Barnett's Bicycle Institute

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I know in the past people have asked about Barnett's. I've just returned from BBI, so here's
the skinny:

I was sent to BBI to be certified as a Master Bicycle Technician for a major retail chain, [which
shall remain un-named. :) ] The course I went through isn't exactly the same as what is offered to
the general public; it differed mainly in that the course proceeded at a somewhat accelerated rate,
due to the experience of all the students on hand.

The facility is on the western edge of Colorado Springs, in a small industrial strip building...the
sign outside is so small, you'd never see it from the main road. If you're thinking of attending,
there's a Travelodge literally a three minute walk from BBI.

While the sign isn't much, the "classrooms" themselves are great. There is a main lecture room, that
has the faculty workbench, where the instructor will demonstrate the various skills and techniques.
On three of the walls are all manner of components, both to show variety in component styles, and to
visually point out different types of failure or abuse. There are also an additional 6 or 7 *very*
completely tooled workbenches for the students, spread throughout three rooms, each bench being
shared by two students. Each bench also has all the various components needed to learn the various
"labs"...frames, wheels, spokes, rims, brakes, gears, etc. Really, I've never worked in a bycycle
shop that had all the tools that BBI has!

The Barnett way of wrenching is very anal-lytical...every procedure is broken down into extremely
small steps. It was almost excrutiatingly slow for me, but for the novice at working on bikes, the
methodology would be ideal. The instructors are great too, most especially Jennifer Skorcz, whom
many of you now know as Bicycling Magazine's "Shop Girl."

While I personally didn't learn a lot, I *did* pick up a few gems along the way, and I
wholeheartedly recommend BBI to anyone thinking of attending one or more of their courses, be they
an enthusiast interested in learning about the mechanical aspects of their bike, to the seasoned
professional wrench wanting to refine their skills.
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