united bicycle institute

My first bike was handed down to me from my sister. It was a short pedal fixie with a banana seat and swan style handlebars. It had a basket with a large plastic flower on it. Dad tried to help me “man it up” a little by removing the basket and adding big knobby tyres. For Christmas the next year I got a Huffy Bandit. It was either 1977 or 78 because the Bandit was a very limited edition that came out at the same time as the Smokey and the Bandit movie. Longer crank arms, and a free hub changed my view of what bicycles were capible of. I wish I still had my Bandit.

Cycling has always been a part of my world where I could always find personal freedom, self esteem and transportation. Think about it: you can break a cycle down into managible parts, travel anywhere in the world and have virtually free transportation.

As an adult, I have gotten into triathlon and long distance cycling. It has become a passion I feed off of.

Following this passion led me to the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon. Recognised as the premier bike technition training facility in the US and possibly the world, UBI attracts clients from all over the world. They keep their class sizes to a very select few. It is difficult to get a covited spot in class, and their waiting list is years long.

I got the call that there had been a last minute cancellation and an opening was available for the Professional Repair and Shop Operation class, so I jumped at the chance.

Going over each system that makes up a bike one at a time with a depth that would help expirenced mechanics, yet allow a novice wrench turner the chance to understand the how to, what and why bikes work.

One of our last tests was to overhaul an entire bike by stripping it down, cleaning and inspecting all the parts, and putting it back together.

Here is my first bike overhaul.

Outside of class, there are tons of trails for the downhill or off road fans, but the roadies like me, also have challenging places to roam as well. Emigrant Lake is just south of town and works as the perfect launching point of a good days ride, or could be used as a daily afternoon sprint run.

Mont Ashland assends to 7300ft, with off road trails and paved roads all the way to the summit. It is a fantastic ride!

Another road, Route 66, climbs from Emigrant Lake’s 1950ft to 4600ft, levels off a bit and then climbs up to 5400ft to dump you out onto the infamous 13 mile descent of Dead Indian Road. Having done both Dead Indian and 66, I think 66 is the best for views and an interesting climb. Dead Indian is just unrelenting downhill. 66 has the same descent, but not streight. There are tons of curves and views.

The views are outstanding.

With classmates from Greece, Hong Kong and all over the US, UBI classes are in high demand. I have been speaking with three business already about comming to work with them. Nice.


One Response to “united bicycle institute”

  1. Congrats!!

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