Last Wednesday (9th November) saw the very first women-only workshop session at South Oxford Community Center: Beryl’s Night. I’ve been working on this project since May is it was flippin’ great to finally get started. We named the night for the female cycling hero Beryl Berton. Having been to lots of open access DIY bike workshop I always noticed a gender bias toward men. After thinking about why this might be and talking to Dan at OCW who told me they have a near enough 50/50 on the maintenance courses they offer but that this falls away when it comes to women using the workshop on an adhoc basis we decided to make Beryl’s Night a bit different…
We start with an hours taught workshop 6-7pm on anything from brakes and punctures, to looking after bikes in winter, then we have bit of dinner and a natter followed by time to tinker with your bike doing stuff learnt earlier or your own projects till 9pm.
This was an experiment to make the session more sociable and open to the less-experinced, less-condifent as well as those who have skills to share. It worked amazingly! I was really surpirsed that we had a big group right from the start (they we there before I was) and everyone stayed till near enough the end. Big up Cass, Lucy and Grace the volunteers who made it possible! The project is still in its infancy but there is obviously an appetite for it and I want everyone who fancies getting involved to be part of it develops as a volunteer or participant.
We’ll be covering different topics each session so check out the calander for dates, topics and details. As I said we’d love to have your input weather you have a bit of experience to share or if your totally new to bike fixing come along and be part of creating a space were everyone feels comfortable to learn and ask questions!