BikeAthens commits to growing the community of people who ride and work on bikes by actively dismantling the culture of gatekeeping in the bicycling world. Gatekeeping is when someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity. Examples of gatekeeping behavior in cycling include:

  • Bike shops providing different levels of courtesy and service to customers based on their shape, gender identity, color, clothing, or perceived wealth,
  • Making comments that question a person’s ability or knowledge because they look different from the commenter’s idea of the “stereotypical” mechanic or cyclist,
  • “Let me do that for you” instead of, “Let me know if you’d like me to show you how to.”

We assert that anyone who wants to ride a bicycle or learn to maintain and repair bicycles should be free to develop and enjoy these skills without criticism or condescension, regardless of their color, shape, strength, gender expression, sexual orientation, or anything else. BikeAthens will apply its knowledge base and facilities to encourage any new riders and mechanics who seek to learn, with particular emphasis on people who may otherwise feel excluded from the cycling community.