Volunteer Spotlight: Leah Haykin

Volunteer night, 3/16/10Leah started volunteering with us in May of 2009, and soon became a regular at Tuesday Drop-In Nights. Over the intervening months, she picked up skills from her fellow volunteers, and last month was certified as our youngest Holiday Bike Drive Mechanic. When she’s not helping new volunteers learn their way around kids bikes, Leah helps us at special events and rides along as a Bike Camp assistant.

Turns out we’re not the only ones that think Leah is amazing. She has just been selected as an Outstanding Youth Volunteer in the Oregon Governor’s Volunteer Awards!

Why do you volunteer here?
For a lot of reasons. Starting out, it was because I wanted to learn how to fix my own bike. But it really feels great to know that I’m enabling someone to have the same deep love of cycling that I do. It has grown to be a sort of stress-reliever as well. There’s no better way to clear your head than to get your hands dirty and create something fantastic.

What’s your favorite aspect of volunteering here?
I think the best part of volunteering at the Cycling Center is the combination of the amazing background music and cookies. The music is never the same, and will always keep you guessing. One night, there will be the music that is always playing in the background of Mexican restaurants, and the next, there will be Michael Jackson. And when you add the organic Newman-O’s, nothing could be better.

What is your favorite Community Cycling Center program?
My favorite Community Cycling Center program would have to be Tuesday Drop-In Nights. When you come long enough and really get to know the shop and the people, you really start to understand the “community” aspects of the organization. It is all-around a very positive and rewarding experience.

What is your dream bike?
I’ve got to say my old Univega. It’s not the nicest bike in the world, per se, but I have grown to love it. I know it in and out; I know every creak and every chip in the paint. It gets me where I need to go, and I love it.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering here?
Besides school, you could probably find me either dragonboating or singing. I paddle with the Wasabi Paddling Club and Grant Pirates, and love it dearly. A lot of people don’t understand why one would wake up before the crack of dawn for just about anything. But take one look at the sunrise on the Willamette and you will change your mind, I promise. I sing for Grant’s A Capella Choir and the Pacific Youth Choir, but I also provide solo background music to my family and cats while in the shower.

What would the title of your bio-pic be? Who would play you?
So after pondering the answer to this question for a couple days and still coming up with nothing, I asked several of my friends what they thought. The general consensus seemed to be: “Leah Haykin: Livin’ da Gangsta Lyfe,” and that I should be played by Ice Cube. I don’t really see how they came to this conclusion, but it was a unanimous vote, so I will not argue.

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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