Wondering how to fix the chains or brakes on your bike? Or how to ride in traffic?
Fresh off the pedals of Cyclovia, Tucson's bi-annual community cycling event which took over South Twelfth Avenue last week, an upcoming bike workshop series aims to equip women in South Tucson with the skills to fix and maintain their bikes and feel confident and safe exploring their communities on two wheels.
The South Tucson WTF (Women/Trans/Femme) Bike Skills Workshop happening Nov. 7-10 at the John Valenzuela Youth Center, 1550 S. Sixth Ave., is funded through a community grant from Quality Bicycle Products and is supported by various local and national businesses and organizations, including Roadrunner Bicycles.
Elliott DuMont, the owner of Roadrunner Bicycles, says the county used to offer free bike maintenance classes in South Tucson but has cut funding to those programs to focus on infrastructure. That's why the organizers focused on bringing this workshop to the South Tucson community.
The lead instructor for the workshops, Sylvie Froncek, has been a bike mechanic since 2008 and teaches bike maintenance workshops across the country through Vie Cycle, a San Diego-based organization she founded to provide a safe space for women, trans and femme cyclists to learn bike maintenance and handling skills.
Her first-hand experience as a female mechanic in a male-dominated field inspired Froncek to start Vie Cycle and help equip other women with the confidence and skills needed to help them on their own cycling journeys.
The workshops will be taught in both English and Spanish, and free childcare and snacks will be provided. And, if you don't have a bike, no problem. Participants who don't own their own bikes will be given one to work on and keep.
"I ultimately hope that people who get involved will be more empowered to bike more often in South Tucson and feel like it's a bikeable city if they haven't felt that way in the past," Froncek says.
Spots are limited for the workshop and are filling up quickly. You can register here.
If you can't get a spot in the workshops, you can still join in the fun. The series ends with a community bike ride through South Tucson on Sunday, Nov. 10 starting at the John Valenzuela Youth Center. Dressing in costumes is encouraged. In addition to the ride, you can also participate in yoga and enter raffles for bikes and gear including helmets, socks, clothing and bells.
Learn more about each of the workshops and the community bike ride here.