Volunteer Spotlight: Leila Barker

Leila started volunteering in February of 2008 and over the past two years has become a consistent, dynamic presence. She is a fixture at our Tuesday Drop-In Nights, where you will find her wrenching on kids bicycles for the Holiday Bike Drive and sharing her knowledge with new volunteers.

She has also joined our Cycle Oregon bike detailing crew for two years, and is a key member of the crew that offers quick fixes to community members at outreach events like the recent Bikes for Kids.

Maybe most importantly, on Drop-In Nights, Leila consistently comes up with creative answers to our Volunteer Coordinator’s icebreaker questions.

How long have you been volunteering at the Community Cycling Center? How did you start?
Since February 2008. After googling something along the lines of “Portland bicycle volunteering,” I signed up to help out with the Worst Day of the Year Ride and started going to Tuesday volunteer nights the same week.

Why do you volunteer here?
I came for the bikes and stayed for the community. Community Cycling Center staff and volunteers are a fun, energetic bunch of people to hang out with. Experienced hands are always willing to teach a new skill or help troubleshoot, and there’s never a stigma about not knowing something. More and more, what excites me is being able to pass on my knowledge to new folks. But on a purely haptic level, there are few things more satisfying than reassembling a bottom bracket, loose bearings and all, and feeling it turn smoothly on the first try. Priceless.

What is your favorite Community Cycling Center program? Why?
The Create a Commuter program is especially inspiring to me, because it’s dedicated to achieving a concrete difference in the way people live and work. Holiday Bike Drive is a blast because kids getting bikes = cute and awesome.

What is your dream bike?
A midnight blue Petite Pocket Rocket Pro with a fog horn and a Klingon cloaking device.

Any hobbies or passions you’d like to share?
As a violinist, over the years I’ve invested a lot of time and energy experimenting with better ways of carrying an instrument, music, and music stand while biking. The ideal solution: pick up the flute. It’s collapsible and waterproof.

Photo by Joel Schneier

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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