Bek and Jon Chew, two Redbeard Bikes regulars, recently made a short film, "She Builds," in which Bek builds her own bike. We think it's a beautiful, inspiring piece, and wanted to share it with you.
KN: What inspired you to make this film?
Jon: There is a general lack of online presence and videos related to women and bikes, and women building bikes more specifically. I love watching bike videos and exploring bike blogs but I came to realize that it was quite gendered and I thought that there's probably something I could do to change that. I also wanted Bek to build her own bike. I have done a couple of my own bike builds now and I knew that she would love the challenge. I also wanted her to realize that it's not difficult build your own bike and that it's a really enjoyable experience.
KN: What was the hardest part of building the bike? Of making the film?
Bek: Putting on the headset! We didn't have all the right tools because we were doing it at home and we were sort of doing a DIY version of the bike build so some parts were difficult, like putting on the headset. We actually put it on upside down the first time we did it too.
Jon: For the film, we had a lot of footage so it was difficult choosing what to put in because there was lots of nice clips but you want it to be short and sweet at the same time.
KN: What was the most rewarding part?
Jon: Have a beautiful bike and video at the end of it.
Bek: Finishing the project and having a ridable bike! Riding my bike around and knowing every part of the bike and how it was put
together is really rewarding. I feel like building the bike myself has taken my love and knowledge of bikes to the next level.
KN: Anything else you'd like to share?
Bek: There's no way that I would have attempted to build the bike without Jon there to show me what to do but I hope that that is not a limitation to other women who are interested in building their own bikes because, like everything these days, if you want to build something you can find out all you need to know on the interwebs...and I would really encourage other women to give bike building a go. It is not as difficult as you might think, doesn't require physical grunt (as I thought it would), and it will help you a lot with your bike maintenance in the future.
Thank you, Jon and Bek, for sharing your project with us!
Below: Bek and Jon in the Finger Lakes, with their custom-painted Lynskeys.