Portland cyclist and Gracie’s Wrench owner Tori Bortman will be in town offering her bike mechanic education services as well as spending a lot of time on her bicycle.
She’ll be in town from this Saturday through the middle part of February.
Bortman started Gracie’s Wrench in 2004.
Bortman said she was frustrated because she couldn’t find anyone to teach her how to work on bikes.
“The people who knew the most couldn’t communicate very well and the mechanics that could communicate better didn’t really have the time or patience,” Bortman said. “It was like this knowledge hoarding that I saw. I just said there has got to be a better way. Why isn’t anyone teaching people how to wrench?”
She began working with non-profits to teach people how to work on bikes in groups, but noticed that many of the students still had a lot of questions because they each had different types of brakes, shifters and parts.
She thought there had to be a better way, so she decided to teach classes with a maximum of two people so the cyclists could get the hands-on attention they needed.
Bortman said she will have a mobile repair shop with her and will be able to either come to the cyclist or she has a rental space.
Bortman said she isn’t competing with BICAS’ classes.
“What I am offering is a little more of a boutique service for people who want a little bit more of an intimate situation and maybe have a higher-end bike.”
In addition to the mechanic classes, Bortman offers wheel building classes and commuting classes to help get people started commuting to work. She said she can also teach adults how to ride bikes.
Bortman said she will likely offer a discount for her services, which range from $75 to $325.
Cyclists interested in scheduling a class can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org