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South Riverdale Bicycle Repair Clinic

Every Thursday between 1 – 3 PM
655 Queen East, main floor atrium

A chain breaker

a chain breaker

This is kind of embarrassing. I’m not proud of the fact that for most of this summer my bicycle has been sitting idle with a broken chain.

I consider myself a cycling advocate, I make bicycle route maps to help city planners better construct the next generation of bicycle infrastructure. I also write about cycling issues – and here I am walking and taking the TTC all summer because I don’t own the proper tool to fix my bike’s drive chain!

Paul Young (right), bicycle mechanic par excellence

Paul Young (on the right), bicycle mechanic par excellence

A lot of the tools that you need to maintain your bike have cool names, like the one pictured above, a cute little tool which is called “THE CHAIN BREAKER!” :)

(Image from

Luckily Paul Young runs a Bicycle Repair Clinic at the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, which is just blocks from my house.

The South Riverdale CHC Bike Repair Clinic is designed for people who can’t afford the pricey bike shops – my simple repair might have cost $40.00 at a regular store. Instead, all it cost me was a little time and some good will – AND there’s always tea and cookies to keep you going. Yesterday, a big pot of soup was laid on as well.

View South Riverdale Community Health Centre Thursday Bike Repair Clinic in a larger map

Wearing an old pair of jeans (you’re going to get oil and grease on them), take your bike and any parts you think you might need to 655 Queen East, where Paul and fellow bike repair genius Jungle Ling, will walk you through any repair you can think of – and let you use the proper tool for the job too!

As soon a Paul saw that I knew what I was doing with my chain fix, that I took care to treat the tools nicely, and put them back where I gotten them from so everyone can use them, he pretty much left me on my own – when I ran into a problem he was right there to lend a hand or some advice.

I’m happy to say my chain is fixed and my bike’s drive train is running smoothly. While I was there I also adjusted my seat height, and learned what a “crank extractor” is as I helped ‘Doug’ with a crank case bearing replacement.

I’m heading back next Thursday to volunteer; they’re busy down there – they need the help.


Posted: September 24th, 2010
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