Luz reflects on her work experiences so far at Good Cycles.

Luz went from rarely riding a bike while living in Mexico to cycling up to 8 hours a day within our Good Spaces division. Joining Good Cycles in 2021, her work varied across council asset maintenance and car share cleaning. 

Today, she is working as a retail assistant in our bike shops while developing her bike mechanics skills. Luz reflects on her experiences out on the road and shares what she has learned.

Tell us about the transition between infrastructure services and retail bike shops? What skills have you been able to transfer?

It’s been quite interesting because I had no background in bikes or mechanics. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming to me, but it has been hectic. What’s been important is learning and taking it a day at a time. Overall the experience has been good compared to how other bike shops would treat a newbie. My communication skills I picked up from working in the public are useful in the bike shop as well. For example how to communicate with managers, and with the team in general. They have been so helpful to me, I can’t thank them enough.

Together with her colleagues/mentors Stef and Abby, Luz is taking steps to improve the way women and female identifying people are perceived in bike shops.¬†According to a 2023 Bicycle Association study on diversity in cycling, women only make up 8% of the cycling industry’s workshop based roles, 40% of administrative roles and 19% of customer facing roles.

 

Have you encountered any challenges in the cycling industry?

Cycling is very much a male-dominated industry. Sometimes people believe they won’t receive the best advice from a woman. In some cases, female store members have been flat out ignored! In our bike shops, I believe we are challenging these stereotypes; on some days you can come into our Melbourne CBD store and there will be three female mechanics all working together, all with expert bike knowledge. This is why I think we need to prioritise hiring women in this industry.

Luz, you have spent time living in Mexico. What is the cycling culture like in Mexico compared to here in Australia?

It’s terrible over there. That’s probably one of the main reasons I never got used to riding bikes on public roads. The most I ever rode was as a toddler, dodging chairs and tables on a kid’s bike in the house. Every Wednesday in my town, there would be a community bike ride but the police would escort us to make sure nobody would injure us on the road. It was kind of like a protest if you think about it, they would treat it like that because people don’t respect cyclists at all. Cycling was more like a recreational activity and not a mode of transport like here.

"I enjoy being creative through problem solving, whether I'm in the store or outside doing asset maintenance on a path inspection."
Luz
Retail Assistant

And what does cycling mean to you now, after having worked at Good Cycles?

For me personally, using the e-bikes during the work shift meant freedom to discover new parts of the city and take in the landscape, the open spaces. I realise now how important cycling is in Australia and how empowering it is to own a bicycle, to use it for everyday tasks. It’s so much safer here compared to Mexico. For example, here schools have bike cages and everywhere you go there is a place to lock your bike on the street.

Overcoming negative stereotypes in the cycling industry and providing quality service to our customers is something Luz has become passionate about since joining Good Cycles. Gaining communication skills in Good Spaces and transferring those skills in our retail stores has given Luz confidence and stability in her life.

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