I will be leaving OCBC to pursue a career in education, specifically
becoming a classroom teacher. My work here has been really influential
in that decision, since working with people (volunteers, students,
shop-users, and customers alike) and helping them to understand
something new is my favorite part of the job. I intend to go back to
school in January and work toward getting my teaching license.
My experiences at OCBC have been eye-opening, in many ways. I’ve learned a lot and gained many skills: how to work on a bike, how to staff events, how to manage work flow, how to work with non-profit/community partners, and much more. In my opinion, the most important personal skill I’ve developed is how to recognize the skills present in every individual, and how to work with and support them. OCBC is a place where anybody can come to help out and I am grateful to have gotten to work alongside so many awesome people.
Between now and January, I will have consistent presence at OCBC, helping to hire a new volunteer coordinator and train that person for the role. I will also be transitioning into working as a substitute teacher, to practice classroom management and help decide what age group I’d like to teach. Hopefully I’ll teach a little yoga on the side (fingers crossed!). In the future, I will continue to be involved as a volunteer, specifically with the shop classes and whatever else the new volunteer coordinator needs me for!
Thank you all for reading and for working with me at OCBC. I truly appreciate my time spent here and the friendships I’ve made.
Welcome to our new mechanic, Joe
In order to keep up with all the new cyclists we have seen in the shop looking for bikes we have decided to bring in a new mechanic to help us keep bikes on the showroom floor. Joe Fuller, a veteran of the bike industry in Cleveland will be working at the Co-op during our closed hours to help us keep up production. Joe started working on bikes at the age of 16 at Ernie's Bike Shop in Wooster and has previously worked at multiple shops in Cleveland, including Blazing Saddle, Ray's MTB Park, Spin Bike Shop, and Fridrich Bicycle. Our administrator Eric sat down with Joe for a quick interview.
Eric: So, Joe how did you first hear about the Co-op?
Joe: I heard about it around 7 years ago and stopped in to check it out when it was still across the street on Columbus Rd. I really liked the sense of camaraderie and how many like-minded people were there under one roof.
Eric: And what made you want to get involved here?
Joe: I wanted to keep working on bikes without having to work in the bike industry full time so this was a great compromise to work here during off hours.
Eric: Do you care to talk about the things you like or dislike about the Co-op now that you have started coming here regularly?
Joe: As far as the work goes, I like working on bikes that are priced to sell. For instance, since I have started seven of the bikes I've worked on have already sold. These bikes were just dead sitting in someone's garage and now they have some new life and a new home. When you are working at a traditional bike shop you work on more expensive bikes that tend to sit around longer.
At the Co-op there is so much history and nostalgia that makes it a cool place to be. There is every kind of bike, from every era represented here and there are all kinds of cyclists that come in. At some bike shops they have a preference for one type of bike over another but here you don't have that. It's very inclusive.
I guess a negative thing would be that I wish I had gotten involved sooner.
Eric: What kind of riding do you do?
Joe: I get around everyday on my fixed-gear (48 x 12) commuter bike but in my spare time I love to ride BMX bikes.
Eric: Lastly, do you have any future plans related to the Co-op or just to cycling in general?
Joe: I'm just looking forward to seeing the Co-op progress and helping people who maybe can't afford to buy all new stuff still get a bike and be able to enjoy riding. Getting more folks on bikes is what it is all about.
On Saturday, September 17th, bike safety advocates and concerned citizens in Cleveland will be accompanying Steve Bingham and Francoise Blusseau on a memorial ride honoring the life of their daughter Sylvia, and marking the day she was killed by a truck while riding her bike to work in 2009.
This Ride of Silence will assemble at West 11th St. and Fairfield in Tremont, and depart at 11:30am, following the route she took to work on September 15, 2009. After a brief observance where she died at E21st St. and Prospect Ave, the ride will pass by the location where she worked as a Vista volunteer for Hard Hatted Women, at 46th and Prospect, and end with a gathering to remember her remarkable life with a potluck lunch in Perk Park at East 12th and Chester Ave.