Volunteer Spotlight: Virginia Quinn

volvirginia.jpgVirginia joined the Tuesday Drop-In crew in November of 2009, and has barely missed a night since. She patiently gleaned tricks and techniques from veteran Holiday Bike Drive mechanics, and now she’s an expert herself! A typical Drop-In
Night finds her sharing her skills and positive energy with new volunteers.

Volunteers and staff alike love Virginia’s warmth and enthusiasm, and we’re thrilled she’s chosen to spend her Tuesday nights with us. To learn more about Virginia, check out this month’s Volunteer Spotlight.

1. How long have you been volunteering? How did you start?

I have been coming on Tuesdays nights steadily for about a year and a half. I first came in several years ago with my daughter, who needed to accrue some service hours for high school. Since I never could attend regularly back then, I
filed the idea in my brain and resurrected it when the last of my three kids went away to college and evenings were suddenly freed up. Now I don’t miss a night.

2. Why do you volunteer here?

Because I believe in the bicycle as a “tool for empowerment and a vehicle for change.” Ha! Could not miss the opportunity to plug the Community Cycling Center’s motto! Seriously, I do believe that bikes and riding bikes can make lives better and that the journey on a bike is often analogous to finding a path through the challenges we face in everyday life. So, I love to ride and coming here is another way to be involved in a part of the local bike community. Additionally, I am really enjoying learning skills for which I do not exactly have a talent (Gram can verify that!) And of course there is the satisfaction that comes from playing a small part in delivering first bikes to children in Portland every December. None of this, however, would truly resonate without the great people who show up on Tuesday nights, the staffers and volunteers who make it a fun and worthwhile experience.

3. What is your favorite thing to do as a volunteer?

I am especially happy when I go home after having figured out something about the bike–like coaster brakes–that had previously frustrated me. The first time I opened up a hub and all of the bearings fell out was something of a disaster, but
I did eventually come to understand how hubs work. Now that I have learned a thing or two, I am enjoying the teaching role of helping other new volunteers. And I love hanging out with the Tuesday group and getting to know people one
weekday night at a time.

4. Tell us about your dream bike.

I was lucky enough to acquire my “dream bike” last August: a stainless steel Independent Fabrications SSR from Boston, for which I was able to pick out each and every part, right down to the skewers. I would like to report that it makes me
go faster up hills, but alas, true climbing finesse eludes me. I keep working at it. My other dream bike is the bike I owned in college, a steel Crescent (made in Sweden). I hope to refurbish it through some classes at CCC. Perhaps it will be
back out on the road this summer!

5. What do you like to do when you’re not here?

Mostly, it seems, I take care of my family, my house, my dog! I ride my bike lots, in rain or shine (but try to avoid downpours!) I knit sweaters, I write, I enjoy my friends.

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

Let’s see, it would be called “Riding Past the Blue,” it would have lots of music, and I would be played in fine style by Sheryl Crow. Ha!

Photo by Dan Sloan

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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