Pedal Power: the new mechanics on the block

Did you know that we also run mechanic sessions for Pedal Power women? So not only can you learn how to cycle with us, but we also teach you all the skills to keep your bike in sparkling condition.

We’ve been running mechanics workshop for Pedal Power women every week since October, led by the brilliant Charlie (right). Six women attend these classes every week, with three cycling for two hours to get there!

The sessions teach the women how to fix any issue with their bikes. The big aim of the project is that future donated bikes will be made previous bike recipients and that the women can support their communities with their new bike maintenance skills. Robina (left) is already able to build a bike that was donated to another woman- what a full circle moment!

This is what Robina says about the sessions:

I feel like I have stepped into a new world and I have a lot to learn. I am very lucky to have a good teacher who understands me very well. After attending the sessions, I feel like every part of my bike is my friend and I have to fix it. I have a lot of fun when I do mechanical work.

Robina’s grandfather was a bike mechanic and her father a watchmaker, clearly she is a natural! Here is Charlie’s insights on why these sessions are important:

I think these sessions are important as it creates a space that’s very empowering. Robina has said she not only loves that it teaches her skills that keep her independent on her own bike but that she can now help other people when they have problems with theirs. It’s a way of engaging with her community and the people around her. A hugely important thing when having to go through an incredibly stressful and dehumanising asylum process. Learning a skill like can provide a sense of purpose and meaning as well as new friends. Charlie Blair, Senior Mechanic

When Robina and Charlie are not fixing bikes together, Robina is teaching me tai Kwando (as a former national champ!) and keeping Charlie well fed on her home made chapattis. We are so happy that Robina, along with the other women, are thriving in the sessions. 

Support Pedal Power and help get more refugee women cycling and building bikes with us!

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