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Teach children bike repair in school
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
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Long before any child will drive or own a home, they should have a bike (if they've got two working legs anyway). Bikes are relatively simple machines that are relatively inexpensive as far as parts and tools go, yet they contain many valuable lessons. Optimally, this class would be taught in elementary school. Learning to repair and modify bikes would tie easily into science concepts already taught in elementary schools while providing a hands-on experience honing direction- following and tool-using skills. It would also prepare children for shop classes later in their education. It might even help combat childhood obesity by increasing their odds of having a well- maintained bike at home and getting them out of their seats for at least a little while. The largest barrier to the realization of this class would be the fear of liability for bicycling injuries in and outside of school.
evildork, Jun 11 2006

(?) its a job for... bicycle repair man! http://cycling.fini.../stuff/supermen.jpg
[po, Jun 11 2006]


       sorry, [evildork] Your post drew forth many, many memories of me trying to beat the hell out of myself & my bicycle, but the bike always won. It never broke once. Maybe it was due to the fact that the bike was built in the 1950's (a fact that embarassed me & egged me on to beat anyone on our neighborhood track - possibly a normal reaction .)   

       //Those inclined to manual labour must be deemed unfit!//   

       [rcarty]: On behalf of all of the people who will or have had to go through what I went through ... Fuck You. I probably beat you in the PSAT, SAT, & ACT. One has to do what they have to do. I'll spare you the long story - but I spent many, many years pennance doing manual labour to pay for my attempt to go to a school I couldn't afford - I burned the fuck out doing 2 full time jobs & also mowing 8 yards ea summer after 2 years. (one should listen to one's parent's even if they don't give you a dime for school, shouldn't they). _ Did I mention starving & losing 40 lbs? It really changes one's perspective. (especially when you were below 150 lbs to begin with).   

       Smell my shoes! I may hit 6 fig's next year. (I couldn't afford the degree, BTW & I'm not doing it in sales!).   

       I speak to the Janitor the same way as I speak to the Owner of the company. (well, not any more, 'cause I'm kind of both, but until then, I always did.)
Zimmy, Jun 11 2006

       When I was in public school, I hated any assignments requiring more than a pencil and paper to complete. Most of these involved getting a piece of posterboard and gluing magazine clippings to it--simply pointless. I don't see learning about bike repair as manaul labor. It's not anything like stacking 40lb buckets for hours on end (what I'm doing to pay for my education now). It's just something a bit different than plain old desk work that's a little less mindless than clipping magazines and a little less physical than playing dodgeball. I see it more as a very early introduction to applied engineering concepts as bikes have grown a bit more complex (and unfortunately delicate) since the 50s.
evildork, Jun 11 2006

       Do you remember what happens when you put the bike back together again? Yes, there's always some piece that is left in the box.
What happens if you take the bike apart enough times? You get enough pieces to build two bikes.

       The schools could sell the clone bikes.
Ling, Jun 12 2006

       I spent so much time in school worrying about my project turning out better or worse than the next student that I don't think I really learned much or became a better person.   

       But off on my own, with my bicycle and a few tools and parts from my dad... That is where I grew.   

       Learn to repair bikes? Yes. In public school? No.   

       My kids are home schooled. Confident, capable, lots of friends, generally doing great. My little boy is a bit slow on reading, but he will get there. He is a lego master...   

       My point is that as far as I can tell, the public schools can only hope to do the minimum, can't manage more, and are never funded to do even that. So if you want to bake this idea, gather up the neighborhood kids, pick up some cheap tools and spare parts ane make a bike garage available to then in your own back yard.
James Newton, Jun 12 2006

       I think it's a good idea and also the annos make good points.   

       I wish that I knew how to repair my car. Teaching these things early in life can help later on so..+
xandram, Jun 12 2006

       I'm all for it. I'll add that classes should be held to teach basic riding skills. There should also be a few good-quality bikes around, just so people get some exposure to something besides the standard Wal-mart trash bikes.
baconbrain, Jun 12 2006

       Required textbook: Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jun 13 2006


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