On my way to Minneapolis for Babes in Bikeland 8 (!)- the largest women/trans/femme alley-cat in the world! I AM SO EXCITED. And I could not be more proud of my friends Kat and Low for organizing such an amazing event.
I am SO EXCITED to present Femmechanics! Femmechanics is an open-shop time for FTW (femme/trans/women) cyclists to come learn and teach how to work on bikes. Please go check out the site, and if you’re a Boston based FTW cyclist please fill out the survey on the homepage.
Femmechanics will meet the second Monday of every month starting in October from 7-9 PM at the Bikes Not Bombs Bike Shop. Our first open shop time will be October 13th.
(adapted from Riot Grrrl Manifesto)
BECAUSE we crave bike spaces that are welcoming to US where WE feel included.
BECAUSE we want to make it easier for FTWs to see other FTWs working on bikes so that we can share knowledge and strategies.
BECAUSE we want and need to encourage and be encouraged in the face of cis-male bike culture that says we can’t work on our own bikes, we can’t ride fast, and can’t lead the bike revolution.
BECAUSE we don’t want to assimilate to cis-male bike culture, but want to revolutionize bike culture.
BECAUSE we are unwilling to falter under claims that we are reactionary ‘reverse sexist’ and not the true bike wrenching crusaders that we know we really are.
BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-hierarchical ways of being and forms of organizing in the bike scene.
BECAUSE we want to see more FTW cyclists out on the roads, working on their bikes, and being at the forefront of conversations about bike mobility.
BECAUSE we see fostering and supporting FTW spaces and FTW bike mechanics, riders and organizers as integral to wider cultural change.
BECAUSE we believe that by creating a supportive community for FTW cyclists we can create a space to talk and discuss the intersectionality of racism, able-bodieism, ageism, classism, body shaming, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of oppression within the bike movement and wider society.
BECAUSE we must take the wrenches into our own hands.
This last weekend I rode the D2R2 with my parents – a gravel ride out in Western Mass, infamous for being one of the hilliest rides in New England. Here are a few things I learned:
1. Biking up endless, gravel hills is WAY more fun than I thought it would be. Seriously. I had a blast. The route was beautiful, the people were great, and the beer was delicious.
2. Charles of ARTCRANK was right that gravel is way more tiring for your arms than you would think. I expected my legs to be exhausted, but at the end of the day my legs felt fine but my arms were wicked tired.
3. I’m stronger than I thought I was. I’ve been pretty nervous about this ride all summer, and so I’ve been putting in miles whenever I could and going out of my way to climb hills on normally flat routes – and the crazy thing is – I think it paid off. Right now my legs feel like they could eat hills for breakfast. I’m proud of myself for how I rode, and I feel good right now. Strange how training can do that…
4. If I thought I loved my Space Horse (my bike) before this ride, I love it even more now. I made a few adjustments in the last few weeks that made a huge difference, and I think I’m finally perfecting the fit. I put on a different crankset, and a third stem, and I think I’m dialing in the fit. Geez, I really love that bike.
5. My parents are cooler than me. But I already knew that.