#Spokes-person Profile- Becky Giammarino
My name is Becky and I am a Coordinator at Two Wheel View. I love biking, learning about mechanics, cooking, baking, gardening and dreaming about trips I can take on my bike. I am grateful to the women who have raised me and who continue to inspire me, and to Mama Earth who feeds my mind, body and spirit.
Biking makes me feel:
Strong, centered and empowered.
What brought you into the biking community?
Sustainability mostly, the ability to get around in a way that is good for our earth, good for my physical/mental/spiritual health and affordable. But what keeps me in the biking community hands down is fun! Every time I get on my bike I have so much fun.
What are some barriers (perceived or actual) that you’ve faced entering this community? How did you overcome them?
I think growing up I really didn't see many women mechanics or leaders in the world of biking - and this isn't because they weren't there, but because they weren't visible. In some ways I think this delayed some of my dedication in biking or mechanics, because I didn't necessarily feel it was for me. As I have gotten older, I have tried to separate where I think I can or should be from where I want to be, and make decisions based on wants as opposed to should's or societal expectations. I still feel awkward and out of place at times, I still get upset when someone assumes that I don't know anything about bikes, I still need to remind myself I belong. But I have come a long way, and being able to work with youth and show up exactly as I am, modelling that I am a mechanic and I am a rider, gives me hope that young people can see that they belong too.
How can we engage more diverse groups into the biking community?
This is a big question with no simple answer, but based on my personal experience, I know visibility is so important. I want to see all genders, all ethnicities, all ages, all sizes, all ability levels on bikes. I already see this on the bike paths around Calgary, but I want to see this in films, in marketing, in books. In addition to this, intentional community building should not be overlooked. When we come together, we talk through our insecurities, our uncertainties and share stories to help us better understand each other and the world we live in.