My own two cents: I am also interested in having a female mechanic as part of our organization's efforts to sustain and support the bike culture. I've cast out the net to pretty much any woman who comes through the shop and am still waiting for the right person.

I know that from 25 years in the industry, I have unfortunately met only a couple of woman(womyn?) mechanics.
I also have 11 years of professional welding experience. I've met a few killer woman welders. Women have HUGE hand/eye coordination advantages over men. It surprises me that there aren't more women welders as well. I do remember an ad campaign from Lightspeed titanium years ago that showed off their lead welder who was a woman(don't recall her name).

My best classes for mechanics' trainings have been mostly or all women. Much more generous in their sharing of their ignorance, curiosity, and wonder than men, although, not all men. They also are more adept at sharing cheese and crackers, bread, fruit, and wine! Prosit!

Any women in the Greater Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, PA. area give a shout out if you want to anchor bike culture in our area!

All comments welcome!

Frank Pavlick
Car Free CAT

On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 11:40 PM, Mark Rehder <> wrote:
On 28-Oct-09, at 5:49 PM, Bike City wrote:

Hello everybody,

I've been mulling over a lot of ideas lately about overthrowing the male
domination of bicycle co-ops, collectives, recycleries, mechanics, and
the industry in general.

Are there any non-males out there who would be interested in discussing
strategies to whoop the shit out of male privilege? I'd like to set an
email list up for this purpose, but in the meantime, please email me:


While the tone of this makes it sound like there's some sort of conspiracy (and maybe there is and no one told me about it), as a male I'd personally be interested in what you come up with.

In my other life I'm a musician, and we generally have a history of non-discrimination; you can be male / female / white / black / disabled / whatever - we don't care as long as you can do the gig.

Based on that, I've been kind of surprised that our shop has never been able to recruit an experienced female mechanic.  Women are of course involved with our shop, both as staff and as customers, and I would say at least half of our bike purchasers and a third of our do-it-yourselfers.

I guess the lack is due to so few women mechanics in general.  And is this is a cultural thing (usual suspects of "women are less likely to be mechanically inclined / do not want to get their hands dirty", etc.) or is it deeper than that?  Is there a bias?  Is there gender discrimination?  I imagine that there is, though the idealist in me is appalled at that.

If you can change the status quo I'm all for it!


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Frank Pavlick
Car Free CAT
Coalition for Appropriate Transportation,
Bethlehem Bicycle Co-Operative, Bike Shop Manager
Park Tool Mechanics' Class, Head Instructor
League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor, LCI # 1417
484-894-4623 cell