Volunteer spotlight: Sarah Freeman
Since the beginning of June, Sarah Freeman has donated over 200 hours as our Bike Camp Intern. Not only has Sarah excelled in this role – helping lead campers on rides around Portland, creating materials and facilitating hands-on activities – she has also become a regular at Tuesday Drop-In Nights, building her bike repair skills and supporting Holiday Bike Drive.
How long have you been volunteering at the Community Cycling Center? How did you start?
I started volunteering at the Community Cycling Center at the beginning of the summer. I am a relative newcomer to the world of bikes, and I wanted to dedicate some time to gaining some much needed bike skills and knowledge. After doing a little research, I was lucky enough to connect with the volunteer coordinator at the Community Cycling Center and to work with him and the program staff to develop an awesome internship with the Bike Camp.
Why do you volunteer here?
I believe that bicycles contribute significantly to the health of the individual, the community, and the Earth, and I think that the Community Cycling Center is doing important work towards making biking in the city a safe and accessible option for all Portlanders.
What is your favorite thing about Bike Camp?
Bicycle tear down! On tear down days, the campers get a hands-on introduction to all of the tools that the mechanics use in the shop. We dismantle old bikes so that we can reuse or recycle as many components as possible.
What is your favorite story from working with this summerâ€™s campers?
I am always impressed with the campers’ natural wrenching abilities on tear down days. Multiple times during the day, campers will ask me a mechanical question that is totally beyond my bike knowledge. Usually, as I am fumbling with some tool and trying to come up with an answer for them, they answer their own questions and move on to the next challenge. I am constantly being reminded how much I have to learn, and I really do learn from everyone â€“ staff and campers alike.
What do you do when you’re not here?
I am a college student pursuing a degree in women and gender studies with an unofficial concentration in alternative economics. During the school year, I live in a co-op where I make art, cook, wear costumes, and deconstruct social constructs with seventeen other women. And, of course, I try to fit in as many bike rides as possible.
Photo by Joel Schneier