Most people are surprised when I tell them that I didn’t come to CAT’s cargo bicycle building apprenticeship to learn how to build cargo bicycles. I came to CAT to learn an approach to life that differs from the mainstream view that profit is the beginning and end to all things. CAT’s emphasis is on a broader and more direct set of life coordinates: a system that hopes to improve society, its jobs, its environment, its food and natural resources as opposed to a system that views these things as commodities to monetize regardless of the consequences.
The program is a practical opportunity to learn and participate directly in the processes that contribute to true life goods and their enjoyment.
Perhaps the most important lesson learned at CAT is summarized by a quote by Robert Kennedy you can find hanging on the wall,
“It is not enough to understand or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their mind and their bodies to the task.”
All this and I got one hell of a bike out of the deal.
I first learned about CAT’s cargo bike framebuilding apprenticeship a few years ago surfing the web. I read the website and informed myself about this one of a kind program and the wheels started to turn. The program offers education in areas that I think are really interesting and important to be a fabricator of bicycles.
The most important component to the whole program that really separates it from any other bike framebuilding course is looking at how the current structure of manufacturing and production can be changed, whether if be bicycles, food, clothing, et cetera. The program emphasizes a decentralized system of production where the things that a community needs can be made in that community. This is the kind of model I feel should be emphasized and supported, not the current one where everything is made as cheap as possible, no matter the consequences.