The Biketour aims to provide opportunities for non-formal education. On the way, we actively try to share any skills we have with each other and with our hosts.
Creating a skill-sharing culture means to not always distribute tasks in the most efficient way. If people always sign up for the tasks that they are the most experienced in, things will get done very efficiently, but no one will have the chance to learn something new.
Sharing skills means to have the patience to do a task together with someone who is less experienced than you, and explaining them everything they need to know to be learn to do the task as well as you one day. It means signing up for tasks that you are not confident with, and trying to become confident at them by learning from other people.
A skill-sharing culture is an important step to work against hierarchies. If those who are already good at fixing bikes always fix everyone’s bikes without explaining what they are doing, those who don’t know how to fix bikes will more likely stay dependent on other people. If those who are experienced at reading maps always sign up for planning the route without giving the space for less experienced people to learn, it will always be a small group of people who decides where we go.
Gender and other socialised categories also play an important role in this: In our experience, men tend to be more experienced and confident at fixing bikes and reading maps than women, and women tend to be more experienced and confident at cooking for a large group of people and cleaning up the camp and packing the trailers in an organised and efficient way. Let’s try to overcome these differences!
The best way to learn is to learn by doing things yourself. You will get much more from fixing your bike yourself with someone explaining you what to do than from someone fixing your bike explaining what they are doing. This is called the “hands-off approach”.
One important step in learning is also to do things by yourself, without someone else telling you what to do. So if you see someone else working on something and you think your assistance might be useful, always ask them first if they want your help or if they would rather do it alone.
A good way to organise skill-sharing a bit more is a skill-sharing sheet of the following structure:
People who have enough knowledge to feel confident to organize a workshop alone can write their name all the way to the left. People who are interested but have no previous experience sign in on the right. People can write their names anywhere in between depending on their level of experience. This way, people who want to learn and people who want to teach can find each other.