I wanted a chance to introduce myself, as this was partially my idea and many of you who haven't met me might be wondering who this pushy chick is.
I'm Nhatt, I'm a mechanic/co-op member at Brixton Cycles. 8 years ago I wasn't sure if I could remember how to ride a bike, and if you had put me on one and told me I would have to ride on a street instead of the pavement I wouldn't have believed I could do it.
I was forced to learn how to ride a bike by my former head chef, who wanted me to go to the farmer's markets to pick up produce. I was hooked after only a week.
I bought a bike, and a girlfriend made me take her mechanics course. This was amazing to me, despite being a chef I had always thought that I wasn't a very practical person and that there was no way I would ever be able to fix anything. After taking the course twice I started volunteering for a project that sent junked bikes to Africa.
When I moved to London I started organizing bike stuff, always wanting to have a women's only night, but never finding enough women to make this dream into a possibility. Eventually I stopped organizing workshops and became a bike messenger.
There aren't that many female messengers, in fact not nearly enough, and of the ones that work hardly any of them race. I wanted to have an alleycat that was women friendly, to bring more of the girls I liked working with out to play on a saturday. Not very many came, it was frustrating, but the ones that did come to the AlleyNhatt (my leaving party) were great fun and I would like to think it sowed some seeds for Chandra's Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! a year or so later, which brought out all types of women, not just messengers.
So these days I work in a bike shop, and a do some long rides, and I commute. I spend a lot of my time convincing men that I know what I'm talking about and that they should probably listen to me. I find it frustrating, and I like the idea of hanging out with women that are into bikes, and encouraging women who want to get further into it to just dive on in.
I hope that after learning a bit about me you'll understand why I thought this was such an important thing to happen, that this is all part of a grand scheme to dominate the world through more Awesome cycling ladies.
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