You've got the bike, but can you change the tire?

You've got the bike, but can you change the tire? »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. – OK. You’ve done it. You’ve moved to Portland. You’ve bought yourself a bike. You want to ride it to work, or around the park or on some trails out in the mountains.
 
Now what?

Tori Bortman had an epiphany: Owning a bike can be an intimidating experience.

So, she founded Gracie’s Wrench to teach bicycle maintenance to beginners.

“If I can do this, really anyone can do this,” Bortman said. “You don’t have to be mechanically inclined to learn how to change your own tire or work on your bike.

“It just takes somebody explaining it to you and breaking it down well enough.”

The classes are generally small, and often populated by women.

“I thought it was really cool that this is a women's only class,” said Aubrey Trueb, who participated in a recent class. “Since I'm a beginner, and a beginner with the maintenance, it's less intimidating.”

Still, Bortman teaches men too, starting with things as basic as fixing a flat tire.

“To think that only women are intimidated is absolutely wrong,” she said. “Men are intimidated too. “If they are a man who’s intimidated, they feel even less like they can ask questions often, because they’re supposed to be a man and know how to do it.”

Bortman said she’s not a fantastic mechanic; just a great teacher.

“To learn how to change your own tire or work on your bike, it just takes somebody explaining it to you and breaking it down well enough,” she said.