BV: What is your name? Where are you from? What pronouns do you prefer? When did you attend the United Bicycle Institute during the QBP Scholarship (year and month)? And how many years did you apply before receiving the scholarship?
CJ: Candi Jiosne. I am from Clarkston GA. I use she/her. I attended UBI Portland in Feb 2019. It was my third time applying.Jiosne and bench partner Nelly Jones proudly display their overhauled bike at the end of Day 7.

BV: What impacted you most about your experience with your classmates?
CJ: So much really…Initially from the talk we had with Kaitlin. I was touched by everyone’s story – what brought them to UBI and for many the struggles they’ve had along the way.Then it became more about the camaraderie and women helping other women in the class – studying together…there were NO egos whatsoever. It was such a comfortable learning environment. And now it’s evolved into lifelong friendships and community with those who were in other classes as well.

“…it became more about the camaraderie and women helping
other women in the class – studying together…there were NO egos whatsoever…
And now it’s evolved into lifelong friendships and community with
those who were in other classes as well.”

BV: What is the most helpful tip or trick that you learned during your time at UBI
CJ: Wheel building! Even tho I haven’t built a full wheel since the class it helped my understanding of spoke replacement and truing immensely. And that I do on a daily basis.

BV: Or Did your goals change because of this experience? How did the scholarship help reset your new goals, or achieve the goals you already had in place?
CJ: I was and still am a FT bike tech and Cycling Instructor for REI. That has not changed. But I did pick up that gig for Iconic Adventures in Europe and they asked me to come back next year! I think more than anything the scholarship gave me a deeper understanding which in turn gave me more confidence which led to me applying for the Europe gig. I don’t think I would have done that without that added confidence. Now I’ve been asked to teach a WTF/NB mechanic series in Nov/Dec so hopefully that will open up other opportunities in that community. I do still want to set up some kind of monthly or regular free bike maintenance sessions for the community I live in. We have a lot of refugees who use bicycles as their main transportation. We had a coop at our community center a while back but it has since closed.

Candi Jiosne and bench partner Kristiina Thompson work through a rear derailleur adjustment.
You got the opportunity to travel to Europe this summer as a mechanic, right? Can you tell us about your experience; responsibilities, exciting places you got to visit, and other people you got to meet?The Portland QBP Women's Bike Mechanic Scholarship class along with our Portland instructor crew.

CJ: Wow yeah! What an amazing experience! I got to work with 2 other scholarship recipients – Leah Fantle and Danielle Dawn – who were awesome! The Iconic staff were so fun and easy to work with. I felt an immediate connection to all of them. The job paid very well and all of our expenses were paid – from flights to cell phone usage to hotels, meals and drinks. They even paid me on my days off in between work segments and a travel stipend to get to the next segment. The ride was a cancer research fundraiser. It started with prep in Germany and went through 6 countries. There were 6 3-day segments. Each segment had different European riders. There were 4 mechanics per segment. Prep days we tuned the fleet of bikes (25-30), changed tires, cables, brake pads, bar tape, etc. and packed the mechanic’s van. Ride days we sized approximately 16 riders on bikes. Two techs were responsible for driving the mechanic’s van to the next hotel, setting up our prep station for when the riders arrive and fixing anything on the unused bikes in the fleet. The other two techs follow the riders in the sag vehicle and make any adjustments necessary, fix flats and provide encouragement. These riders are mostly new to cycling. They trained for 6 months prior and are doing roughly 100-115km a day. Most if not all of them had some connection to cancer (as most of us do unfortunately) so at times it was emotional. I started in Germany and did 4 days of prep and then 2 segments as Active Support in the sag vehicle. I went to/through Switzerland, Italy, France and ended in Spain. There were definitely a few long days working from 7am-10pm and then eating dinner but most of them were not like that. I worked a total of 10 days but spent about a month in Europe traveling before and after the work gig. Did some cycling in France and hiking in Switzerland and in Spain.

BV: What is one piece of advice you could give to the hopeful folks hoping to apply for this year’s scholarship?
CJ: Be persistent! There a so many great candidates and only a few spots each year. If you don’t get it this time around keep applying!