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.

Bortman means business!

Bortman means business!

Be prepared to get dirty - this is a hands-on endeavor.

Be prepared to get dirty - this is a hands-on endeavor.

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  1. Heidi – great to see Tori on your blog and in the O column. She’s fantastic, and taught me a ton about routing cables and dialing in derailleurs last year when I ventured out to build up my Cinelli from the frame up. She’s also a fantastic conversationalist, and makes the whole experience easy and worthwhile….and has good taste in taco joints!

  2. Have to second all of this….Tori rules. After this class is over, will probably get some private tutoring just for my $%$&$*(%! cross bike….


  3. Caroline

    oof! broken image!


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