Bortman Bonanza: Gracie’s Wrench!
I’ve been sorely remiss about writing here lately and for that I’m sorry. But the good news is that I have been writing. A lot, actually.
And having work in this economy? Well, that’s a good thing - am I right?
The other good thing is that I’ve been working on lots of stories that I really love – one of which was the Gracie’s Wrench column that came out in today’s Oregonian. I met Tori on the start line of the Hillsboro ‘cross race last season and was immediately taken by her cat-eye glasses and brazen willingness to openly mock me for racing with a Garmin Edge 705 (I still make no apologies for this).
I soon put two and two together and realized that this was the woman behind Gracie’s Wrench, a company I’d wondered about for some time. Who is this Lady Mechanic-preneur? Can she really teach me to adjust my own brakes? I don’t believe it!
Then she wrote a startingly eloquent piece that was featured in the Dirty Pictures cyclocross book that PDX Cross put together. I remember discussing this piece with Mike Davis, who took the lead on editing the content of the book (his wife, Deb Pang-Davis of Cococello Design , was the designer) and sharing a mutual admiration for the woman behind those words.
So I emailed her and convinced friend (and recent cat-4 leg ripper) Lindsay Kandra to take a class with me.
It was fantastic to learn that Tori is as capable at teaching (really – you can have a great mechanic, but it’s not going to help you if they aren’t also an absolutely wonderful teacher) as she is eloquent.
The class is phenomenal and I highly recommend it. Incidentally, I’ve also heard great things about her wheel-building workshop, though I can’t speak to that from personal experience.
Also, I wanted to give a special thanks to Daniel Sharp who nailed the photography for this piece. It was a pleasure to work with you, Daniel!
P.S. Happy Easter :) Go eat a bunny head.