Why are women so damn awesome? I just got done taking a four-week Ladies' Bike Maintenance Class from the Bike Library. Some guys I know got jealous hearing about it and asked if a "Gentlemen's" Bike Maintenance Class was in the works. An additional co-ed class would be great, but long live the ladies. Under the tutelage of the ever-patient Cody, we learned to change tires, take apart our brakes, change brake pads, and adjust derailleurs. Everyone was friendly and helped each other, and I got no sense that anyone felt silenced or that they couldn't ask a question because it was too dumb. In fact, after a lecture on gears, we collectively ambushed Cody and asked, "Umm...so which are the high gears and which are the low gears again?"
It reminded me of the time I helped plan a conference with a committee of women (and one extraordinary man), and it was such a pleasant mix of cooperative work and fun. Such a difference from the too many hours of my life I've spent in rooms in which the dudes have been talking to each other and the ladies have been staring into space and/or having murderous thoughts. What's up with that? Does our culture brainwash boys into buying into some toxic mix of competition and personal agendas? Ick. I wish I could go back in time and attend all-girl schools.
On top of everything else great about the class, I feel much more bonded to my bike, many of whose parts I'd never even taken a close look at before.
(This photo stolen from Cody and Steve's blog, my face happily obscured by a fender, but Stud McMuffin's way cuter face visible. We were examining the derailleur, which I like to pronounce with a cheesy French accent.)
Since I have just entered Dissertation-Finishing Hell, the bike class might be my last extracurricular activity for a while. It was a good one.