MC3 In the News: Leading Trend Toward Women’s Bike-Shop Clinics

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Check out this great Columbia News Service article about women’s mechanical clinics, a growing trend that Birmingham happens to be leading. Magic City Cycle Chix (MC3), our 600-member women’s cycling group in Birmingham, was featured for our Wine, Wenches and Wrenches clinics, which are part mechanical clinic and part happy hour.

We started the series last year, and hosted events with most of the bike shops in town. At each one, we demystified a simple task/skill/repair that intimidates a lot of women, from changing a flat tire to cleaning a drive train to fine-tuning the shocks on a full-suspension mountain bike. The understanding of what might break, the knowledge of how to fix it, and the experience of having done it are so empowering. This is the pivotal point at which women gain the confidence to ride without men. Or at least one less barrier.

It’s pretty neat that we were featured. Even neater that our Wine, Wenches, and Wrenches logo (above) made the cover of the League of American Bicyclists’s magazine, American Bicyclist (June 2011). But what I am most proud of is that our events inspired others. The newly formed Rocket City Cycle Belles in Huntsville, Ala. and the Velo Vixens in Gainesville, Fla., and the Trail Bike Girls of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. have adopted our model and made it their own.

My only regret is that I mentioned the three shops in Birmingham that have co-hosted Wine, Wenches, and Wrenches seminars socials, and they made it sound like one shop hosted all of them. Big thanks to Bob’s Bikes, Cahaba Cycles, and Bike Link for teaming up with Magic City Cycle Chix to teach women handy bike-fixin’ skills.

The moral of the story:

Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Teach a woman how to fish, and she’ll teach 10 other women, and the entire village will eat well forever.

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About Kim Cross

Southern Living Editor-at-Large Kim Cross is an award-winning writer who has edited great Southern authors from Rick Bragg to Fannie Flagg. Her first book, What Stands in a Storm (April 2015, Atria/Simon & Schuster) is a narrative nonfiction account of the greatest tornado outbreak in recorded history. She lives in Alabama.
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