Volunteer Spotlight: Derek Burns

By Randi Orth, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Derek joined us as a volunteer less than a year ago and he’s made a big impact on our programs in that short time. He started as a Tuesday Drop-in volunteer, quickly moved through the Holiday Bike Drive certification process to become a Guest Mechanic and can now be found at the bike shop three days a week.

To add more to his stellar volunteer profile, Derek recently took on the position of Story Teller sharing his experiences with our adult program, Create a Commuter. We appreciate Derek’s ability to calmly stare down a damaged bottom bracket cup in the bearing races and say “I’m not afraid of you!” We also appreciate the thorough dedication and commitment he brings every week to our shop and programs.

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering with the Community Cycling Center since July of 2011 when I started helping out with the Holiday Bike Drive.

Why do you volunteer here?

I volunteer with the Community Cycling Center because it creatively supports people’s need to be independently mobile and it promotes that goal using the most efficient, healthy, flexible and environmentally responsible means of transportation…the bicycle. I like that there is virtually no controversy or politics surrounding the Community Cycling Center’s agenda. It really is a purely good and positive influence on our community, something along the lines of, say, the public library system. Nobody can reasonably argue against its mission. Now that I think about it, I should probably volunteer with the library as well!

What is your favorite Community Cycling Center program?

I really like the Create a Commuter program because it actively tries to find people who wouldn’t necessarily consider a bicycle as their first choice for transportation and quickly helps show them that it is in fact the optimal mode of transport for most trips. I also like how the Create A Commuter program reaches out to people in most need of assistance in acquiring that new bike.

What is your dream bike?

I have chosen and refined my daily commuter over the years to be exactly what I want and need most in an all-weather, low maintenance, lightweight road bike. Wait…it could have one improvement, disc brakes for better wet weather stopping!

What do you like to do when you’re not here?

When I’m not helping out at the Community Cycling Center or working at my day job, I like to get out into the wilds of Oregon/Idaho/Washington where I go rafting, back country camping, fishing, hunting. It helps me decompress and balance my tech-driven urban lifestyle with the old school analog/caveman pursuits of our fore bearers.

What would your bio-pic be called? Who would play you?

I feel like my story is barely half written and that many of the most interesting parts are yet to come. “Scanning the Horizon” is perhaps a good title for now…Crispin Glover or some other unlikely B-movie actor might do.

Is there a volunteer you would like to see profiled? Let us know!

Connect with Us

Hours: 10am-6pm daily (fall/winter)Bike Shop Address: 1700 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Phone: 503.287.8786Office/Mailing Address: 1805 NE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97212