We Are All Mechanics (WAAM) began in 2003 as the joint vision of Ali Dwyer and India Viola. We set out to share our love of bicycles and technical knowledge with other women in our community.
Our Basic Bicycle Maintenance Course consists of four ninety-minute class sessions and covers basic routine maintenance. Topics range from how to fix a flat tire, to brake and derailleur cable adjustments, chain cleaning, and quick-release front and rear wheel removal. The classes take place within the repair area of a bicycle shop, and provide an insider’s look at the mechanic’s work area. Our classes are kept small, with a low student-to-teacher ratio and emphasize a hands-on approach to learning. Students get a chance to ask questions about their bicycles in a relaxed and fun learning environment.
After completing our classes, students report feeling greater independence when riding their bicycles as well as a sense of empowerment when approaching bicycle repairs at home or in the shop.
Through our ongoing classes, clinics, and rides, WAAM promotes continued learning among cyclists in the Madison community.
Before co-founding We Are All Mechanics (WAAM), India took turns as a woodworker, scientist, and bicycle mechanic in Madison, WI. She is an avid cyclist, using her many bikes for commuting, off-road adventures, touring, and general enjoyment.
India discovered for herself that being mechanically inclined is a learned skill-set, which means it can be taught! Teaching WAAM’s Basic Bicycle Maintenance Course is the perfect outlet for India to pay her technical knowledge forward.
In addition to teaching with WAAM, India is a dedicated bicycle advocate, loves being a mom, and has a PhD in Zoology from UW-Madison. She aspires to use all of her skills in a multi-disciplinary approach to learning, teaching, and perhaps in some small to improve the human condition.
Aside from being co-founder and teacher for WAAM, Ali is a yoga instructor, bike mentor and coach and an accomplished cyclist. Ali has a history of riding road bikes very fast in races, but is done with racing competitively and now enjoys cycling a bit slower – for fun, transportation, fitness and that psychological mind-clearing effect. Ali has served as a coach for the BCETS training series, an offering of the Bombay Bicycle Club. She volunteers for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, the statewide bicycle advocacy and education organization in Wisconsin. Through this work, she has taught a number of classes – including basic bike maintenance, bike clubs for youth, and urban bike riding skills. Ali enjoys the process of sharing what she has learned through experience and instruction.