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The Bike Hub goes online: innovation meets cycling on virtual forum

The Bike Hub (THB) is a social enterprise using cycling ‘for social good’ with clear goals of promoting a culture of inclusion, healthy lifestyles and environmental sustainability.

A new platform set up for ‘all things cycling’, it offers many programs to meet the needs of all cyclists, including people affected by mobility issues or those who are simply insecure to be on the road.

One of the TBH most popular initiatives is the ‘Bike Mechanics and Safe Cycling’ program, a bespoke program for transition year students (4th-year secondary school).

Normally, this 20-hour program runs over a week and incorporates practical mechanical elements to more theoretical ones, like the ‘rule of the road’ and STEM aspects of cycling. But of course, in this time of Covid and lockdowns, all companies have to reimagine their business models and ‘go virtual’ and The Bike Hub is no different.

To meet a request coming from a Dublin school, wanting to run a bike mechanics training with 50 students in 90 minutes, the TBH team went ‘all tech’ to deliver a fun and informative session.

The regular set up for the Zoom class was upgraded to incorporate two digital cameras (one DLSR, one mirrorless) and three laptops: one running the slide deck, the second one to manage the Zoom session and a third one for monitoring end-user experience. Technologies like ‘extended desktop’ functionality, screen facing and a Blackmagic video editing table were all at play to provide the best training experience for this group.

The training kicked off with “the history of the bicycle” culminating on today’s most used types of bikes. 65% of these students-cohort cycles daily and 50% of them stated they can fix a puncture. Hearing anecdotally about this uptake of cycling further highlighting the need for bicycle-specific training to be increased and more inclusive.

Supported by interactive quizzes and direct questions, the team was able to cover all aspects on how to run a full M-check, which involves how to adjust brakes, correct saddle position and other mechanical aspects. The students seemed to be particularly interested in specific maintenance skills, like how to treat a rusty chain or how to use the correct pump, as well as how to cycle trickly slopes or dangerous roads.

Whether the bicycle-user is a skilled mountain-biker or a first-timer cyclist, The Bike Hub is able to address all aspects of cycling in an enjoyable and interactive way which guarantees a learning experience for all.

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