Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Community Bike

Since April(ish) last year I've been volunteering for Our Community Bikes. OCB is a fantastic thing, and in my opinion one of the things that makes the world a better place to be. Run by consensus by an amazing group of enthusiastic and adventurous people, OCB is a haven of used bike parts, eclectic (and sometimes alarming) music, the dream of getting the world onto bikes, and some fantastic (and sometimes alarming) hairstyles. 

At OCB I've done everything from sorting through the donated bike parts for treasure, helping fix beach cruisers, 3 speeds, fixies, and all manner of peculiar and well used bikes, assembling bikes for health workers to use in Haiti, building a Christmas present for Lina, fixing my own bike, teaching others how to build a bike from parts, and rummaging for parts for friends. 

When Christmas came around I was invited to the OCB Christmas party, which was the only "work" Christmas party I went to... what with my employer being on the east coast of the US. Over time it's seemed that my time in OCB was getting noticed and people liked having me around. I even got a rather accurate nickname "British Andrew". Today I heard the verdict. I am in. At some point (probably in April when I am back from Patagonia - more on that later) I will be welcomed into the fold as a real OCB employee. I am very, very happy to take on my new job as a medical writer/charity bike mechanic. Yeah!

As for Patagonia...  I am going to Patagonia (followed by Peru) for all of March and a bit of April to tramp around in the mountains with Lina. Lina will have just finished a back-to-back race epic of the TransAndes and Patagonia Expedition Adventure Race, which is going to be quite a thing. Go fast Lina! Some of the places we might end up are on this map I have been playing with, but like all the best plans, this one is open to whatever seems like a good idea at the time.