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United Bicycle Institute is leaving Portland

Posted by on October 3rd, 2019 at 12:24 pm

UBI is packing up.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“The cost of doing business in Portland at our current location has become unsustainable.”
— Ron Sutphin, UBI

Citing an “unsustainable” cost of doing business, the owner of United Bicycle Institute says the company is moving out of its Portland location. They plan to consolidate back to their main Ashland campus in Southern Oregon where they’ve been doing business for 38 years.

10 years ago, UBI, a school that offers two-week bicycle mechanic and framebuilder certifications, expanded from Ashland and opened up shop in a new development on North Williams Avenue. The move came amid unprecedented growth in the Portland framebuilding scene. In 2009 the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show was hitting its stride as 40 framebuilders and thousands of people attended from all over the country (that show no longer happens), bike makers were subject of local ad campaigns, new builders seemed to pop up every month, and Portlanders were leading a national renaissance in handmade bikes.

UBI’s owner and president Ron Sutphin at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show in 2009.

UBI’s presence in Portland was a natural extension of that framebuilding craze and a symbol of the strength of the local cycling industry in general. In 2013 UBI hosted a roundtable on vocational training that was led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Thousands of the UBI graduates have learned how to run a repair shop, overhaul suspension forks, true wheels, and weld bicycle tubes. The last class in Portland was taught on Friday.

I reached out to UBI Founder and President Ron Sutphin to learn more.

(Click images for captions.)

“This has been a tough decision for us but ultimately the cost of doing business in Portland at our current location has become unsustainable,” Sutphin shared via email. Turns out UBI’s lease is up and Sutphin has decided the neighborhood has become too expensive for his business model.

From a seat in the UBI classroom you can see new, multi-level apartment buildings sprouting up out of every window. When UBI moved in in 2009, the neighborhood looked dramatically different. It’s somewhat ironic that UBI was part of a wave of change on Williams that made existing residents and business owners uncomfortable and priced many of them out. Now UBI is a victim of the same circumstance.

Sutphin says, “I am amazed, surprised, and bummed at the rapid changes in the neighborhood.”

He also points to larger trends in retail bike shops that are going through tough times. “This has made it difficult for many shops to offer a competitive wage for mechanics,” Sutphin says, “and consequently there are fewer people seeking fewer beginning tech jobs.”

When UBI first moved in, the allure for foreign students to attend classes at the epicenter of bike culture in America was strong. They represented 10 percent of UBI’s business. Sutphin says that number is down to around 2 percent for the past several years.

When I swung by the location earlier this week, employees Steve Glass and Jeff Menown (both of whom moved to Portland from the Ashland location in 2009) where getting ready to box up all the shop tools. “There’s a lot of memories in this room,” remarked Glass.

(In related news, UBI’s next door neighbor, Queen Bee Creations, who we profiled in 2008 for their bike panniers, has also decided to not renew their lease and will close at the end of this year.)

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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69 Comments
  • Avatar
    bikeninja October 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Velocult, Bikebar, Alpenrose and now UBI, is there any cool bike stuff left in Portland anymore?Well there is Pedalpalooza, but the way it is going I expect any day to see it turned in to the Comcast/Nike corporate bike festival held on a closed track so as to not inconvenience any motorists.

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      JeffS October 3, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      We should approve another tax. That will fix it.

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      maxD October 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      I feel your pain, bikeninja! You may be asking rhetorically, but there a few cool bike spots. My favorites are Norther Cycles and Golden Pliers.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

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      rick October 3, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      One cool thing is that PBOT / Parks are working on the Red Electric Trail.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

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    Philip E Higgins October 3, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Actively looking for anyone in cycling – frames, components, accessories, etc. that would like to relocate their business to Yamhill County. Yes, Yamhill County is heart of Oregon’s wine and ag-tourism (you will eat and drink well) but we also have less *ahem* “jurisdictional headaches”, cheap power, cheap water, and lower taxes. And amazing roads, paved, gravel, and dirt.

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      Jered Bogli October 3, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      Best comment. Seriously. And you’ve got a point! How about Yamhill and mountain biking?

