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Bike Maintenance Classes through the City of Monterey

For many years, Erick Chavez of Winning Wheels provide expert-level instruction at these City of Monterey classes. He has stepped down from that position.

To find out if the City of Monterey is continuing to offer classes (with a new instructor), contact the  City of Monterey Recreation Department. The information below is no longer being updated.

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Register for class via the City of Monterey Recreation Department. Want to avoid risk of class being cancelled? As the City of Monterey guide states regarding all classes,

“Sometimes excellent courses with super instructors are cancelled because too many people wait until the last minute to register….Don’t wait! Register now….”

Spread the word! Minimum of 6 students required.
Most of the info below is still relevant. For any changes or for future class dates, check with the City of Monterey.

The info below was previously published in 2014-2016, when classes were offered for ages 14 and up as well as for ages 8-13 (e.g., Bicycle Maintenance Classes offered thru City of Monterey). For Winter 2016/Spring 2017, classes for ages 14 and up aren’t in the activity guide. Why? The City of Monterey Rec Department indicated the 14 and up classes aren’t scheduled at this time due to insufficient registration in the past.

Del Monte Center by Macys

Hmmm….Good idea. Self-sufficiency on two wheels gives you more freedom of mobility. And parents will feel better, knowing that if ever we get a flat tire, we’ll know how to patch it or change an inner tube ourselves.

 I’m out biking all the time. If I phoned my dad at work to come fix a flat, he might decide I wasn’t old enough to bike to the mall with my friends.

Open to locals and non-residents, one class with this master bike mechanic can boost your confidence about basic bike maintenance.
Can’t change a flat?  Thanks to Erick Chavez, City of Monterey has a fix for that!

Dream of biking from Pastures of Heaven to Cannery Rowwithout knowing how to change a flat? Not Alex! This North Salinas High student bikes Salinas to the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail confidently, since he has some bike maintenance skills under his belt.

Who’s teaching?

Erick Chavez of Winning Wheels of Pacific Grove is helping more kids and adults learn basic bike maintenance. 

Yes, the City of Monterey Parks and Rec Department has secured the expertise of this highly respected bike shop professional in teaching classes.   Details below.

Erick and his family’s commitment to helping more people bike is one reason why Monterey County Weekly’s 22nd annual readers’ poll awarded Winning Wheels of Pacific Grove the honor of Best Bike Shop 2012.   Winning Wheels is in downtown Pacific Grove, a short ride up from the coastal bike path/multiuse trail. They are at 318 Grand Avenue, Pacific Grove; phone 831/375-4322. Oh! And one more thing about Winning Wheels: They are also a supporter of the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center bike repair and safety class!

 Avid cyclist Patty is one of the many fans of Winning Wheels!

Whether you bike a quarter-mile or many miles, basic bike maintenance skills can spare you a hassle.

Already bike maintenance savvy? Tell friends, neighbors, and visitors about this opportunity, helping to fill up the registration so these classes will roll! Show the City of Monterey you appreciate this effort to equip locals, and visitors, to be more capable and confident out on the bikeways.

What will be taught?

Learn how to inflate tires, change a flat, adjust brakes, and keep your bike clean and lubed.  These basic maintenance skills will be taught, along with some safety tips, including proper helmet fit.

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REMINDER: Most of the info below is still relevant.
For any changes or for future class dates, check with the City of Monterey.

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Who can attend the Bike Maintenance class?

Residents and non-residents, ages 8-13 and ages 14 and up are welcome at these City of Monterey classes. [Update for Winter 2016/Spring 2017: only classes for ages 8-13 are offered now, due to insufficient registration for the 14 and up classes.]

How to sign up

You may register online, in person, by fax, or by postal mail. See Monterey Activities Guide  play! for registration details. Or pick up a printed copy at City of Monterey Parks and Rec office, Monterey Public Library, or other locations.

Questions about the class?

Questions about the instructor and class content may be directed to Casanova Oak Knoll Park Center, 831-646-5665.  General questions? Monterey Recreation Administration Office, 546 Dutra Street, Monterey (behind Colton Hall, up above Friendly Plaza); call 831-646-3866 or


Classes meet at Casanova Oak Knoll Park Center, 735 Ramona Avenue, Monterey.

What’s the cost?

Cost is $20 for City of Monterey residents and $26 for non-residents. [Update: 2016-17 classes are $25 for residents, $33 for non-residents.]

Why bother?

A minimum of six students are required for these City of Monterey classes to roll.  Spread the word! 

Sure, even for something as minor as putting air in the tires, you can take your bike to any of our terrific local bike repair and maintenance professionals in Monterey County, or elsewhere.  They are happy to do preventive maintenance, as well as to have you haul your bike in for repair after a breakdown.

Why learn to be a little self-sufficient as well?  If you break down on the bikeways, it’s always possible that you could be very lucky, like the woman pictured at the bottom of this post.  A bike mechanic might happen to come your way.  Most often, though, a breakdown on the bikeways means your day’s plans for biking are adversely affected.

Worse yet is the risk that postponing importance maintenance could mean an injury, or death.  Learning basic skills like brake adjustment may help you realize when your bike does need to go to the shop.

