Though we had hoped to do it earlier in the bike season, June is typically a very busy month with many year-end activities and it felt like there were only a handful of people that could come on each of the proposed nights. Our dates were also limited by our presenter’s schedule. We planned for a beautiful night with our bikes in the park and expected 16 participants. The day of the event was a random day of crazy weather that included record rainfall. This, along with sick kids and the other things life throws at us, resulted in only 10 participants. The venue was changed at the last minute from the park across the street from my home, which was full of puddles, to my driveway and garage. Large tents were set up in the driveway and bike stands were spaced out between the garage and tents. It wasn’t the sunny park event we had envisioned, but it worked out really well. Johnny, our bike mechanic and presenter, started with an introduction and then asked the participants about their biking experience and their goals for the session. Though the existing knowledge and experience of the participants varied, most were interested in basic care and maintenance of their bikes and had a goal of being more independent. Johnny explained the various components of a mountain bike and touched on the things that typically go wrong – gears not shifting smoothly, brakes rubbing, chains coming off, etc. For each of these scenarios there seemed to be a bike in the crowd that he could demonstrate the issue and the repair process. Participants were invited to interject with any questions or clarifications as he went. The evening was planned for 7:00 to 9:00pm but we found ourselves asking questions beyond that end time.
While the grant allowed us to provide pizza and drinks, Johnny also gave each participant a bike cleaning tool that he made out of spokes. In discussion with Sun Country Bicycles, one of our local bike shops, about what we might give participants, it was asked and agree to that we would purchase $10 gift cards to Sun Country and the shop would donate $10 for each of these cards. As a result, we were able to send each participant home with a $20 gift card to Sun Country, allowing each person to purchase a tool that they felt they would use.
There was a lot of laughter, many “ah-ha” moments, and good supportive comradery. The feedback I received from participants was that the night was fun, the information was helpful and that there was an increased level of confidence in our ability to care for our bikes. And though the weather wasn’t what we had expected, it kind of added a hardcore element to a night celebrating female bikers!
Held On: July 4, 2022
Thank you so much for your support. We are so grateful.
Project Leader: Lara Pollard