Our fifth group of apprentices wrap up a great five-months at CAT. With obvious pride having made their own amazing new cargo bikes, Derek, Jeremy, and Tuyen say goodbye.
“Over the last five months of the CAT apprenticeship I have spent time learning from some pretty incredible instructors; TIG welding, sewing, basic machining, and new gardening techniques.More importantly, I have been challenged philosophically and have grown to have a better understanding of how I live and interact with the world around me. Living with and learning from the other apprentices has been a favorite part of the program as have the tangential experiences the apprenticeship has made possible through the seemingly endless opportunities for community involvement here in Eugene.”
“When I asked our welding instructor, Todd Gardner, about equipment recommendations for my eventual shop, he answered, “All you really need is a hacksaw and a file”. That answer stuck with me until half way through the apprenticeship program before it was clear to me that “It’s not about the bike”! It’s not about the equipment in the shop. It is about the labor, the skill and craftsmanship that go into the bike. It is about being more self-reliant and being creative in solving problems. It is about utilizing your resource or lack of resource at hand. It is about changing attitudes and lifestyles, yours and others, to live more harmoniously with our environment and neighbors. It is about making a difference in your community. It is about what you can do with a bike.
Yes, this sounds idealistic, but if one comes to the apprenticeship program with less focus on the tangibles and with more of an open mind, he/she will walk out of here with more than a cargo bike. Use the bike. Teach others to build and use their bikes.”
“Throughout the apprenticeship program I have found the value behind being involved in small, direct solutions to large, systematic problems . Learning how to design, weld, sew, and grow food are great ways to get an idea of the reality of our manufactured world. Having these experiences is empowering but also brings you to see how essential it is to be curious and open to the people you learn with and the story behind it all. The point is that this concept does not stay here at CAT. It spreads and propagates itself through the Human Powered Network by people who have been a part of the Cargo Bike Apprenticeship. This network will connect each members’ knowledge, thereby creating support for the decentralization of the culture and production of cargo bikes. You can become a shareholder not in the stock market but in a bank of equitable knowledge.”
Interested in our apprenticeship program? For details, please see our Apprenticeship Information page.