After falling in love with cycling at a young age Sylwia has followed her passion to become a bike mechanic who is also teaching, encouraging and inspiring other women to enter the male-dominated cycle industry.
Sylwia Osiecka said…
"I rememeber my first attempts of riding a bike quite vividly and how formative to my identity those memories of freedom and independence have been.
"I instinctively knew that learning this skill would change something forever and expand my world exponentially and that gave me a sense of focus and determination.
I still remember that feeling of pure joy pushing away for the first time on my own and finding the balance and the rythym of the pedals, feeling that transfer of energy and building the speed and feeling the exhiliration when it all clicks together
"As an aggressively independent kid I would, without my parents knowledge, pull my grandmas old lime green shopper out of the basement and drag it around the neighbourhood in search of a quiet enough street with a high enough pavement for me to climb onto the bike from and set off. I still remember that feeling of pure joy pushing away for the first time on my own and finding the balance and the rythym of the pedals, feeling that transfer of energy and building the speed and feeling the exhiliration when it all clicks together.
"I never felt more cool and capable, then realised in panic that I needed to turn around somehow and get off on that same high pavement, not knowing yet how to actually stop!
"But that’s all it took for me to get hooked and I kept returning to that feeling throughout my life. That mechanical extension got me out of my head and into my body and gave me an ability to explore the world in a different way. That passion would grow and somehow enter most aspects of my life, helping me to find a new family, friends and a purpose."
Sylwia was nominated for the 100 Women in Cycling by Anne Glass who said:
"Sylwia is leading the way in showing that women can be incredible and talented bike mechanics, and is passionate about creating safe spaces for women to develop their skills in this area.
"Not only is Sylwia an amazing bike mechanic but she is a fantastic teacher and incredibly knowledgeable.
"Sylwia has this year joined forces with Drumchapel Cycle Hub, a community cycling club with an all-women committee, as chief bike mechanic, whilst also following her own dreams running a cycling project 'Dynamo', encouraging and teaching women in a male-dominated industry.
A force to be reckoned with, she has a strong personality, and a passionate and infectious enthusiasm for this industry
"At Drumchapel Cycle Hub, over the last year, she has established a repair workshop, going from occasional drop-in bike safety checks for members, to a waiting list for repairs - all the while teaching an additional bike mechanic and developing the skills of additional volunteers.
"Having previously also been involved with and having exceptional skills in bike polo, Sylwia is also a cycling coach who has worked with women's groups, ethnic minorities and young people.
"A force to be reckoned with, she has a strong personality, and a passionate and infectious enthusiasm for this industry."