MassBike Revamps Educational Programs for Fall 2015: Skratch Labs, Pro Legend Tim Johnson Push Classes “Beyond the Pamphlet”

As the kids head back to school this fall cyclists can too with the launch of MassBikeU. A total redesign of the MassBike educational program, classes will now be offered on a wide variety of topics of interest to riders ranging from beginner basics to advanced skills taught by MassBike staff, local professional athletes, Tour de France mechanics, and other experts on their chosen subject matters. Class will officially be in session this fall leading off with Tim Johnson’s Cyclocross 101 course September 22 and Skratch Labs Women’s “Bike and Brunch” cooking class at Trade October 18.

“For years we've had success offering a lot of basic bicycle skills classes. But we had some requests - from both members and retailers - for a broader spectrum of course offerings,” said Richard Fries, MassBike executive director. “While tennis is just, well, tennis, a bicyclist can embrace so many elements that include travel, commuting, mechanical expertise, fitness, on-road, off-road, urban planning, diet, and much, much more. We want to show people this entire world.” This broader range will enhance the traditional class offerings of bicycling basics that MassBike has taught for years and will continue to offer.

[caption id="attachment_23963" align="alignright" width="200"] MassBikeU Dean Brian Murphy[/caption]

Heading up the program is newly appointed MassBikeU Dean Brian Murphy. “I am delighted to be working with Richard Fries and the staff of MassBike on our exciting educational initiative. The launch of our Fall semester courses represents the beginning of what we expect to be a broad curriculum of innovative courses offered to a diverse audience of cyclists.  Our mission is to position MBU as a leader in cycling education, while actively engaging our current individual, business, bike shop and bike club members as well as recruiting new MassBike members.”

Unique and innovative courses will be offered alongside the existing curriculum of bicycling basics to round out a calendar suited for a wide range of interests, both on and off the bike. Tim Johnson’s cyclocross class will be a seasonally well timed, on the bike course for those who are looking to learn some new skills. According to Fries, Johnson “is one of the most articulate teachers for cyclocross in the English language. Any cyclist - from a commuter to a tourist to a charity rider - will vastly improve their cycling abilities with this class.”

The Skratch Labs class at Trade is expected to fill quickly. The October 18 class will feature a cooking class taught by Biju Thomas and Lentine Zahler, a two hour ride coached by local professionals, and a delicious brunch. The opportunity is unique as Skratch Labs founder Allen Lim has truly changed the athlete and food relationship. Lim stated “I like real food or food made from scratch better than prepackaged alternatives, because in my professional experience, when athletes are on the rivet, real food is less likely to come back as vomit. While real food is not as easy or convenient than opening a packaged laced with excess ingredients and food additives, neither is living an active and healthy lifestyle.”

On MBU guest professors Thomas and Zahler, Fries commented “With their amazing cookbook for athletes The Feedzone Allen Lim and Biju Thomas changed how nearly every professional cyclist views food and nutrition. To have these guys with Tour de France pedigree offering classes on cooking is a unique opportunity.” MBU will bring in guest instructors for special events supplement their regular roster of local instructors.
For more information on MassBikeU and classes being offered please visit

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