Oberlin Blogs

Wheelin' and Reelin'

September 12, 2010

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

Even though I'm not a student anymore, it doesn't mean that I don't get to still learn new things. I'm enrolled in the school of life! Remaining in Oberlin means that I'm still around people who love to educate, and I try and learn something new every day if possible. Today, I learned all about bikes and bike safety. Today was the 2010 Oberlin Bike Festival.

Bikes parked in the grass

Held from 1-3pm today in Tappan Square, I first dropped by the bike maintenance booth to adjust my rear bike wheel. I have a pretty snazzy big kid's bike, but it has an adult chain on it. As a result, my chain sometimes gets very loose and falls off while I'm riding. This, in itself, is very scary, but I also only have a coaster brake. No chain equals no brakes, which is downright terrifying. I'm really happy Ohio is flat. Anyways, one of the mechanics got me the right-sized wrench and I moved my back tire back, and as a result, tightened my chain. Awesome!

People wheeling their bikes on a sidewalk

I then grabbed a free burger, and went to visit Colin at the bike raffle table to get the lowdown on today. Bike safety knowledge was the main goal of the day, but after the bike safety spiels, you were eligible for lots of free things, a lasting memento of all the daily learning.

I got my bike safety pledge card punched by all four safety specialists, who taught me how to navigate dangerous Oberlin intersections, the proper hand signals to communicate with other bicyclists and motorists, how to register my bike (win! I did that last year!), and how to check my bike before I ride it (including how to check my tire pressure).

Close-up of bike handles

Volunteers under a tent in Tappan square

A bike tire obstructing a view of the memorial arch

new, matching bikes parked in the grass

With my new pledge, I was then eligible for a bike raffle (I declined, because I already have a really awesome bike) and lots of free safety items: a bike helmet, lots of reflective tape (now nicely decorating my bike and my new helmet), a reflector/flashing light I can clip on my belt when biking at night, and a new lock.

A helmet, lock, and bike light

The photographer takes a selfie wearing a bike helmet

I would say today was a total success: lots of cool looking bikes, bike paraphernalia all over the place, and hundreds of enthusiastic people outside during one of the most pleasant days of September. I even saw some of my students from Langston Middle School (way back when we did the visual poetry unit as part of the Apollo Outreach Initiative), some Oberlin High kids from this summer's AOI camp, and some OBJumpers from last spring's circus. Boy, do I love this town.

A bright, blurry picture of bikes in the grass


Missed the festival? Daniel Schloss '07 made a video so you can live vicariously.

Similar Blog Entries