some words about things we did in the past year

Imagine entering a bike shop – being able to ask any question you like. No need for any special terms – you are still being treated nicely and kindly, people explain things to you. Without acting arrogant, not showing off with their obvious knowledge. … i think you get the hang of it. Sadly but true, this doesn‘t happen to me very often. In a system where male-defined people (magically) have all the wisdom when it comes to technicality, female-constructed persons will have a hard time feeling safe and comfortable in a space like the ‚bike scene‘. It often seems to me i have to have even more knowledge and also have to prove it over and over again, to get through and be treated right.

When we started to talk about forming a collective to open up our own rad queerfeminist bike shop, i saw an end to all this bullshit. Seeing the chance to end this constant struggle for being respected, no need to fight anymore. I thought this could be just awesome ---- a comfortable space, where people can learn about bike maintenance, seriously hanging out, or also just getting their bikes repaired..workshops, zines, vegan cake and coffee…..A place where every question is cool and no one needs to fear ignorant rejection. Where no one or everyone could be the expert.
It seems a long process to open up your own shop, like a ‚real‘ one you want to live off as a group. And it also takes a lot of commitment to stick with it. Since we are still not quite there, but wanted to get our hands dirty, we decided to start a smaller thing. Like a D.I.Y.-workshop, where people can come in, fix there bikes and get help if needed. This should not take place just anywhere, due to it’s also political dimension. Since we were welcomed at the Wagenplatz Schwarzer Kanal and also liked the idea of supporting this great space, bring in some energy and more supporters, we soon got into action.
Getting this old ddr-Bauwagen and starting to fix it up was pretty exciting for me, as an old apartment-kid. Organizing benefit stuff, getting some tools, a lot of used parts that we collected from various other projects and just start ---- due to the constant threat of eviction of schwarzer kanal, we tried to get it started really quick, keep everything simple, and yeah – basically just started from scratch and did it.

Of course you could say, this is nothing in comparison with the ‚real deal‘ of being responsible for a ‚real‘ bike shop. But hey. We are open every Thursday, people come in and fix their bikes, get to know us better and bring their friends. There is always cakes and coffee and Mate and stuff, and we also have a couple zines and some handcrafted bike-merchandise. In my feeling we created some space, which can be used freely by those who respect an idea of low-hierarchical structure, are willing to try and learn or teach things to us, or just come by to chat…