I recently applied for a scholarship to attend the QBP Professional Repair and Shop Operating Class. The scholarship is specifically for women in the bike industry, and would pay for tuition and lodging for a two-week class. The application required answering questions in short essays, and I’ll feature some of my answers here from time to time.
The scholarship selection will be announced in December 2016. I am hopeful!
[Featured photograph is of some fantastic women I had the pleasure of meeting on the 2014 Cycle Zydeco ride in southwest Louisiana. The two women on the right told me they did a century ride a year or so prior: “Yes, we started out at 6am, went for breakfast, rode more, stopped for lunch, rode some more, did some shopping, rode some more, and finished at 100 miles after dinnertime.”]
What makes you a great candidate for serving those populations you identified? [I specified that I had a passion for working to help women riders.]
As I approach my 50s, I can see how women – especially older women – are shunted aside and directed to “easy riding” bikes. We’re not challenged to learn about mechanical repairs or about bike sizing or about how our bodies interact with a bicycle on a ride. My mother, who is in her 60s, has a bike that she rarely rides because it’s too big for her. How much more pleasure would she be experiencing if she had someone assess sizing and comfort with her!
Older women often come back to bike riding because it reminds them of pleasant childhood days. I want them to know that adulthood days can be filled with joy, too.