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Fix your Bicycle for Fun and Exercise (and Profit)

So bicycling is already an exercise, but so is fixing your bicycle. Or better yet, learn how to fix other people's bicycles and you can "exercise and get paid for it" on a regular basis.

Learning how to fix your own bicycle is certainly a good way to save money. Professional bicycle mechanics in Canada typically charge $60 per hour + the cost of parts.

See How much should a Canadian Bicycle Mechanic be charging for repairs?

So yes, you can definitely save money and get exercise while fixing bicycles.


But How Do You Learn How To Fix Bicycles?

Well, there are a number of methods of learning how to fix bicycles. Here is a list of ways:

  1. Take a bicycle mechanic training course from a professional bicycle mechanic instructor. The one I recommend is Smokey from the Quadra Bicycle Mechanic School. Smokey used to teach the BAM class in Toronto, but later moved his teaching to the island of Quadra in British Columbia. Before I became a personal trainer / sports trainer, my one time goal was to open a bicycle shop and become a full time bicycle mechanic. Smokey is the guy who trained me, and even though I never opened my bicycle shop, I still credit him with me changing my life around and starting my own personal training business.
  2. Learn from a book: The book I recommend is "Barnett's Bicycle Repair Manual". If you do a Google search you can probably find a PDF copy of it. Otherwise it usually costs about $29.99. I have a copy of the book that I got when I took the BAM program in 2009.
  3. Learn from a website: Eg. The Bicycle Mechanic, for example, is a website I started in 2009 around the time I took the BAM program here in Toronto. I was basically learning everything I could during the BAM class from Smokey, plus the Barnett manual, and converting the things I learned into a website that other people could read and use.
  4. Learn from various YouTube channels. There is no one YouTube channel I am going to recommend on this subject. Many of them are good. They range from celebrities like James May (from "The Grand Tour" and "Top Gear") doing bicycle builds and maintenance videos to people who are not famous, but are professional bicycle mechanics. I have included one such video from James May below in which he does some "boring bicycle maintenance".
  5. DO ALL OF THE ABOVE. Watch the videos on YouTube, read websites like The Bicycle Mechanic, get a copy of Barnett's manual, or take a bicycle mechanic training course. If you're absolutely serious about getting really good at fixing bicycles then just do everything.




And once you learn how to fix bicycles then you can potentially earn money (and get more exercise) while doing an activity you enjoy. (Well, it isn't always enjoyable. Sometimes it is hard, but anything that require exercise during the process usually means there is a work element to it.)

What about myself?

Speaking for myself I learned how to fix bicycles from my dad and my best friend Jonathan (who was practically a brother to me) when we were growing up. When I was older and serious about learning more about how to fix bicycles I took the BAM course, I got the Barnett manual, I made the website myself, and I have even considered making my own bicycle mechanic YouTube videos. With the exception of the bicycle mechanic training course from Smokey I did everything else myself.

Same thing goes years ago when I got more serious about making my own bows. I took a course from a bowyer here in Toronto and I purchased 5 books on the subject of bow making, so now I can make my own flatbows, pyramid bows, longbows and more.

If you really want to learn something then hire someone to teach you. It is the whole premise of my sports training business. I teach archery, boxing, swimming and ice skating. Skills that people really need an instructor for if they want to learn how to do it properly.

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