Get Your Wrench On!
Are you a woman or a member of Fort Collins’ LGBTQ community? Are you sick of taking your bike to some bike shop for a tune-up or a repair? Would you like to learn about bike mechanics in a safe and comfortable atmosphere with a bunch of other women and LGBTQ community members in a workshop setting taught by women? Look no further: Women’s and LGBTQ Wrenching Nights at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op are happening on Thursday evenings!
Women’s & LGBTQ Wrenching Nights at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op combine a mechanics’ class, a workshop, and an opportunity for social networking among female and LGBTQ bicyclists. As an avid commuter and road cyclist and the Bike Co-op’s sole female employee, I am a huge fan of Women’s & LGBTQ Wrenching Nights (hereafter, WWN). Since its inception a few years ago, WWN has become the Bike Co-op’s most popular program, garnering considerable support from the greater Fort Collins community.
WWN formed as a way to provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for women and members of the LGBTQ community to learn how to wrench on their bikes. While the Bike Co-op endeavors to always maintain a safe learning atmosphere, it’s understandable that some people might feel uncomfortable learning to wrench from the shop’s overwhelmingly male volunteer mechanics. WWN was created as a safe place for women and members of the LGBTQ community to learn wrenching in an atmosphere that fostered cooperation and safety, in workshops taught exclusively by women.
What can you look forward to during WWN? WWN loosely follows the class structure for the Bike Co-op’s mechanics’ class, so you’ll get a basic understanding of bike mechanics and maintenance, quick fixes and roadside repairs. Each Night focuses on a different component of bicycles and/or bicycling. The workshops include an introduction to basic tools and bikes parts, proper bike fit, bearing systems, wheels, drivetrain and more. Additionally, the WWN teachers will lead a fix-a-flat workshop during any Night for participants who need to learn how to patch and change a punctured tube. You can bring your bike to work on, though due to the size of WWN you may not be able to work on it that night. (If you really need a repair or bike maintenance, come to the Bike Co-op during Open Shop hours and we’ll help you there for $10/hour!) And if you don’t bring your bike don’t worry: there will be plenty for you to wrench on.
WWN is also generously supported by Horse & Dragon Brewing, so participants (over 21) can enjoy a beer while they’re wrenching. The women who run the workshops bring snacks as well. Participants who come to at least five Nights (each WWN session is 6 nights in succession) receive a free Fort Collins Bike Co-op multi-tool as well.
The last two WWN workshops of this session are on May 5 and May 12 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. WWN is always free! Come on by and get your wrench on! Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for announcements of future WWN sessions, and if you have any questions about WWN please email Becky Gullberg, Head WWN Instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about the Bike Co-op in general, please email me! (Dondi Barrowclough) at email@example.com.