the kids.
“Well this one is different,” he said gesturing to one of the bike pedals. “It’s not 'righty tighty, lefty loosy.'”
Khalilullah shows the kids how to take the pedal off the blue and grey bike, grease it and put it back on.
By the end of the 10-week, 10-hour long Earn-a-Bike program the kids should have the skills needed to maintain a bike and maybe even repair some of the broken ones. They will also receive one of the bikes in the shop for free.
Khalilullah, a Brigham Young University student, said the course goes above and beyond bikes and teaches the children important life lessons.
“We don’t just teach bike skills,” he said. “I think it teaches and builds a mechanical mindset and problem-solving skills at a young age. I can usually tell the kids that will take up engineering or management based on how they help others or work on parts.”
The class is held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Provo Bicycle Collective. The class just finished its third of 10 lessons, but Khalilullah said it’s always going on.
The group seeks to encourage people to bike more by giving them access to tools and providing them the necessary knowledge to care for their bicycle.
“At the bike collective we try to say we aren’t a bike shop we are a bike community, and it’s really integral to keeping bikes in the community,” he said.
The Earn-a-Bike program for kids ages 6 to 16 fits in with that message, Khalilullah said.
“If I can instill that passion for getting on two wheels and flying down the street, then I think that’s a good way to keep people on bikes,” he said.
Rick West brought several of his kids to the class Wednesday. He said he wants his kids to learn to be self-reliant.
“We really want them doing as much biking as possible. Their bikes are always breaking and this way they don’t have to wait on us to get them running again to be able to enjoy what they want to do.”
West’s daughter Danika, 14, said she spends a lot of time on her bike and wanted to learn how to fix it.
“When my dad isn’t around to help me or I’ll eventually be living on my own, I don’t want to have to ask someone else to help me fix my bike,” she said. “I want to be able to fix it and know what the problem is.”
Adeline Chan was another parent who brought her children to the bike collective Wednesday. She, like West, said she hopes it helps her kids be more prepared to take care of their bikes.
“They’ve been fixing a bike throughout the summer, just here and there,” Chan said. “I thought this program would help them actually learn some real skills.”