Leah Plummer (She/hers) I work at Uptown Bikes in Chicago, IL. I had the privilege of attending UBI in February 2019 at the Portland Campus. Before that, I applied unsuccessfully four times.
I was most impacted by getting to live with the other folks in the class. Everyone came at bikes from a different angle and getting to share a space for two weeks allowed us to have casual conversations about bikes and life in general. Our cohort had a wide age range of people from all over the country who had worked in a variety of shops so it was truly a gift to get to learn from everyone’s different perspectives and experiences.
“…it was truly a gift to get to learn from everyone’s different perspectives and experiences.”
I use UBI’s technique for setting up dual pivot road brake calipers almost daily! It’s super efficient and effective.
When I received the scholarship I had just finished my first season as Service Department/Shop Manager at Uptown Bikes. I had been a mechanic there for the previous 3 seasons but in accepting the manager position I took on a lot more responsibility. Though my position did not change after I received the scholarship, completing UBI and getting to know my classmates boosted my confidence both in the service department and in conversations with customers. I now feel connected to a network of folks across the country who I can turn to if I have a puzzle to solve or big idea to think through.
“I now feel connected to a network of folks across the country who I can turn to
if I have a puzzle to solve or big idea to think through.”
Attending UBI helped me clarify and cement my commitment to being a bike mechanic for years to come. Being around so many rad women & nonbinary folks who work on bikes gave me a peek at what the future of the industry could look like. I feel motivated to do what I can to contribute to making the industry a more welcoming and comfortable space for all sorts of folks.
“Being around so many rad women & nonbinary folks who work on bikes gave me
a peek at what the future of the industry could look like.”
Apply this year and if you don’t get it apply next year. The people you will meet (fellow students and teachers) are well worth the wait and the hard work.
A huge thanks to all of the sponsors of this scholarship and the individuals who work so hard to make it happen and to continue to make it more inclusive year after year.