Lynette Wood, currently hailing from Lindale, TX is unbothered by your opinion. And Wood will keep doing good work despite other's opinions.
A great example of what you can do to help out in your off-time, Wood is a mechanic-instructor, a coach for many of all ages, and still has a day job. Wood also helped Lisa Uranga (of Dirt Side Sisters in Texas) lead some skills clinics to help those in the scholarship who had never mountain biked before; tackling the entirety of Mount Ashland in our weekend ride.
The QBP scholarship is aimed at giving to those who are giving to others. Many of the recipients donate their time outside of the bike shop to help other cyclists (children and adults alike), hopeful mechanics, home wrenches, and normal folks understand the ins and outs of safe cycling. Ultimately that's the goal for all of us; more butts on bikes!
I'm Lynnette Wood, originally from Guilford, VT and currently residing in Lindale, TX by way of Appleton, WI, Jánico Dominican Republic, and Haverhill, MA. I attended the October 2018 QBP scholarship class. It was the first time I had applied for the scholarship, and I was truly surprised to have received it!
Sometimes I don't see the forest through the trees, and don't necessarily consider all the things I do to help promote diversity in the biking scene as anything other than me doing what I love to do, but receiving this scholarship put a perspective on how others view what I do and the importance of what I bring to the community. I most admired the many walks of life my classmates had come from, which led them to be in the same classroom as I. It was humbling. I loved hearing their stories and experiences, both good and bad, and continue to stay in touch with them and follow their journeys.
"It brought a whole new perspective to me and my role, and a better understanding of the struggles some of the cyclists I come
into contact with might be going through."
It is difficult to specify a single helpful tip or trick I learned during my time at UBI. High on the list is simply; having a clean work area and learning what all those mysterious-looking tools and devices are for! I loved leaning to bleed brakes and service forks, but my absolute favorite thing was efficiently lacing wheels and the methodology of truing them.
"... but I continue to infiltrate the shop and take on what I can proactively."
My role in the cycling and bike mechanic industry is not my "day job". My day job is a high-speed fiber optic support engineer, and I've been with the company for 22 years. I have been a Liv Ambassador for 3 years and work at Elite Bicycles on Saturdays. I coach mountain bike skills for GRIT Clinics and LadiesAllRide, and help out with 2 local NICA Texas League teams, as well as set up events for women (rides and basic maintenance workshops). An immediate result of the QBP scholarship was being able to offer more advanced workshops and one-on-one learning, as well as lend a more effective hand in the shop.
The bike shop hired on another full-time mechanic a short time after I completed the QBP scholarship, so my opportunities for wrenching at the shop actually decreased on Saturdays, but I continue to infiltrate the shop and take on what I can proactively. I'm about 3 years from retirement eligibility from my day job, and having the bicycle mechanic skills in my quiver has helped shape my thoughts of post-retirement direction. I am a firm believer in pursuing what you love and chasing dreams, and what better way to do that than to become more fully involved in bicycle mechanics upon retirement. Although I don't let others' perceptions influence my decisions, I can't help but imagine what a great example to a lot of people it would be to chase these dreams.
For anyone truly interested in the QBP scholarship, all I can say is to go for it! You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain!
"Your story is likely to be someone else's inspiration."
I will forever be humbled by the opportunity to attend the QBP course and grateful to ALL the sponsors of this amazing scholarship. The sponsors' support is a key component to my product purchasing decisions and recommendations as a consumer.