Imagine getting a flat tire and knowing exactly how to fix it. Sounds dreamy, right?
For women, trans, femme, and non-binary individuals in and around Fort Collins, that dream can come a reality thanks to Hex Wenches, a series of educational classes hosted at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op.
Started in 2010, Hex Wenches provides an inclusive space for all riders, at any level of ability or knowledge about biking. Held twice a year in spring and fall, this five-week class, with once per week two-hour sessions, provides knowledgeable instructors and hands-on lessons so that attendees can learn how to fix a flat or anything else that could go wrong on their ride.
And, it’s all for free.
“It (Hex Wenches) is a space I feel is needed in every community,” Kristen Cognac said. “This class brings people for all different backgrounds together to use their hands and learn.”
Cognac first attended the Hex Wenches last Spring. After the first class, she was hooked.
“I kept seeing flyers around Colorado State campus, and kept thinking how cool it sounded,” she said. “But I kept making excuses why not to go.”
Those ‘I’m too busy’ thoughts also kept Klara Rossouw, current Hex Wenches volunteer instructor, away from the class at first.
Until she went last Spring.
“I immediately fell in love with how the class just ran itself,” Rossouw said. “Everyone is there, no matter their background or prior knowledge, to learn how to work on bikes. Plus, there was freshly baked bread.”
By the second session in the Fall of 2018, Rossouw was helping lead the classes, diving into an area she wasn’t super familiar with, but excited to step up to the challenge.
“The biggest challenge, for me, was learning how to facilitate instruction to such a wide variety of levels,” she said. “But I also think that makes this class so great, everyone is being challenged beyond their comfort level.”
Those challenges have brought everyone together.
“Some of our closest friends are from the Hex Wenches now,” Cognac said. “It’s such a friendly, accepting atmosphere that makes learning easy.”
Especially learning skills that can apply to real-world scenarios.
“Since taking the sessions, I feel more empowered when I’m out riding,” Cognac said. “I remind myself, I can do this: I can fix this.”
And the things she can’t? Well, there’s always next session.
Interested in learning to attend this Spring? Follow Fort Collins Bike Co-op on Facebook or subscribe to their newsletter for the upcoming event information.