PCC / News / November 17, 2012

Cascade’s new bike rental mechanic rolls with his new job

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Christian Profeta is a good wrencher. His words, actually.

Profeta is the first-ever mechanic, or “wrencher,” for the student government-led Cascade Bike Rental Program, which was launched earlier this year to increase access for students to affordable, reliable and sustainable transportation, minimizing the campus’ environmental impact.

“I totally jumped on board,” said the 24-year-old, who started work this fall. “I was ecstatic when I found out I was given the position. It’s like building up a bike shop from the bottom up, which is really exciting.”

You can find the affable Profeta, who, yes, does commute to Cascade on a bike from his North Portland home, at the new bicycle shed next to the student government lounge in the Student Center. Under the blaring rhapsody of blues or jazz (his radio in the shed is stuck on the jazz station), you’ll see him pumping tires full of air and doing minor adjustments like gear and brake work and fixing flats, all free of charge. It’s a new concept at PCC so students are adjusting to seeing Profeta and his truing stand.

“I was ecstatic when I found out I was given the position," said Profeta, who is the Cascade Bike Rental Program's first mechanic.

“I was ecstatic when I found out I was given the position,” said Profeta, who is the Cascade Bike Rental Program’s first mechanic.

“We have a lot of traffic and people are Looky Loos,” he said. “They kind of look inside the shed to see what’s going on and once and awhile someone will stop by to ask if I fix bikes.”

The program has about 40 bicycles that are rented out to students for a $15 fee per term. Last January, student leaders worked with the Community Cycling Center, a Northeast Portland-based nonprofit, to purchase the bike rental program’s initial fleet. The bikes are all refurbished and outfitted with lights, fenders, bag racks, helmets, and U-locks. When students are ready, Profeta helps adjust each bike to the renter’s size as well as briefs them on bike safety and maintenance.

“That’s a manageable corral for me,” he said of the number bikes. “Instead of feeling pressured to get all these out fast and say ‘Alright, there you go,’ I’m honing in on making sure each bike is safe for the student. I do all these safety inspections and test ride every bike before hand.”

Perry Eising, a United Bicycle Institute certified mechanic, runs the program, overseeing the bike checkout.

“It is a huge benefit to have someone in the shed who is available to work on both rental bikes and on students’ own rides, and his enthusiasm for the project is infectious,” ” Eising said. “Students who we have spoken to informally about their rental bikes are telling us that they love the program, and almost everyone I talk to (students, faculty, and staff) are extremely enthusiastic and amazed at the price we are offering this service for.”

Profeta is not a newcomer to the truing wheel. He worked at bike shops in Hollywood, Calif., and Portland for years. He spent time at a community college in San Diego studying art before moving north to be with friends. But he’s back to studying fine art along with psychology, sociology and math at the Cascade Campus. In Portland, he said he has no complaints and likes how the city has embraced his one-man band gig, appearing at hot spots all over the city (he plays the kick drum, guitar, hi-hat and sings all at once).

“I thought it was a really cool and sweet city to live in,” said Profeta, who wants to transfer to Portland State University.

With a resident mechanic in the house at Cascade, are there any words to live by for students who rent the bikes?

“Yeah, always lock your bike up even if your going inside a building for a few minutes,” he warned. “Don’t ride your bike with a flat tire; please don’t do that. And, just because you’re a cyclist, don’t think you always have the right of way. Be careful. Don’t blow by stop signs thinking you won’t get creamed by a semi-truck.”

For more information, contact Perry Eising, Cascade Bike Program coordinator, at (971) 722-5114 or perry.eising@pcc.edu

About The Author: James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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x by Feature: Cascade's new bike rental mechanic rolls with his new job … | Bicycle News Gator 2 years ago

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x by Roosevelt Ross 2 years ago

Christian rocks!!!

x by Michael Challis 2 years ago

Folks, I’ve been around and worked here at Cascade for well over 30 years. So I’ve seen a lot of changes. But this entire bike program (and now with a “wrencher) has to be near the top of my Honkarooza List. This is simply brilliant! All this biking initiation and follow-through just gets me all excited, happy, and thinking we as humans do get things right now and then. This is one of those times. “Nice going!!!” to all of you who created and have followed through and embellished this program. Keep those wheels spinning!

x by Trieste Desautels 2 years ago

Yaay! Way to represent, Christian!

x by tony dewitt 2 years ago

I love my bike and its saving me the cost of bus riding, roughly $80 a month and its also part of my cardiac rehab too.
thanks so much for having the bike program
Tony “lovin the bike” DeWitt

x by Darrell 2 years ago

I love top bounce all the hard questions off Christian and as it turns out he has some relay honest questions and answers. They usually start off with,” how did you fold that rim in half and end with their no way I can straiten that out so you need to buy a new one”.LOL Don’t forget the the class their teaching on bike mechanics I think on 11/21 this Wens day. bring all your hard questions, LOl.

x by Owen 2 years ago

Cool! I wish there’s a program like that in Sylvania campus too. I wonder how the student government in Cascade has made it. Good luck with you guys all!

x by Andrew Lunn 2 years ago

How much for a tune-up? I’ve got some malfunctioning gears and my wheels need truing.


x by James Hill 2 years ago

@Andy. call Cascade’s ASPCC and they can steer you in the right direction: 971-722-5188.

x by Shelley Gilmore 2 years ago

Hi I’m glad to know there is a place that I can go for these services. I may need to come and ask about how to prepare for commuting to school (setting a route, what gear do I need, etc.) and have my bike looked over. Cool Program! Thanks!

x by Eric Grimm 2 years ago

whoa! I totally went to high school with that guy! In San Diego!! I totally gotta make sure this is the same guy

x by Jen Moon 2 years ago

This is a great article! Christians enthusiasm really comes through. Such a funny and genuine person.

x by Rosa Robles 2 years ago

This is fantastic! I was a looky lou last quarter! I am attending fitness classes next term and will have to go check out bike rentals!

x by PCC Rental Bikes available for $15 per term at Cascade | PCC News 2 years ago

[…] Read more about the program’s cool student mechanic. […]