About MaryMetcalf

Endurance Mountain Biker, designer and marketer and mother of two little shredders.

Women’s Wrench Night

We are All Mechanics

There aren’t many female bike mechanics in the industry and I can relate to Katlyn Hershman who owns a shop in NY. “Guys automatically ask for the mechanic.”

Last weekend we had another ladies only get together at The Hub. But, instead of our monthly movie night, we decided to start the year off with a Women’s Bike Maintenance 101. We had almost 30 women (and Zander) and the night was a success for us all, on different levels. We got Café Aroma’s breakfast pizza and made a little party of it. I had a couple of women from out-of-town, but the rest were all locals! Yeah, Idyllwild is blowing up with women on bikes and I’m very happy to be in the middle of it.

Since I had such a big response to the clinic, I decided to make it “lecture” style and forgo the hands-on part. It was a little bit of a sacrifice, but it helped us to all fit in the shop. We went over fixing a flat, fixing a broken chain, and what and how to clean and lube on your bike. We had a great Q&A session in the end and everyone pitched in.

For those of you that missed it, stay tuned for more clinics this spring. I also found this organization that was put together by a couple of women in Madison, WI whose mission is “To provide a supportive environment for women to overcome the barriers that keep them from learning how to maintain their bicycles.” They offer a series of women’s only clinics and have a great logo (above.) The also have some great maintenance resources on their site.

Thanks to all the women who came out and made the Wrench and Bitch a success. See you next month for movie night, again!

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Tuesday Alleycat and Film Screening

Next Tuesday we have the pleasure of screening 23 Feet, a documentary, in Idyllwild. We took this opportunity as an excuse for another bike ride, with so many outdoors enthusiasts in town.

We will start at the shop at 6:30. The ride is an alleycat style ride (yeah, spoke card and all!) which will take you to some Idyllwild highlights and eventually meander over to the film screening. We’re going to roll out at 6:30 so we can get to the film on time with enough room for sight seeing.

Here’s a preview from the film – time for some summer fun in Idyllwild!

Ladies’ Night at The Hub

This past Thursday was our first of what will be a monthly tradition here at The Hub – the Flick and Bitch.

It’s kind of like a stitch and bitch, except we’re critiquing women’s adventure movies instead of sewing. This first one was a total success. We started with a mellow ride around town – our own alley cat style scavenger hunt – and ended up at The Hub for a movie. The women were talking so much, we could barely hear the movie, which was exactly what we wanted. We had about 25 women, which almost filled the shop – thank goodness to our new bigger space! Idyllwild Pizza Company sponsored the event with food – they’re also cyclists and have excellent pizza. We watched “Women of Dirt” which is a light hearted film about women dirt jumpers and free-riders. For any of you looking for a movie to inspire your daughters, this is a good start.

Here are some pics from our night and we hope to see even more women next month.

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We are moving to a Wednesday in July (because of the summer sunset concerts in Idyllwild) and haven’t decided  yet, which one. We are looking at the 13th, 20th or 27th. Please feel free to shoot me an email or even comment here if you have a preference.

A Warm Welcome

Thanks to everyone who came out for our grand opening. It was quite a blast with perfect weather and a great group!

We met some cyclists new to the area, and visitors from out of town and had an opportunity to get together with lots of our local cyclist and non-cyclist friends. Electra, Ellsworth and Intense all represented well allowing people to swing a leg over some demo bikes and geek out. Patsy staffed the grill all day and Mary made chipotle vegetarian chili.

For those of you that couldn’t make it, here’s a little sampling of what you missed.

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Women Friendly

I’m very excited about the direction our shop is taking and want to share a little, maybe even get on my soap box.

Our shop has a touch of the feminine. I’ve always enjoyed riding with men, but the companionship of gabbing with the girls on a women’s ride fills a very important role for me. I also think that getting everyone on bikes is positively affected by getting women out.

I read a great article on scientificamerican.com this week about the gender differences between men and women on bikes. Women want safe bike routes and want them to be practical – like to get to the grocery store, or the park with a kid in tow. So, when we design our communities with these needs in mind, the bike routes and lanes become friendly to all – from beginners to avid riders.

“An emerging body of research suggests that a superior strategy to increase pedal pushing could be had by asking the perennial question: What do women want?”

Beyond making our communities a good place to ride a bike, I have bonded with so many women over a ride and there are many things in our society that pit women against each other, and cycling can do the opposite, if we allow it.

This is why we have women’s rides on Sunday (leaving the shop at 9am.) We are building an army! How many towns this small have women’s rides… not many that I’ve been to, but we are setting a new standard. I am also trying to get going with spin classes in the mornings, but that’s still a little ways off. Women have crazy schedules. They have kids, they have jobs, and often don’t take the time for themselves. Well, this is our healthy way to get together and better ourselves. So, for now, join us on the rides and we’ll have details of the spin classes pretty soon (could just be for bad weather days… not sure yet.)

One other issue that we’re addressing with our shop is women’s apparel and cycling goods. We currently have many different women’s t-shirts in stock and some wonderful bags made by my girlfriend, Maria and her mom Sue at Wyoming Rose Boutique. When we have a little more inventory, you can be assured that we will have at least equal representation for women’s technical wear and definitely lots of women’s accessories.

My goal is to be the HUB of women’s cycling in the area and we’re off to a great start.

-Siren Mary