When the Community Bicycle Network‘s BikeShare program was forced to close this year due to lack of funding (though not a lack of enthusiasm or merit), I foolishly didn’t realize that was not the end for all of CBN’s programs, most particularly — Wenches with Wrenches. Wenches with Wrenches “is an ongoing program of CBN volunteers who host bicycle repair workshops run by and for women in downtown Toronto. The idea has been to make basic bicycle repair skills accessible to women in the hope that participants will then share their knowledge and their confidence with others in the community.”
You gotta go.
Fortunately, I am not too late to spread some word — there appears to still be room this year in both the June and September sessions. The sessions consist of four lessons, one a week, and the cost is $30 or pay-what-you-can. You can register at Urbane Cyclist.
Knowing your rear sprockets from your crank arms is some of that pretty pretty shiny practical knowledge that no one can take from you, and it is enormously empowering even to pick up a few basics (adjusting your seat height and tilt and cleaning your chain can add years both to your knees and your bike). Wenches with Wrenches delivers on these basics and goes beyond to give you a comprehensive understanding of how it all fits together, and how you can keep it that way. The sessions are hands-on, and you bring your own bike, so what you’re learning can be applied in real-time.
Bikes are one of those marvels of mechanics that we tend to get a bit blasé about. But they’re a straightforward sort of complicated and once you start fiddling with your bike, you may find it very hard to stop. So get down with your inner-mechanic and sign up for a Wenches with Wrenches session. You’ll be tweaking your brakes and patching your tires in no time.