Local mechanic makes it big with Bicycling spread

My, how far Tori Bortman has come. Tori, the proprietor of Gracie’s Wrench, is basking in the glow of a full, 2-page spread in the current issue of America’s most widely distributed bike magazine, Bicycling.

Tori Bortman in current issue of Bicycling Magazine.

Tori (who has shared her expert bike tips with us in the past) started offering private lessons in bike maintenance in her basement way back in January of 2006. Since then she has matured as a businesswomen, refined her brand, and has managed to accomplish her dream job — working full time teaching others how to care for their bicycles. I took one of Tori’s classes back in 2007 and found out she’s not only a great technician, she’s a gifted instructor with a fine bike-side manner as well.

It sure is great to watch someone from Portland’s vibrant crop of bike-related businesses flourish. Congratulations Tori, we wish you continued success!

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Breesa
Breesa
13 years ago

Congratulations, Tori!

Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
13 years ago

It’s nice to know there’s at least ONE competent bike mechanic in town. Most of the one’s I’ve had dealings with need to take some of her classes.

pdxebiker
13 years ago

Nice coverage, Tori! Couldn’t have happened to a more-deserving or harder-working person.

Heather
Heather
13 years ago

Congrats to Tori! (And as an alum of her basic bike mechanics class, let me shamelessly plug Gracie’s Wrench. The class was fantastic.)

beth h
13 years ago

Tori Rocks.
End of Lesson.

Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie

Congrats, Tori! Love the rockstar image with you using the pump as a stand up microphone!

Jeff TB
Jeff TB
13 years ago

Tori is now mainstream.

Tom Knipe
Tom Knipe
13 years ago

Yeah Tori!

Hack
13 years ago

sweet

Elly
Elly
13 years ago

Congrats Tori! Worth noting: that issue also contains a rave review of cycling caps from local biz Little Package. Hurray for Portland’s bike-oriented entrepreneurial spirit!

Chris
Chris
13 years ago

Awesome spread.

Good job Tori!

The eBike Store
13 years ago

WOOT WOOT!

Red Five
Red Five
13 years ago

She’s now mainstream? Oh no! She’s not cool anymore. Doing it for “the man”.

Slo Joe Recumbo
Slo Joe Recumbo
13 years ago

Tori helped me 3 years ago with some repairs and when I saw she was teaching a maintenance class, I signed up pronto.

Not only is she an expert mechanic, she’s a delight as an instructor and most important she is one helluva person. Period.

Good to see good things happen to good people.

annefi
annefi
13 years ago

Tori is a gifted instructor and a talented mechanic. I took her class a couple of years ago. During one class session she takes you out for a ride and observes your riding technique. I’d been riding for 50 years but, much to my amazement, she pointed out one thing I could be doing differently to make my riding more efficient and I’ve been using that tip on every ride since.

BTW, if you take her class or have any other occasion to meet up with her, she LOVES oatmeal choc chip cookies from Grand Central Bakery 🙂

Congrats, Tori! You deserve every good thing that comes your way!

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

I second MC, that’s a cool photo and layout. It’s a good article, too. Great job!

Janis
Janis
13 years ago

Congrats Tori. I, too, am part of her fan club. Love her teaching techniques. Awesome picture.

Kirsty
Kirsty
13 years ago

I took Tori’s class a few years’ back, and highly recommend it.

Awesome. Go Tori!

Shelley
Shelley
13 years ago

I have to join this bandwagon. My husband and I took an 8 week couple class from Tori. It was tons of fun, gave me confidence in my abilities and my husband piece of mind that I am okay to handle whatever crops up when he isn’t riding with me.

john
13 years ago

Took the time to read through the bicycling article. To add and share. [Everyone has nuances, but some things, all though correct to some extent, can be misleading… ]

1. Yes derailleur hanger alignment is something to take a gander at.. BUT really if the chain goes into the spokes, the fault is Fully the limit screws. BTW there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a spoke protector!

2. The secret to chain life is never to oil a dirty chain. If you just oil, and wipe, all you are doing is making a gritty liquid. A properly cared for chain will last much longer than 1500 to 2000 miles! I use combination of biodegradable soap, wd40, a grudge brush and garden hose blast to clean a chain. You have to get the grit out and off! it should take only a couple minutes to clean that chain to a grit free state (yes that quick!) dry it off , let it dry, then re-oil. I use wd40 followed by heavier oil. And yes wd40 is a light oil no matter what everyone says.

3. Cables and housings. Huh? If cable movement is not smooth (to extent of causing problems), the issue is certainly not dirt particles in the plastic lining! Sure new housings with say a die-drawn cable is going to be smooth, but why waste money on new cable and housings, for something that yes may be smoother, but functions no better ? I re-use old cables and housings all the time. I also routinely thread an old cable through housing… typically will re-cut a longer cable for another application… It doesn’t hurt to clean and lightly oil housings and cables, but the main secret is to minimize housing and route cleanly. BTW the best tool to cut cables is the high quality Channel Locks diagonal cutter. Don’t buy a bicycle specific cutter, they are expensive and don’t work as well in the long run.

Carrie
Carrie
13 years ago

She was the only bike mechanic who didn’t talk down to me at Bike Gallery downtown. Congrats!!