Apprentices Depart!

Our departing Apprentices

Well, it’s time to bid farewell to our fourth group of Apprentices. They have just completed their five-month stint at CAT and are ready to go out into the world to spread the news about cargo bikes and appropriate transport. One of the group is getting ready to ride his brand-new Long Haul bike back to his home in Newark, NJ. You can follow Kyle’s journey on his blog, A Long Haul’s Journey Outta Sight.

A fresh new group of Apprentices will be arriving in about a month, and the cycle will begin again. One of our local news outlets came out the other day to get the scoop:

The program aims to teach people how to build cargo bikes in order to reduce the thousands of miles that bikes are transported from where they are built to where they used.

“Our belief is that instead of building a large facility in one location, we will achieve the equivalent strength and economy of scale through small shops, producing locally, that work together,” said Jan VanderTuin, the director of CAT and main instructor of the apprenticeship program.

KEZI (Follow the link to watch the video!)

July Bike Maintenance Classes

Eugene Bicycle Works will be holding another session of bike repair classes on Saturday mornings starting in July.

Classes will be held at EBW from 9 am to 12 pm, Saturdays, July 9th, 16th and 23rd.

Topics covered include:

  • Basic Maintenance and Preventative Care
  • Components
  • Professional Tool Use
  • Advanced Tuning and Repair

The class will offer each participant a complete bike repair and tune-up, along with the knowledge to repeat the process again.

Class costs $45 for all three classes and a 10% discount on EBW membership and parts purchased during class.

Participants must register, either in person or by phone, and pay class fees in advance. To register, or with any questions, call Justin at EBW, (541) 683-3397, Tuesday-Saturday 12-6pm.

Click here for the EBW home page.

Meet Our Instructors

Our apprenticeship program is taught by a variety of professionals with many years of experience in their areas of specialty.

Jan VanderTuinJan VanderTuin spent several years living in Europe. While there he studied cargo bikes, trikes and trailers from around the world. Since then he has designed and built over a hundred unique vehicles as well as HPM’s product line. He has been the executive director of CAT since its founding in 1992.

AaronAaron Kreinert attended Western Iowa Tech where he took classes in welding, including MIG, TIG, and brazing techniques. He also earned a degree in musical instrument repair and has years of experience as a musical instrument technician. His daughter loves getting picked up from school on the HPM Express.

Ed Zacharek is a former CAT student who earned his GED in CAT’s youth alternative education program. His main interest over the past few years has been in Computer Aided Design (CAD). While still a student, Ed designed and fabricated his own bicycle, taught CAD classes, and earned extra money doing CAD work for Human Powered Machines.

ToddTodd Gardner teaches all types of welding, specializing in TIG. He got his start in frame building with the Burley Design Cooperative where he welded thousands of frames. He has a home shop were he fabricates beautiful custom bicycles.

Glynn Sidney got her start sewing her own outfits for school after an argument with her mom about hemlines. Since then, she has taught sewing through an alternative school and also through our local community college. When she goes to her home outside the city. her favorite mode of transportation is by horse. With Glynn’s energy and expertise, we hope to finally develop a new inflatable child carrier for Human Powered Machines’ Long Haul cargo bike.

The CAT Apprenticeship Program is a five month course covering many topics from frame design to bike repair to organic gardening. For more information, please visit the Apprenticeship information page. This week, our new group of Apprentices arrive, from California, Nevada, New Jersey and Eugene (via Germany).

Comments from the Second Group of Apprentices

Kayvon Bahramian, Gainesville, Florida via Brooklyn, New York
kayvonToo good to be true? Maybe. Where else can you go to study welding, brazing, machining, farming, composting, vermiculture, sewing, and CAD? The CAT apprenticeship program offers all of the equipment needed, as well as a framework for exploring and honing ideas of what it means to be a responsible producer and consumer. While the skills I am learning at CAT are a requisite for a future in cargo framebuilding, the deeper value of my time spent learning here will surely become apparent with time.

