By Melinda Musser, Communications & Marketing Manager
Cassidy is one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure to work with. He’s currently our graphic design intern, but has also helped us out with photography, videography, wrenching on bikes, and even scoring music! Cassidy is always willing to step in and volunteer when he can, and for that, we want to honor his commitment to our work in this Volunteer Spotlight.
Why do you volunteer at the Community Cycling Center? How did you start?
I knew I wanted to do something to support the cycling community in Portland and after doing a little research, I decided volunteering at the Community Cycling Center looked the most interesting. I started out by going to an orientation session with Randi. One of my first projects was photographing the Holiday Bike Drive which had a huge effect on me. Seeing so many kids receive their first bike, and how excited they were, it was inspiring. Working to refurbish kids bikes on Tuesday nights always felt great knowing that the bikes would be given to those who needed them most. In addition to photography and refurbishing bikes, I’ve enjoyed working as a graphic design volunteer, and now as graphic design intern. Volunteering has been a great experience, spending time with other volunteers and people who are passionate about bicycle advocacy has been a real privilege.
What sort of volunteer work do you do?
At the moment the graphic design internship is my main focus. As an intern, and as a graphic design volunteer before that, I create promotional material, posters, things like that. I’ve also spent a lot of time at the Tuesday Drop-In Nights; refurbishing kids bikes has been a lot of fun as well as a great opportunity to learn about bike maintenance and repair. I’ve also worked on wheels, bike collection events, and recycling.
What is your most memorable moment in your time volunteering with us?
That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say working the Holiday Bike Drive was the most memorable. Seeing how excited the kids were about cycling and watching them try their new bikes out made me remember some of my first experiences with bikes and how magical they were.
Do you have a favorite Community Cycling Center program?
I don’t think I have a favorite. One of the reasons I picked the Cycling Center as a place to volunteer my time was the exciting variety of programs that worked synergistically to engage people of different ages and walks of life with cycling and connect communities.
What does “community” mean to you? How would you define it, or what does it look like?
I think everyone who rides a bike is part of a community whether they know it or not. When I started riding I obviously knew there were a ton of other cyclists out there, but I didn’t feel connected to them. That all changed when I started volunteering. I met tons of new people, all very different, but also very passionate about bicycles. The connection I feel toward other cyclists is what community means to me, and it’s exciting to know that connection extends to every person who rides no matter their age, gender, race, or nationality.
Describe your dream bike?
The funny thing is I’m not the type of person who has a dream bike. I’ve had the same single speed I bought off Craigslist years ago for $150. I don’t lust after $5,000 bikes. I like that my bike is simple and inexpensive. It has been a real trooper and I honestly feel a connection to it. It’s a constant reminder of the things I love about cycling: it’s inexpensive and accessible to nearly everyone.
What is something that someone may not know about you initially?
I make electronic music as Gouseion, and have been doing that for almost 10 years. I’m a vegan for many of the same reasons I ride: environmental impact, health, and community. I also studied literature and writing as an undergraduate, I still hope to write a novel one day.