Women’s Earn-A-Bike

Guys, CommonWheels has been having a huge winter. Back when we were working out of a storage unit, outdoor Open Shops were our jam and when winter rolled around, we pretty much went into hibernation. Now that we have an indoor space at POP Allston, we've been able to keep the magic happening all winter long. Since moving indoors in October, we've been hosting Open Shop twice a week and we've run three rounds of mechanics classes. Look at us go!

We're also running a winter Women's Earn-A-Bike program in partnership with Charlesview Community Center in Lower Allston. This is the first time CW has been able to offer this kind of program, and we're really proud. In this program, women in the Allston-Brighton area can apply to participate in a 6-session bike mechanics and riding safety course, after which they will keep the bike they work on. We have an amazing group right now who will be completing their program in early April. 

The women have already learned how to fix flats, clean chains, recable and adjust braking and shifting systems, and other things things that will be useful in self-maintaining their bikes for a long time. We've also been able to ride around the neighborhoods of Allston together and learn some rules of the road and safe riding skills. The participants came to us with a range of experience--from comfortable to riding in the streets to just starting to try it out. One woman is learning how to ride, and she's making amazing progress. Her goal is to be able to ride to work so that she doesn't have to rely on the bus system, which often makes her late. Another woman wants to be able to ride with her children, and has been bringing her teenage daughter with her to class every week so they can work on bikes together. The others want to ride for exercise and fun, and possibly commute to work when they are more experienced. 

We're having an awful lot of fun. CW is also really lucky to have an amazing group of volunteers who have come out to help facilitate the program. Our sessions at Charlesview are a really great snapshot of what CW is all about--we have volunteers who have learned mechanics at Open Shops now paying it forward by teaching it to others in the community, and the bike love grows exponentially. 

In short, hibernation in the winter is for other people. Okay, that's one of the lessons here. Mostly, we're really fortunate to be a part of an amazing community and to be able to share our love of biking and all its benefits with everyone in it. 

All the bike love,


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