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.


Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

brandon said...

You should guest teach multiple times or at least once more in the fall so i can save up and take the class. Im a fan of your work. It would be an awesome experience.

Tony said...

I'll be helping out with the June class, then teaching the July class. In the future I plan to teach two or three a year. We'll see how it goes, but I really like helping with the first class and am looking forward to doing more. I'll post more on my blog when I know I'll be teaching.

Mike D'Anna said...

I am in the current (July 2010) frame building class. Tony is a natural at teaching. I think we as a class are extremely lucky to benefit from Tony's first lead teaching experience. His enthusiasm and energy are infectious. As I told him today, he could be far less generous and still be effective.

Tony and Ron are the dynamic duo. No pretense. Both are willing to admit they don't know everything. Custom frame building is a lesson in problem solving. To have a long time builder like Ron state strait up that things don't always go as planned is a refreshing dose of honesty. They share EVERYTHING they know.

If you are thinking about UBI, do not hesitate. These guys are the real deal! I am a cynical New Yorker and UBI passes my test with flying colors. It has been an awesome, life changing experience for me. I'll be back next summer for the mechanics class.

Thanks Tony and Ron for opening my eyes and expanding my horizons.

Mike D.

PowerCom ARS said...

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