Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Local mechanic offers private lessons

Posted by on January 30th, 2006 at 9:06 am

[Tori Bortman]

Here’s something I could really use…Tori Bortman has started a mechanic school in her basement. An experienced mechanic (most recently at North Portland Bikeworks) and teacher, Tori is offering both structured courses and one-on-one tutoring. According to Tori:

“…there seems to be a need for folks who are looking to learn how to care for their bike but may be intimidated or lacking the time to go to one of the local shops. This is an opportunity to offer people a personal setting to learn mechanics where they can get the most attention and learn at their own pace.”


Her six-week course costs $100 per person and covers everything from flat repair to derailleur adjustments and wheel truing. She also offers private lessons at $20/hr if you’ve got a specific problem you need help with.

Tori hopes to someday turn her business into a full-time charter school based around bicycles where high-school aged students would learn about everything from the business aspects of the bike industry (running a shop, working for a bike company, becoming a framebuilder, etc…) to the science behind welding.

Her first sessions are enrolling right now so if you’re interested, drop her an email (gracieswrench@gmail.com) or call (503) 460-2374.

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  • Tomas January 30, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    As soon as I finish paying for my girlfriend’s mountain bike, I’ll sign up! (a few weeks from now).

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  • mr.macadam January 30, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    She’s going to make a killing .. Better get in their before word spreads around.

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  • patrick January 30, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    in the same vein, i took a 6-hour course from Veloce Cycles in December. It was excellent. $100 for three two-hour sessions, one-on-one instruction, and tailored to my ability. After we got through some basics, I was able to bring in some projects I needed help with, and take care of them with expert assistance and all the right tools. It was amazing. For those of you in SE, it’s worth checking out.

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  • Ringer January 30, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    SE? I think its in NE. Alberta and MLK.

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  • Molly Cameron January 31, 2006 at 9:09 am

    Tori taught me everything I know…

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  • ian January 31, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Tori is an awesome teacher. A total natural that makes anyone and everyone feel welcome. And such a steal for these classes. This is definitely the hot ticket.

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  • beth h February 1, 2006 at 8:49 am

    Tori is smart, sassy, funny and gently irreverent. Oh, and by the way, she’s a darned good mechanic too. If I wasn’t already a bike mechanic *I* might get schooled with her. And I might just do that anyway.

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  • Greenephantom February 2, 2006 at 11:40 am

    I used to intstuct a class like this; it’s a really good way to learn the basics about bikes. You get to use basic bike tools and see what bike parts look like when taken apart. And then you get to put stuff (like BBs and hubs) back together again. I could tell it was a real eye opener for people in the class. In our modern society we’ve fairly divorced from using tools and fixing things ourselves, and a class like this is a good thing. Cheers, Geoff

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  • Pat February 15, 2006 at 7:56 am

    I know this gal well…and she doesn’t do anything half-way. She’ll definitely serve your biking needs with top-notch ability! She’s worth every penny you invest in biking.

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  • […] I spilled blood, scored the game-ending goal mid-crash, and felt like I was baptised into the sport. But not everyone is looking for such an intense introduction. If you prefer a more mellow pace with others that are trying it for the first time, you’ll be happy to hear that local polo stud and mechanic extraordinaire Tori Bortman is starting up a new club called the Peoples Republic of Polo. She’s kicking things off with a BBQ next Thursday (4/27), 6:00PM at Alberta Park (NE 22nd and Killingsworth). Bring something to grill and Tori will bring the mallets and bikes. […]

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  • Hugo May 1, 2006 at 11:28 am


    What is the recommended torque setting when clamping the top tube of a high-end Orbea frame into a shop stand?

    Someone said you’d know.

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  • tori bortman May 2, 2006 at 6:37 am

    Clamping any frame by the top tube is not reccommended, especially if it’s carbon fiber and worth more money than God.

    Don’t be a foolio, yo. Hang it by the seat post. If it’s a Tri frame with an areo post, use the cut off leftover end from sizing the seatpost and make a jig for a non-areo post. If you don’t have access, contact your Orbea dealer and they can help you out.

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  • […] Local Mechanic Offers Private Lessons […]

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