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        philip higgins October 4, 2019 at 6:21 am

        BLM is working on a Mountain Bike park out in the Trask actually. Plus we have over 400 miles of gravel roads (many deep woods) that are County, State Forest, BLM, and private Timber w/ allowed access. #cycleyamhillcounty on Insta will give a taste.

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      Beth H October 7, 2019 at 10:33 am

      All true.
      Until people start moving there in droves.

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  • Avatar
    rick October 3, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    A bike shop in Multnomah County is rumored to be moving to Washington County.

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    bikeninja October 3, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    I pray to the cycling gods that they don’t put a crossfit gym or a barbershop in UBI’s Space.

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    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 3, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Ummm.. sorry to break it to you bikeninja, but the building where UBI used to have its framebuilding classes (which they haven’t done for a while now) is actually a cross-fit gym. “Prism Fit”

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    • Avatar
      Harald October 4, 2019 at 9:09 am

      What about a CycleBar or Peloton showroom…?

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  • Avatar
    Red hippie October 3, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    The irony is there is a ton of vacant retail/commercial space on Williams. When the bike shop across the street moved out, the owner told me that high rent was pusher her out also even though there was a ton of vacant space. She said that the owners of the new buildings would rather sit vacant for a long term lease than work with shorter term local businesses. the other property owners then follow suit. The result is more chains or high price retail than funky, local businesses

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    • Avatar
      oliver October 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      This was one of the things that infuriated me when Backspace was forced to close because they couldn’t make rent. The loss of the all ages venue was bad enough (even though I’m decades beyond going to all ages shows) But the spot sat vacant for 2 and a half years or more.

      Surely 80% (or w/e) of your asking price per month is better than nothing for years. Unless of course, you’re getting a write off on the rest of your portfolio based on the “losses” from whatever “market rate” number you came up with to apply to your unit.

      Someone upthread said maybe we should come up with a “new tax”. Maybe we should, say any property vacant for more than x months, is subject to a y% tax unless you drop the rent by that amount every month/quarter until the space is occupied.

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    • Avatar
      Buzz October 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      This is what gentrification looks like. When the economy tanks again like it inevitably will sooner or later, there are going to be a ton of half-built or vacant commercial and residential properties all over town.

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      • Avatar
        bikeninja October 4, 2019 at 2:50 pm

        I am not sure that what has happened on North Williams in really gentrification. It was once a neighborhood of homeowners, and groups who shared rent on big old houses. Now it is row after row of overpriced cracker-box apartments filled with transplants that can barely afford the rent. The overall quality and of stuff on the street has declined as most of the apartment residents don’t have much disposable income left after paying rent etc. I know and frequent many of the business’s ( and ex business’s) on the street and for most , business has declined with the influx of apartments. Tasty and Sons left because there was no one left that could afford to eat there, they did not get displaced by a steak house for the rich. UBI was not pushed out by gentrification but by crapification.

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      N Williams for years October 3, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      Actually that bike shop didn’t pay their rent for the year they were there. So maybe that’s why they’d rather leave it empty.

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        Rachel Cameron October 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm

        N Williams for years
        Actually that bike shop didn’t pay their rent for the year they were there. So maybe that’s why they’d rather leave it empty.Recommended 8

        nah, fake news.

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  • Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
    Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) October 3, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    This is a huge blow to the bicycle economy in Portland. We get so many qualified and passionate people who stick around in Portland after taking these courses. Having the resource of UBI in Portland makes it easier for people to get into the bicycle economy. I have helped 3 motivated Go By Bike employees go there and it was well worth it.

    There are lots of warning signs right now that Portland is no longer the greatest bicycling city and is moving backwards.

    IMO there is a lack of visioned leadership with the political capital to get things done. Time to move to Vancouver BC.

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    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 3, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      Don’t move Kiel. We need people like you to be the next era of “visioned leadership”. There’s a young core of great people like you who could take this city to the right places.

