Here at The Bicycle Academy we are well known for providing a range of excellent frame building courses and masterclasses. The work we do is internationally recognised and it isn’t uncommon for our students to travel from outside the United Kingdom to study with us. We were, nonetheless, surprised to be contacted by a representative from The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) with an invitation to design a bespoke two week course for the Research and Development Centre for Bicycles and Sewing Machines. Sadly we really don’t know much about sewing machines, thankfully we do know an awful lot about bicycles!We’re often asked to create bespoke building courses in order to meet more specific, or potentially complex, bicycle designs and we enjoy the challenge. Whether it’s a Talldax (tall bike for doing Audax events) or a folding commuter bike we are happy to work with our students to reach specific outcomes. We worked with Unido and the R&D Centre for Bicycles and Sewing Machines to create a two week program of teaching and learning that would allow the participants to engage with a range of design processes and frame building techniques.
Harbans, Mukhtiar, Papinder and Supreet travelled all the way from Ludhiana, India to spend two weeks living and learning right here in Frome. The students had asked us to spend extra time focusing on certain areas such as frame design, bicycle assembly and component standards. Alongside these topics we also covered some additional techniques that would ordinarily be taught in a masterclass format. In addition to the usual fillet brazing techniques the students were very keen to learn more about the process of tig welding Steel and Aluminium. As with all of The Bicycle Academy frame building courses we made sure that all of this additional learning was carefully centered around the overarching task of learning to design and build a bicycle. The additional tuition time also allowed the students to create their own steel forks and to completely assemble and ride their bicycles before the end of the course. Harbans, Mukhtiar, Papinder and Supreet have travelled back to Indian taking their newly acquired knowledge and skill set with them.
The story doesn’t end here though, as with all Bicycle Academy graduates we will now provide ongoing support that will allow the students to develop their knowledge of bicycle making and to refine their expertise in relation to bicycle frame design. We really enjoyed meeting and working with The Research and Development team for Bicycles and Sewing Machines and we can’t wait to work with them further in the future. Massive thanks to UNIDO and everybody else that helped to make this project a really positive opportunity for all involved.