Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Mode


Michael Mode began volunteering with us in early 2010, and ever since he has been a mainstay at Tuesday Drop-In Night. A talented mechanic and thoughtful teacher, Michael has done a wonderful job of helping new volunteers – including his grandson, Kona – build skills and confidence.

When he’s not wrenching on tiny bikes, Michael is, well, doing just about everything else! He refurbishes bikes for our after-school Bike Clubs, helps us offer free repairs at outreach events, and last fall he joined a rockstar crew that detailed dozens of drivetrains and raised thousands of dollars out at Cycle Oregon. We all love working with Michael and appreciate his steadfast support.

How long have you been volunteering at the Community Cycling Center? How did you start?

I’ve been volunteering for about a year. I started volunteering as a drop-in volunteer at the Holiday Bike Drive program on Tuesdays.

Why do you volunteer here?

I’ve known about the Community Cycling Center for ever, and have donated bikes and bought parts from the retail shop. I like their mission to promote the bike as a tool for change, to educate the community about bike safety and their outreach programs for groups of different ages.

What is your favorite thing to do as a volunteer?

Wrenching on the bikes, getting greasy, and interacting with the other volunteers. The added bonus comes at Christmas when the cycling center has their Holiday Bike Drive event. You see all those bikes that were worked on by the volunteers, and then you see all the kids that benefit, and all the smiles. It’s great.

What is your best story from volunteering?

Working at Cycle Oregon, working long hours in strange places and living in a tent in school yards, fields and parking lots for a week. All this while cleaning bikes and raising some money for the cycling center. The added bonus was riding a couple of legs of the event. Enterprise to Clarkston was my favorite, with great views looking down into Joseph Canyon then zooming down into the canyon with all its switch backs and swoopy corners before grinding up and out for fifteen miles to Rattlesnake pass.

Tell us about your dream bike.

It would be some fine Italian bike, Moser, Colnago maybe a Pinarello with campy record components.

What do you do when you’re not here?

I bike. I am a partner in a business called Mari’s Garden, and our main (only) product is the Leafhopper Garden Tote. I draw, paint and do graphics, I love to travel, hang with the grandkids and support my wife and her dragon boating.

What would your bio-pic be called? Who would play you?

Fast and Furious. Rob Schneider.

Photo by Greg Lee

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

Phone: 503.287.8786