Friday, April 02, 2010

UBI Guest Teaching

Ron in new Portland UBI Framebuilding ClassroomAbout four years ago I had the good fortune of meeting Ron Sutphin, founder and owner of the United Bicycle Institute down in Ashland, Oregon. UBI one of only a handful of places in the world where you can learn the craft of bicycle framebuilding. I never attended, but was excited to meet Ron and pick his brain a bit. We immediately hit it off and I've enjoyed getting to know him. When he told me that he was looking for a location for a Portland campus I expressed some interest in "helping out," whatever that might mean. The chance to be part of a framebuilding school had me intrigued.

The Portland campus opened up with its first mechanic's courses back in October. Framebuilding courses start in a couple weeks and Ron has hired me to teach a two-week course in July. I'm honored and thrilled to be given this opportunity. My parents' best friends are teachers and knowing them has given me an admiration for educators. I believe that passing on one's knowledge and talents is key to making the world a better place. At this point I'm just signed up to do this one class, but I'm expecting to enjoy it and want to do at least two per year, maybe more as time allows.

I visited Ron in the new shop last week and it is coming along nicely. A few months ago the building was just a shell filled with a jumble of junk left by previous tenants. It now has fresh paint, a new electrical system, brand new machines, work benches and tools. They are working madly to get it set up and its going to be super pro.