With summer still in session and the weather ripe for cycling, the University of New Mexico has kicked off a series of bicycle maintenance workshops specifically targeted towards women, trans and nonbinary people, and allies. The goal is to create a comfortable space for femme people to learn the mechanics of their bike.

The free program, which takes place at the UNM Outdoor Adventure Center, runs from 5-7 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday from July 13 to Aug. 14. The unique workshops cover a variety of different aspects of bicycle mechanics over the course of a month.

“Throughout the series our mechanics cover everything you would need to know to do an advanced tune-up on your bike and add in a fun shop ride midway through the series. We begin with a basic lesson, or two, each session, expand upon that based on individual needs and allow time toward the end of each session to cover any bike issues that participants may be experiencing,” Charles Gwinn, outdoor program manager for UNM Recreation Services, wrote to the Daily Lobo.

The workshops were first started by UNM alumni Caroline Heitman in spring 2022 before being expanded this summer. The most recent workshop on July 13 and 14 taught community members all about maintenance of their bike chain as well as the different mechanisms of the chain. During this week’s sessions on July 27 and 28, the group will be riding to the Days in the Park celebration, a community-organized series of events where local vendors and musicians visit parks across town.

“The origin comes from a former staff member/UNM graduate, Caroline Heitman and a friend of hers. They wanted to create a space where folks could come together and learn about bikes in a comfortable setting. I couldn't be more thankful for the foundation they created,” Gwinn wrote.

Gwinn emphasized that as well as teaching practical skills, the workshops are also an opportunity to foster community among like-minded folks in an inclusive, safe environment.

“We want to make bike maintenance/education and riding more accessible to everyone.  We are proud to be able to create a space that encourages community, open mindedness and gets more people riding bikes,” Gwinn wrote.

A full calendar and description of weekly events can be found on the UNM Recreational Services Instagram page.

Zara Roy is the copy chief at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at copychief@unm.edu or on Twitter @zarrazledazzle