After nearly five years volunteering with Wheelhouse Community Bike Shop I’m stepping down from the Board of Directors!
Wheelhouse’s other board members and volunteers have done some amazing work despite the intricacies of providing a safe, healthy and productive space for learning about bicycling, bicycle repair and advocacy during a global pandemic. Wheelhouse is in great hands and I can’t wait to see what they continue to do in serving the community.
Below I’ll elaborate on why I’m stepping down; however I want to encourage you to read about why you should volunteer at Wheelhouse too!
TL;DR: We’re having a baby and life is busy!
David Spaulding is the master of motivation, a commiserate dreamer he helped me realize a feeling of purpose as a newcomer to the Tri-Cities. After wrenching on bikes at Liberation we had many an afternoon brew (coffee or beer; either could be the case to two ADHD overachievers at 6p) thinking up ways that we could get more community around cycling – bicycle library, bike co-op, bicycle cafe – it was all on the table. David’s idea for a bicycle cooperative held true and we registered www.cooperative.bike and www.tcbikecoop.com and started brainstorming.
David kicked off the fundraiser and we gave everyone we could an earful about how neat it could be. Recycling used bicycles, setting up a parts library, wrenching stations for community members, and fundraising for bike builds and donations to community in-need. Before too long we had a board and filed for non-profit incorporation – the Board: Ken Schmidt, Erin Schmidt, Dana Caldwell, Aaron Piper, Andrea Constance, Miles Thomas, Emelye Weimer, David Spaulding, Crissa Terrel, and Travis Jordan.
Our first event? An inaugural Bike-In Movie Night at John Dam Plaza in Richland watching ET The Extraterrestrial! Kagen Coffee and Crepes and Go Green Tri-Cities sponsored the purchase of headlights and taillights for participants, Greenies Bike Shop led the ride, and the City of Richland helped us procure the movie rights.
Over the past five years we’ve done some pretty amazing things. Board members have come and gone as life shifted their availability; we’ve donated hundreds of bicycles, we’ve saved dozens more from the trash. Despite some growing pains, every moment has been an experience I’ve enjoyed being a part of.
My own life and career has shifted my availability – my role at the Port of Benton involves participation on many boards and committees in support of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Tri-Cities. My career and hobbies direct my involvement where I now serve on committees for the Tri-Cities Research District, International Economic Development Council, American Planning Association, Association of University Research Parks, Tri-Cities Legislative Council, and the Mid-Columbia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
The most exciting part – Emelye and I will welcome our first future-cyclist in a few short weeks. I’m looking forward to getting to know our little human, and in a few short years getting them on their first balance bike.
If my story about the founding of Wheelhouse above didn’t convince you here are a few more reasons to get involved.
Interested in becoming a Board Member? Email Maggie Vincent with your interest to – maggie [@] wheelhouse.bike