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Pebbles in the pond

 Post #37

       Life is returning to some normalcy after the work stoppage, but in my volunteer life at the Cedar Valley Bike Collective has picked up.  In the next few months, I will most likely execute a few Women's Bike Maintenance Clinics.  They are nothing really special as far as glitz and glamour.  They are a bike stand with tools, and I have the attendees bring their own bike.  I walk them through a tune up on their bike.  The concept is to have them learn about their bike and build confidence in maintaining it.  

    You will often find, these ladies know exactly what is going on, but lack the industry vocabulary.  This is true for anyone, we often know what issues are happening, and we often can not express it in official jargon and terms.  This was made evident to me, yet again, when I had my beta test student.  I asked a lady who is retired, and could not put air in her tire.  I told her up front, if I get to engineery in my words, stop me.  I did not make it 15 seconds before she stopped me.  She looked at me and said, I just want to be able to go into a bike shop and tell them what is wrong and not embarrass myself.  That statement was a moment of clarity for me.

    Here statement, changed the mindset I had.  I was going into this in problem solving mindset of lets fix this today.  I have since taken the approach of this is the beginning or maybe a stop along the way on the journey maintenance.  Since my time with her, she is oiling her chain and putting air in her tire all by herself.  She even changed a tube on RAGBRAI for another person.  It may of taken a beer or two to complete, but she did it.

    Feedback like that helps people who volunteer time, keep on keeping on.  I am not asking you the reader to tell me how awesome I am.  But I am asking, when people volunteer time to help out others, provide them with feed back that is positive or constructive.  Being a person who has put on events or hosted a lot of things, the one thing I hate hearing is the "I would do it this way." As the person who is donating their time, I am only willing to do so much, and also with what resources can I do that with?  I often find the people who tell me they could do better, often can not, and at the root of their statement is envy or jealousy.

Cheers and Godspeed

Dave  

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