Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Haire
Ashley began volunteering with us just six months ago, but it seems like she’s been around forever. She quickly and enthusiastically learned how to fix tiny kids bikes at Tuesday Drop-in Night, moved on to building Create a Commuter bikes in our Guest Mechanic program, and even found time to lead kids rides out at Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride!
From day one, Ashley has seemed to remember everything anyone has told her about bicycle mechanics. Every week she can be found effortlessly imparting this knowledge and other anecdotes to new volunteers, reminding us all that wrenching on bikes can be fun, funny, and extremely rewarding. Ashley just left for a job in Texas, and though we’re sad to see her go, we are glad to have gotten to know her and wish her the best.
How long have you been volunteering at the Community Cycling Center? How did you start?
I began volunteering at the Community Cycling Center in early July 2011. I started with the Holiday Bike Drive after looking for fun volunteer opportunities in Portland and a friend had recommended the Community Cycling Center. I volunteered a lot in other cities I’ve lived in and really missed it.
What sort of volunteer work do you do?
Why do you volunteer here?
I volunteer at the Community Cycling Center because I get to continually learn new things about bicycles in a warm, welcoming environment. I love that everyone here assumes you are mechanically capable, regardless of gender… unless you prove yourself otherwise (in which case folks are glad to teach you). When I came to the Community Cycling Center, I could sort of change a bike tire, and now I’ve learned how to completely disassemble a bicycle, identify problems, fix most of them, and put it back together again. If you’d told me six months ago that I’d be able to assemble bottom brackets, true wheels, pack hubs, and adjust derailleurs and brakes, I would never have believed you.
What is your favorite Community Cycling Center program? Why?
It’s a tie between mechanic activities in the Holiday Bike Drive and Create a Commuter. I enjoy teaching others at Drop-In Night and being taught in the Guest Mechanic Program.
What is your dream bike?
I love antique stuff, including bicycles. I have an old red Sears & Roebuck bicycle from the early 1950’s that is all original and a blast to ride… I’d also really like to try riding a penny-farthing bike someday.
What do you do when you’re not here?
I’m a transportation engineer by trade, but also enjoy tap dancing (yes, really—it’s a lot of fun—have you ever seen an unhappy tap dancer?), knitting, and reading.
If someone made a bio-pic of your life, what would it be called? Who would
“A Jane of All Trades”… played by none other than Wonder Woman, who else? Just kidding.
Photo by Brian Benson