An afternoon with The Climate Trust

By Britt Appleton, Social Media Specialist

One of the many ways you can volunteer with the Community Cycling Center is by organizing a volunteer group with your coworkers and coming to our bike shop to clean bikes. When a bike is donated, it is usually in a pretty rough state.  A thorough cleaning is the first step of the overhaul process before a donated bike is ready to be presented to a child at our annual Holiday Bike Drive.

This past Thursday, employees from The Climate Trust biked out to the shop from their offices downtown to help us clean bikes. Randi Orth, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, led them through a light introduction to our programs and our bike shop, and then a welcome question where she asked, “What do you remember about your first bike?” We ask this question because we want people to connect with the memories that they are giving to the kids who participate in the Holiday Bike Drive, memories that wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers’ help and hard work.

I love watching faces light up as people think back to their first bike. It’s a similar face to the one they make when they go into our bike shop basement and see the room full of tiny bikes. The basement is exceptionally organized. There’s a pile of dirty kids bikes in the corner. Hanging from the ceiling there are three sets of bikes: 1) Bikes that have been cleaned and are waiting to be fixed, 2) Bikes that have been fixed and are waiting to be second checked, and finally 3) Bikes that have been second checked and are waiting to be taken to our off site storage facility, where they are kept until the Holiday Bike Drive in December.

The Climate Trust volunteers picked bikes from the pile and brought them to our outdoor workspace behind the shop. If you’ve seen any of the pictures from the Holiday Bike Drive , you’ll know that most of these bikes are cool to look at, with impressive names like “Damage”and “Slumber Party.” Randi showed everyone how to add grease to the handlebars and the saddle, and how to get the rust and the dirt off. Volunteers are also instructed to remove anything that isn’t fixable. In an exciting moment, Erica, from the Climate Trust, got to cut off a rusty chain with a pair of bolt cutters.

The Climate Trust was a small, fun crew. There were 8 people, Ben, Sheldon, Kasey, Erica, Musa, Kavita and Pete. They worked in pairs and had a healthy competition going about who had cooler bikes and who was better at cleaning them. They were able to clean 12 bikes in just a few hours, and now those bikes are hanging in the basement, waiting for Tuesday night’s Drop In Night where they’ll be repaired by our skilled volunteer mechanics.

We are so grateful to The Climate Trust for spending the afternoon with us. We had a great time! If you are interested in cleaning bikes with your company, or in pursuing other volunteer opportunities, please contact Randi Orth at

View more photos from The Climate Trust’s afternoon with us here.

Connect with Us

Hours: Open Wednesday-Friday 11AM-7PM & Saturday/Sunday 12PM-5PM. Closed MondayBike Shop Address: 1700 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Phone: 503.287.8786