We’re launching a funded training pathway into bike mechanics for 5 women, trans* and non-binary folk. Is this for you?

Do you identify as a woman, trans* or non-binary? Are you interested in bike mechanics, and looking to increase your skills, putting these to use in the community supporting more women and gender variant folk to ride and fix their own cycles? 

Broken Spoke Bike Coop has secured funding to train a group of women, trans* and non-binary folk up to a level where they can pass the Cytech technical two qualification with Activate Cycle Academy, with ongoing support following the training. We will do this by running an in-house mechanics training over 8 days in our workshop in Oxford this Autumn/Winter and by funding the examination fees for Cytech technical two for our trainees.

These newly qualified mechanics will then form the backbone of Broken Spoke’s work with women, trans* and non-binary folk; supporting Beryl’s Night, engaging in our other programmes in our workshop, and running outreach with the wider community in Oxford.

What is Beryl’s Night and why do we need this? 

The aim of Beryl’s Night is to create a space for women and trans* folk to learn, fix, teach, socialise, get greasy hands, eat cake, hang out, laugh, use spanners, help each other, high five, ask for help, make friends…  Team Beryl believes that it is important to actively create this space, as well as encouraging women, trans* and non-binary folk to participate in the wider cycling community.

Often growing up, these people aren’t given access to knowledge about fixing things and getting their hands dirty. When most mechanics are cis-men, there is a kind of hierarchy of knowledge, where the men fix the bikes and teach others. This primacy of cis-men in cycling spaces can often discourage other folk from participating, as well as bar them from the full range of opportunities available.

Beryl’s Night has been working hard to do away with these hierarchies and barriers. And now we have the chance to deepen this work and support five people to qualify as mechanics.

What are the details of the programme?

Two members of the Broken Spoke staff team and three volunteers will make up this team. We’re looking for these three volunteers. Could you be one of them?

Trainer: Lucy Greaves. Lucy is a Bristol-based bike mechanic working at Bristol Bike Project and an inspiring advocate for getting more women, trans* and non-binary folk into workshops.

Training: 8 full days of group tuition in Broken Spoke’s workshop, plus some additional support outside of teaching hours from Lucy. Dates: 26th-29th November (confirmed) and 18th-21st February (tbc) 2022. Hours approx. 9am-5pm (tbc).

Certification: Funded Cytech technical two examination to be taken at Activate Cycle Academy by each trainee between March and September 2022 at a time that suits the pace of their own learning journey.

Your commitment to Broken Spoke

  • Full attendance at the training and the exam;
  • Willingness to help shape this next phase of our work with women, trans* and non-binary folk at Broken Spoke and to share your knowledge with others;
  • Ability and willingness to commit to a minimum of 12 hours per month of voluntary work with Broken Spoke for a minimum of 12 months after completion of the course.

Our commitment to you

  • 8 full days of tuition in Broken Spoke’s workshop, plus some additional support outside of teaching hours from Lucy to ensure you can get the most out of the training;
  • Funding your Cytech technical two exam and supporting you to get any extra experience that you need in the workshop to be ready to take the exam;
  • Support in carving out a volunteering pathway that will suit you and help you meet your own learning goals and achieve the impact that you want to with your new skills;
  • Opportunities to volunteer in our workshop in order to gain the necessary hands-on experience and develop the skills acquired through this training.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this opportunity with one of us over email or by phone, please contact Doireann on doireann@bsbcoop.org. We would love to hear from you!

Here is a short application form for this programme. Please download yourself a copy, complete it, and send it to us at info@bsbcoop.org by midday on the 14th October.

We encourage applications by people of diverse backgrounds who represent the future of the cycling industry. If you need any support completing it, please do get in touch.