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Running a Trans*/Women/Non-Binary Bike Program

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Many of us have been inspired and emboldened by the amazing work done by peers we meet at Bike!Bike! This is certainly true when it comes to issues around claiming space and demanding access for Trans*, Women, and Non-Binary identifying cyclists and mechanics. Creating a safer space where these folks can learn to fix their bikes and use tools can be a great joy as well as a huge challenge.

In this workshop we will discuss types of programs, partnerships, outreach tools, and examples of effective dialogue to deal with push-back or those who are just confused. We would like to also include discussion around organizing T*/W/NB events like group rides and races (etc.) if folks have an interest.

This discussion will prioritize voices that are often missing in bike spaces, and we hope to encourage and inspire folks interested in starting their own programs and spaces for ***women, girls, transgender, transgender*, non-binary, gender-queer, gender-variant, gender non-conforming, 2-spirit, femme, queer, sissy folks....etc.***!

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Facilitators/Presenters:

Ainsley Ambush has been helping to run Women & Trans* Hours at Bike Pirates (Toronto, ON) for 10 years. She also works at Charlie's FreeWheels which provides Girls/Trans*/Non-Binary sessions for their Build-A-Bike, Learn-To-Ride and group ride programs. Ainsley is also involved in teaching and facilitating Girls Rock Camp Toronto which provides a safe space for girls, transgender and non-binary kids to learn to play music!

Casey Wollschlaeger has been facilitating FTW open shop nights since 2007 with FM Community Bike Workshop, (Fargo, ND), BICAS (Tucson, AZ), and currently GreaseRag Ride & Wrench (Minneapolis, MN). Casey is also a mechanic, service coordinator, & worker-owner at The Hub Bike Co-op (Mpls) which hosts GreaseRag open shops & is committed to safer spaces & gender inclusive policies.

Katie Blackburn coordinates Women + Queer Night at Free Ride (Pittsburgh, PA). Under different leadership three years ago, Free Ride attempted this sort of event and it was not sustainable; Katie is committed to using her nonprofit management knowledge and relationship building ability to see it succeed now. She is also involved in the local bicycle advocacy group - specifically their womyn/genderqueer/gender-non conforming arm (WMNBikePGH) and the Pitt Queer Professionals group housed at the local university.

Diana Englert staffs and helps coordinate the Women, Trans*, Femme Workshop at BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage) in Tucson, AZ. This program has taken on several different iterations and overcome many obstacles in its 15 years of existence before it's current W.T.F. Workshop structure. We are still searching for ways to increase accessibility and decrease barriers to our space as well as create effective ways to engage our WTF community beyond bike mechanics.

Sarah Thiessen is the proud coordinator and lead instructor for a variety of women/trans/femme-focused programming at The WRENCH (Winnipeg Repair Education N’ Cycling Hub) in Winnipeg, Canada (of Bike!Bike! 2017 fame), including Mellow Velo (bi-weekly shop hours), Sister Cycle (annual free drop-in bicycle mechanics workshop series), Girls Bike Club (weekly bike class for newcomer girls) and various outreach workshops at Women’s Resource Centres throughout the city.  She also co-leads Winnipeg’s CycloFemme, an international femme-powerment group ride held annually on Mother’s Day. Outside of work, she shares her passion for bicycles and feminism through her art (ask her for a sticker/patch!)

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