The scent of chain lube, rubber and oranges lingers on my fingers. This is the sweet smell of bike repair and gender justice.
It’s 5 p.m. on a Tuesday at Bike Forth, Davis’ do-it-yourself bike repair shop. The garage door rolls up with a satisfying clang. Tonight is Women Trans Friends night. Women, transgender individuals and our friends gather to fix bikes and share stories of our pleasures and troubled times in the world of bicycle repair. My story of bike repair begins with blood and ends with orange-scented soap.
Before I moved to Davis, I mountain-biked in Laramie, Wyo. And I fell. A lot. I bled and broke my bike with alarming regularity. Fortunately, the local bike shop, The Pedal House, kept my bike in working order, while I repaired my cuts. Many afternoons, I would chat with the men (for all the mechanics were men) and watch with vague interest as their skilled hands mended the derailleur I bent in my latest crash. Continue reading ‘WTF? What’s up with gender and bikes?’
Lara Mack and Tom Benevento (photo by Aaron Johnston)
By: Lara Mack and Tom Benevento
Note: From March 4-7 of 2010 a delegation of seven from Harrisonburg, Virginia — including the town’s mayor, bike/pedestrian coordinator, planning commission member, a bike shop owner and two community bicycle activists – visited Davis to learn about our bicycle friendly city by studying our infrastructure and culture. The following is a reflection by the two community bike advocates who made the trip. Davis Bicycles! was the lead organizer on our end, but many across the community from the City to the Davis Bike Collective (Bike Forth), in particular, were highly involved. – Robb Davis
On behalf of the Harrisonburg, Virginia delegation and its citizens we wish to thank Davis, California for welcoming us into your city. We are most grateful to the efforts of Davis Bicycles! for its careful coordination of our visit to learn about your amazing bicycle friendly city. We are also grateful to the many people and organizations who shared their knowledge and experience with us including Mayor Pro Tem Don Saylor and city staff, especially Tara Goddard, the Davis Police department, teachers and parents of the Safe Routes to School program, the Bike Forth bike collective, Village Harvest, Bicycle Hall of Fame, and Pepper Peddlers. Continue reading ‘Harrisonburg to Davis: Lessons Learned, Common Interests’