Eugene is the ideal percolator for grassroots and DIY movements. CAT is located in a post-industrial cum residential neighborhood, where roosters can be heard crowing alongside the train whistles and highway overpass. It’s real. No sheltered utopia here.

Barrett Hafner, Astoria, Oregon
BarrettMy time here at CAT has been a very formative experience. I’ve discovered a love of designing and building things, and a true path to helping better the world. Working with my hands – especially doing technical work like welding – has become almost a form of meditation for me, and that in itself has made this experience infinitely worthwhile and given me a better understanding of my own right livelihood.

Additionally, I feel that I have been challenged here philosophically, intellectually, and emotionally to be a stronger person, and that has really helped me develop my values and beliefs to a point where I have a much clearer vision of the direction that I want to put my energy in. For me, these challenges have been incredibly rewarding, but I would counsel anyone interested in this program to be aware that, in addition to a set of skills, you are also taught a set of values as a part of the curriculum.

After I’m done with the apprenticeship I plan to be based in Portland, Ore. and become a Human Powered Network partner, building and selling HPM creations.

Matthew Staahl, Fargo, North Dakota
mattAt CAT we are learning that human powered machines are an integral and diverse art of all communities. Whether through localized courier distribution or simply by a leisurely ride through a neighborhood, these simple machines are vehicles for change. Through the establishment of an international community to community network of cargo bike builders (us) we will be able to facilitate distribution of ideas and production material on a more sane and egalitarian level.

Starting from raw unbent tubes, we are building cargo bikes from the ground up. The TIG welding instruction is exemplary as is the brazing. We get hours and hours of hands on instruction with the various tools used in bicycle fabrication (all the hand tools as well as the heavy hitters like mills and lathes). This is all complimentary to the history and theory that has gone into the various designs here at CAT. We also get a healthy dose of information from various local and regional cycling advocates as well as industry designers and builders to help give us a 360 degree view of the modern state of the cycling mind.

This is a study of how these beautiful machines are made and so much more. Being able to work in a garden to produce your own food is a nice counter balance to staring at molten metal and flickering flames. Sewing instruction not only teaches a valuable skill but helps put you into a makers mind set. The open dialogue with fellow apprentices and staff here at CAT on all things in the saddle and off is priceless. What we can do together, all of us, is just sitting there waiting to be opened up and examined and then put back together and taken for a roll down the road.

Ride Bikes.

Comments from the first Apprenticeship Program Participants

Leo – Chicago, Illinois
LeoI am fortunate to have found a place that acts based on its beliefs. We share a belief in healthy living through exercise, clean air, and fresh veggies. It doesn’t get any fresher than pulling it off the plant.

I have read about motorbike, automobile, and human powered vehicle design, but I had never built anything. At CAT, I have met people who bring their designs to life.

To the future apprentices of CAT, I suggest you prepare for a challenge. This is not school, work, or home. It may be a little of each.

Rusl – Vancouver, B.C.
RuslWe have learned both slow, repeatable precision milling and lathing techniques and quick, use-your-eyeballs, hand-art practical methods.

I’ve learned how to use CAD Solidworks to create 3D bicycle models for planning and design. Also how to make and design bicycle fixture/jigs. This will be immensely useful.

I am now much more familiar with Cargo Bikes, their design, and bike building generally. I will be confident to go out into the world building and promoting them.

Mirye – Seoul, South Korea
MiryeThere are other frame building courses in the United States, but one of the reasons that I recommend the course at the CAT is that you can do an in-depth study not only about basic designs, but also gain knowledge of alternative models like cargo bikes. That means you’ll be able to have experiences with all kinds of bikes. The frame-builders at CAT make a constant effort to build with experimental character.

Everyday together we’ve enjoyed openly discussing various issues about building bikes. We have realized that by sharing our ideas we can tap our unlimited potential. If you’ve been interested in making cargo bikes, I guarantee it’ll be a very valuable time for you.

For More Information about the Apprenticeship program, click here.

Older posts «

» Newer posts