Volunteer Spotlight: Reid Lustig
Since last year, Reid Lustig has been sharing his mechanical wizardry and infectious enthusiasm with the Community Cycling Center. In June, he donated 28 hours of his time, helping out with a wide variety of projects. He co-instructed our Advanced Bike Maintenance Class on Mondays, enthusiastically welcomed and trained new drop-in volunteers on Tuesdays, and wrenched on bicycles at the Bikes ‘n’ BBQ Bash and the Sunset Bike Fair. Reid even recruited some ace mechanics to help us staff the latter event. We deeply appreciate everything Reid brings to our volunteer community, and wanted to take this opportunity to let you all get to know him a bit better.
How long have you been volunteering at the Community Cycling Center? How did you start?
I started turning wrenches with the CCCers in the Autumn of 2008. As I remember, I barged in one night and began fiddling with the tools.
What do you do for a living?
Absorb sufficient sunlight, hydrate regularly, and eat plenty of beets. Financially speaking, I perform site assessment for a German wind turbine manufacturer. If anyone is curious about the optimal location to install an 80 meter tall multi-Megawatt wind energy converter, I’ll let you in on some secrets over a frosty pint.
What sort of volunteer work do you do?
At the shop, I enjoy instructing fellow mechanics on overhauling kids’ bicycles, delving into tricky tasks such as tuning hubs or reassembling coaster brakes. Co-instructing the advanced mechanics class has been a great opportunity, testing my own knowledge on the complexities of bicycle bearing systems and wheel building. I also am adamant about polishing off the Newman-O’s and giving Zelda [the shop cat â€“Ed.] the heave-ho at the end of each night.
Outside of the Community Cycling Center, I often find myself buried in bikes. The beauty of being a volunteer bike mechanic in Portland is you are never short on projects. I often come home to a bike on the back porch in need of repair. My ultimate goal is to pass as much mechanical know-how onto other folks so that they may be empowered with the confidence and technique to maintain their own rides.
Why do you volunteer here?
It seems in Portland that most of the nifty happenings are always going down on Tuesday nights and yet I can hardly tear myself away from hanging at the Community Cycling Center. Although the shop be high tech and full of intriguing tools, and the Holiday Bike Drive a supreme service to our community, the most prominent reason I return night after night is my admiration for all the volunteers. It feels like coming home to family when you step into the shop, so many familiar and friendly faces, an incredible potential for curious conversation, a positive vibe continually resonating throughout the shop.
Any hobbies/passions you’d like to share?
I dream constantly about hiking along back country trails, canoeing desert canyons, tossing a line into a pristine mountain lake in search of a meal. Diametric in character, I thrive in the social atmosphere that is the city of Portland, but yearn too for the peace and contemplation that can only take place deep in the wild. I hope someday to combine these aspects, perhaps through wilderness education, opening the eyes of youth to the wonders of nature, instilling in them a deep respect for our living planet. It is my belief that our best shot at bettering this world is by passing our values for the natural world along to others, thus creating a chain reaction which will spread environmental responsibility throughout our society.
Photo by Sara Cross