Friday, 24 February 2012

Calling all women bike mechanics...

Women's mechanics session at Pedal MCR, Manchester
I keep meeting women cyclists at events and workshops, especially Breeze and CTC rides, who keep asking me about learning the skills to fix up their bikes and keeping them in good condition.
Almost all of them say that they still feel a little overwhelmed when walking into a bike shop, even if the shop staff are friendly and approachable, because they don't really understand enough about how their bikes work and therefore often feel a bit helpless when trying to explain what they need. 
Breeze are currently in the process of establishing a brand new partnership with the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) to promote female friendly bike shops, but there are also lots of female mechanics out there working in voluntary projects and bike co-ops all over the UK who run women's only maintenance sessions, courses and drop-in tools clubs.
Over the next few weeks we are hoping to start compiling a database of female bike mechanics and women's bike projects across the UK so that women across the country can find out where to go to get help fixing their bikes and learn maintenance skills for themselves, so that next time they walk into their local bike shop they'll have the confidence to chat comfortably with the bike shop staff about their needs.
We know there are some great projects up and running in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and London but there are probably loads more women out there working in bike shops and volunteering in projects that we've not heard of, so please drop us a line at and let us know about you and your project or shop.
We'd also like to set up an online forum so that female mechanics can contact each other, swap stories, tips and offer support, so watch this space...

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