Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits:
by Anna Maria Diaz-Balart
March 17, 2016
Photography by Michaela Albanese
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
A little while back I packed up my luggage and headed out from my home in Brooklyn, New York to Ashland, Oregon to attend the Professional Repair and Shop Operation class at the United Bicycle Institute. Known for launching thousands of wrenching (and frame building) careers, UBI is the gold standard in bike mechanic training, and I was fortunate to have been selected as one of 16 recipients of the Quality Bicycle Components women’s mechanic scholarship.
The scholarship, now in its fourth year, aims to encourage women’s participation in the bike industry, from the shop floor to the board room. Most of us won’t stop at the mechanics bench, but hopefully take these skills as far as they can go.
I work at a little bike shop called King Kog and am one half of the team behind the women’s cycling blog called Pretty Damned Fast. Going into this class, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I was bringing my media and shop experience but UBI is known for the thoroughness and precision of their curriculum. Everything is covered, from threaded headsets and cotter pin cranks, to hydraulic disc brakes and the latest in carbon construction.
My classmates ran the gamut, from owner operators to lifetime mechanics to recycling charity shop employees, road coaches and mountain bike racers. We each brought such unique skill sets to the class. The varied knowledge was truly an asset as most of our hands on learning was done in pairs. As such we almost always got to practice teaching as well.
Here are some quick takeaways in the hopes that it might inspire you to pick up a wrench, take a class at your local bike shop or apply for the 2017 scholarship yourself!