bike lovePosted: June 4, 2014
So much of my brain activity is taken up by bikes lately.
In mid-May my bike got stolen from my back yard. I was so very crushed. I had just fallen back in love with my bike after having used my mom’s for a couple days and I had been biking all over the place and it was so sad. I had filed a police report and looked on the used stuff websites diligently to try and locate it. It was unsuccessful.
I spent a few hours researching my dream bike.
-a step-though frame
-something light and agile
-a body that wouldn’t disintegrate in this climate
-a rack on the back
There were a couple models in which I was interested and I went to a couple shops and there was only one of the ones I liked in stock anywhere and I fell in love with it during my test ride.
It’s a new Canadian brand, Simcoe. I am totally smitten.
Whenever I can (meaning I don’t have to ferry the kids somewhere by car, or it’s not raining) I am getting around by bike. I have big plans to use the trailer to bring the kids to summer camp and to basically ditch my car as much as possible. This bike rolls forever and ever once it has some momentum and it shifts so smoothly and is basically made of joy.
I’ve been taking a course on basic bike mechanics at the Bike Co-op on campus. It’s a free series of workshops and if I attend all of them I get some certification afterward. I’ve already completed 2 out of 5 sessions and they run every two weeks. During the most recent workshop, I was speaking with the coordinator and he has been looking for somebody to take charge of running one night a month dedicated to women and queers and trans people who would otherwise feel uncomfortable in the space (it has a dudely culture) and I promptly and enthusiastically volunteered (along with two other rad women).
Bike-Curious Gender Fender! – Introducing: Women and Queer Night!
The second Monday of every month 5pm-8pm will now be Women and Queer Bike Night at the SFUO Bike Co-op!
Women-identified and queer folk have often felt less welcome in a repair shop settings due to shops being traditionally heteronormative male dominated spaces. This may deter these folks from learning bike maintenance or even from coming in to the Co-op due to past experiences or social precedents. SO let’s try to break down those barriers and provide a safe space to ask questions, receive instruction, and become oriented with the shop – all with the facilitation of women and queer identified volunteers.
Each evening will start with a brief introduction to the Co-op for newcomers, a short tutorial on a different aspect of bicycle repair and maintenance, but will mainly be a drop-in space to work on and repair your bike – with the help of wonderful facilitators.
Bring: Your bicycle and your amazing self! If you do not have a bike, feel free to come and participate and learn!
Cost: FREE! We will even provide snacks and all the coffee/tea that you desire!
I’m so excited about this!
Firstly because it’s going to essentially be an exercise in group learning. I’m not an expert but I know some things, and I know how to use the reference material as well as how to locate all the tools and parts in the shop.
Secondly because I love working with my hands and with tools and I will feel such pride and accomplishment for the work that I get done as well as for the work I help others achieve.
Thirdly because I love it when power, knowledge and opportunity are given to those who are not typically the recipients. Women* are not typically welcome (as a social convention if not explicitly stated) in spaces where manual labour is done, and are often left to have men do the fixing for them. This gives them the power and knowledge to take care of their own bikes and the opportunity to be comfortable with the space, in a safe environment. It’s my hope that that comforts translates to more women* being present and making use of the space during the regular shop hours, so the overall culture becomes more inclusive.
Yay biking and fixing bikes and facilitating the learning of bike mechanics!!!
On this day:
in 2013 – the things I do that make me happy
in 2012 – the result of Brent snooping through all my stuff and the introduction of my Life List
in 2010 – light yogurt is basically jizz
in 2009 – rubella
in 2008 – baby shower
in 2007 – We want a goalie not a macaroni!
in 2006 – moving is no fun – except for the fun parts