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  • Ashok Captain

    Super article! A tip of the hat (or rather cycling cap) to both the author, the mechanic and Cycling Tips. Thank you!

    • Deborahrdamron

      <<l:y. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::::!!bx574a:….,..

  • Augsburg57

    In recent years, I notice a number of female bike mechanics as the bike shops I frequent. Funny that the entry of women to working on bikes has been an issue in pro cycling. There was a time a 100 years ago when women were given the fine detail work in factories because it was thought they had much better focus and hand-eye coordination (or something like that) than the men. Back then, the men were relegated to the crude, grunt work.

    I think this article points out the heavy “macho” culture prevalent in cycling, and especially pro cycling. I can’t speak about other parts of the world, but the U.S. cycling culture has a very strong macho bias. Why else would a cyclist think the thing to do is ride a fixie on the hills of San Francisco or Seattle?! Thanks to Ella for helping to break that bias down.

    • Adam K

      yep good call, I recall seeing a documentary a couple of years ago on the making of wind farms and the wind generators. The Turbine blades were hand finished and the staff doing this were deliberately all female as the company had found they had in general a much better sustained attention to detail than us males, and the finish was crucial to the performance of the blades. I find it amazing in this day and age that the presence of boobs could possible influence ones thoughts on the level of competence in any role. There are masterful workers and incompetence fools at any job irrespective of plumbing.

  • Kathy Boling

    Good article and thanks for bringing this to light. Great to see more and more female mechanics. I have been repairing bikes in shops for 40 years. It is very rewarding to interact with folks that trust me with their “baby” bike. As Andrea Smith stated, many of us do feel we need to prove ourselves 10 times over. In the repairs I do I strive for the WOW effect. Now they trust me and will keep coming back.

    • ebbe

      I’m always very surprised to hear these kinds of “we have to prove ourselves 10 times over”. Not that I don’t believe you Kathy, but I’m surprised about the other side of the medal: Why on earth would somebody not trust their bike with an (experienced) mechanic in a (reputable) shop, just because that mechanic is a women? Surely, nobody (male or female) would hold such a job for long if they didn’t know what they were doing.

      My latest non-DIY repair (replacing a broken spoke en trueing the wheel) was done in my go-to LBS, by a woman. Personally, I honestly couldn’t care less who did it, just that they did a good job.

      • Kathy Boling

        Yes, why on earth?… but unfortunately not all think that way. I don’t get it very often now but I still get some of those folks a few times a year. Thanks for your response and please continue to make the world go around.

  • beth

    Great article. I recently graduated from UBI and was the only woman in the class. There was a discussion toward the end of the program about consciously making the effort to hire women. One guy thought that didn’t make sense as hardly any women come into his shop. The instructor (the amazing Nathan!) pointed out that women might not come into bike shops as much BECAUSE there are few other women to be found in them and it’s intimidating. Having women on staff in bike shops (sales and repair) and certainly as mechanics at races is a positive and inviting message to women.

  • Gregwhits

    #1 Andrea Smith Fan

  • Anton Rodman

    Plain awesome in every velo way!

  • Jeremy

    Andrea is a class-act all around – top wrench, talented racer, and simply a wonderful and inspiring person. I am glad I had the chance to know her during her time in Boston. Thanks CyclingTips for introducing her to many more people.

    • Paulampastore3

      <<t:u. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::::!!bx1217a:….,.

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