Trek Bicycles has run its first ever Women's Expert Technician course to help female technicians find their way in the cycling industry.
The six-day scholarship-funded course, run at their global headquarters in Waterloo, USA, is part of the School of Certified Service, which aims to bring through a greater number of women into the business.
The brand stated: “With women making up less than 10 percent of technicians in the bicycle industry today, it is our goal to grow this number substantially.”
Each scholarship has an approximate value of $3,000 and is awarded based on the qualification of the entrant, as well as the quality of the application.
This week, Trek posted the above photograph to their Facebook account, saying: “The first ever Women's Expert Technician course is in progress at the Trek global headquarters this week.
“The six-day, scholarship-funded course is the third in a series of women's-focused courses designed to provide growth opportunities and increase diversity within the cycling industry.”
Unfortunately the post wasn’t met with unmitigated accolades, with a number of sexist keyboard warriors pitching in.
Lars de Waardt said: “I think it's nonsense to make women only courses as if a woman isn't capable to keep up with a man when it comes to working on a bicycle. I love the Trek brand and I do not think different about it but this is just plain silly.”
Trek answered: “The course curriculum is exactly the same for all of our classes, because all classes are open to everyone. This is a class designed to give the opportunity to an under-represented population of mechanics and technicians in our industry. The take aways and skill level obtained are EXACTLY the same.”
Scott Allred added: “Let me know when there is a mens only expert course. Wait...it won't happen because that would be sexist. Common [sic], trek, enough with the PC crap. It's not like woman we're excluded from previous courses.”
Trek responded: “Everyone is welcome in all of our courses. This one is focused on encouraging women to participate, because we know this industry can be a challenging place for women, where they feel less like peers and more as something to be looked at.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.