Got tools? Check. Got know-how? Well…

You may be a “marine mammal in distress,” like me, not so handy with a wrench.  And like me, you may carry an inner tube, air pump, all-in-one tool, etc. most of the time.  But do you know how to use them? 

These City of Monterey Bicycle Maintenance classes are a good place for children, teens, and adults to get started on being more self-sufficient out on the bikeways.  Register now, or tell another bicyclist–or wannabe cyclist–about this opportunity.

Bike safety

Some basic bike safety will be taught in these City of Monterey classes.  For more safety tips, see CA Bike Laws and Personal Safety.

“Wish I was old enough. I want to learn to take care of my tires all by myself!”

Meanwhile, she’s getting help at a local bike shops. They’re happy to help put air in the tires!

Check out the photo gallery below

And see some of the many people in Monterey County who benefit from having even basic bike maintenance skills.

Visitors are welcome to this City of Monterey class. Why?
Learning to change a flat can prevent having a damper put on an eagerly anticipated vacation day outing. We want our visitors to be happy and confident on the bikeways too!

Some visitors–like Carey Beebe–just can’t wait for someone else to fix a flat.  Carey, an annual visitor from Australia, bike commutes throughout the Carmel Bach Fest, going from venue to venue to tune instruments. While he appreciates having other maintenance provided by local bike shops, he definitely wouldn’t want to be without knowledge of how to take care of his own tires.  Unexpected flat or not, the performance must go on! And this world-renowned professional isn’t about to let his chosen method of travel delay a concert.

Hey, I wouldn’t be able to get an Express Mail out

at the Seaside Post Office on time if I couldn’t pump up my own tires!

I’d fix it, if I could….

And I can. I’m not about to set out on a ride with my fixie buds when my bike needs a brake adjustment.  Doesn’t matter it’s a Sunday and my favorite shop is closed, I can take care of that adjustment myself.

And BTW, F.N.B. fixie riders don’t worry about any fixie “tough guys” who think observing traffic laws is for sissies. We’re cool about stop signs and such, as we blast around town boosting the street cred for fixies!

Teachers don’t consider a flat tire an excused absence!  Being prepared to change your own flat is smart if you bike commute to class.
Don’t let age–or a tire blow-out–stop you from biking

Robert Kelley is among the many elder cyclists in Monterey County, folks who just keep on rolling through the years. Robert bikes from Toro Park to Pacific Grove regularly, and you can bet he knows how to change an inner tube.

That’s a laugh!

These Velo Club riders wouldn’t think of heading out on a VCM group ride without knowing how to reinflate their own tires.

Bike commuting to work means…

he has to show up on time, blown inner tube or not.  Jeff Perrine’s position as director of sales at Sanctuary Beach Resort Monterey Bay–a charter participant in the HER Helmet Thursdays project–requires he show up at work in suit and tie.  And Jeff’s preferred mode of transportation requires he have basic bike maintenance skills down, so he is sure to arrive as scheduled.

Don’t think for a minute that I’m gonna pack up these kids

for the beach, then tell them, “Sorry, we can’t go. There’s no air in the tires.”  That’d be a sure way to guarantee preschooler meltdowns!  No need to disappoint the family.  Fixing up those tires is definitely in my parenting skill set.

Want to venture a little farther?

This Santa Cruz County family did. And you can bet the trailer their teen is pulling includes basic bike maintenance tools.  AAA doesn’t yet offer roadside service to bicyclists in California, as it does in Washington, Oregon, and southern Idaho.  This family knows that self-sufficiency is their best insurance policy for a fun family ride all the way to Pacific Grove.

All the parents below are out teaching their kids bike safety skills. 
Knowing how to clean and lube your own bicycle is another valuable life skill–for kids, teens, and adults. Learn it at the City of Monterey class!
Teaching his daughter to safely navigate the bike lanes on Garden Road
Teaching her son the best way for children to make their way…

through the Monterey Peninsula College campus, en route home to La Mesa from the Del Monte Shopping Center.

Teaching her youngsters to be

street-wise in their Carmel neighborhood.

 Taking her son out

on the Castroville Class I path, a great place for little ones to practice skills.

Del Rey Oaks resident Susan Ragsdale-Cronin and her children bike commute

to school in Monterey, for errands in Seaside and elsewhere. You can bet there are basic bike tools among the items they haul–and that Susan and her husband are teaching Dharma, Tara, and Sydney to use them.

These Castroville parents, too, know that bike skills are important life skills.

And they’re preparing their children for a happier, healthier, more prosperous life!  They know the benefits to bicycling are many!

Give yourself–or someone you care about–the gift of a City of Monterey Bicycle Maintenance class! 
The woman below was fortunate.

She had no needed inner tube in her pack, when Rob Cepeda happened to pass her way. Rob fixed her right up!  You may not have such a Good Samaritan come your way.  Sign up for City of Monterey’s Bicycle Maintenance class.  (Rob was out providing complimentary mobile mechanic services for the 2012 Intergenerational Ride.)

Sign up for the City of Monterey classes with Erick Chavez of Winning Wheels! (Details above.)

This post was published on 25 October 2016. One or more changes last made to this post on 29 December 2019.

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