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    • Avatar
      Beth H October 3, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      I would suggest that the lack of living wage jobs for bike shop employees is a bigger blow to the bicycle economy. The lack of real leadership in City and State government is a bigger blow to the bicycle economy. Trump’s hisstfit of a trade war with China is a bigger blow to the bicycle economy.
      While I am very sorry that UBI is leaving Portland, I can’t say I’m surprised.
      This is exactly what gentrification looks like.
      Back when we had at least three socioeconomic class a community could usually weather these storms. Now that we’re becoming a two-class society again (the middle class was a blip on the historical radar, IMHO), it will become harder for anyone without means to weather gentrification bust-boom cycles.

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      • Avatar
        Buzz October 3, 2019 at 8:37 pm

        Lakeview and other smaller cities are looking better all the time! Who’s gonna open that awesome bike shop in Pendleton or ________? In some ways this should be what it’s all about, since we all should have given up driving yesterday, urban and rural residents alike, and the *big* city is getting way too crowded!

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    • Avatar
      Chris I October 4, 2019 at 9:51 am

      Unless you already have Canadian citizenship, are part of a select list of highly-skilled workers, or have $2million+ in assets you can invest in the government VC-fund, you can’t just “move to Vancouver, BC”, assuming you need a job to live there.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 4, 2019 at 4:17 pm

        Wait… did they build a wall that we paid for?

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        Toby Keith October 4, 2019 at 8:20 pm

        Gee isn’t that funny? Other places have rules for immigration that are actually enforced. But here in the good ‘ol USA we are supposed to just throw those rules out.

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          Concordia Cyclist October 7, 2019 at 10:44 am

          Puh-lease. Just because people pretend that Obama-era record-high border enforcement actions didn’t exist doesn’t make it true (I know, it fits the Breitbart narrative, though). I’m assuming that’s what you are referring to in your vaguely worded comment.

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  • Avatar
    mark October 3, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I graduated from the Ashland UBI school in 2004, and have been working as a bicycle mechanic in Portland ever since. By the end of this year, I will retire from the bicycle industry and move on to another career, because there’s simply not enough money to be made in this business, especially when you factor in the increasingly high cost of living here.

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      Matt S. October 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      I worked for Chris King from 2009-2012. I loved the bike industry but couldn’t afford rent because of it. I switched to construction. I make $16.50 more an hour than my last pay raise there. The second interview question for King should be what does your partner/spouse do for a living?

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        mran1984 October 5, 2019 at 1:44 pm

        During the five years I was at CK it was not possible to purchase a new bicycle at cost. Sheesh, couldn’t even afford new drive trains on the commuter. How do you pay the bills with t-shirts?

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  • Avatar
    Alain October 3, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I second that Norther is a great shop, one of the best. Portland is lucky to have them. When possible, give them some of your business. UBI leaving is symbolic of the City’s failure to establish a strategy for retaining legacy businesses and residents as neighborhoods ‘upgrade’. Without knowing all the details regarding UBI’s decision to move out of Portland, I do wonder if the owner approached the City for support/ideas, or considered finding, maybe even purchasing, a building to share with other modestly profitable businesses?

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    • Avatar
      Middle of The Road Guy October 4, 2019 at 9:10 am

      “retaining legacy businesses”

      That’s a little unfair to new businesses, though.

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    The Bike Concierge October 3, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I was part of the second cohort to go throught the program at the Portland campus. After a time in other bike related work in the Metro area, I moved to Lakeview to open a shop. I don’t see how anyone can afford to live or operate a business anywhere near Portland.

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    • Avatar
      Buzz October 3, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      You should update the link on your sig!

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    Granpa October 3, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Can’t express how disappointing how recent current events have made me. the cascade of bike shop closures, the insufficient efforts to create a bike network, and now the departure of a wellspring of bicycle knowledge from Portland. “PLATNUM” /sarc

    I disagree with a lot of the strident activism echoed in this blog, but I am a cyclist and proponent of the gear and mode. and it hurts my heart to watch safety diminish, participation diminish and the blossoming of a cycling epicenter wither.
    Dang

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    • Avatar
      Pat Lowell October 4, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Amen to all of that, Granpa. It’s been so quietly painful around here.

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    Mariano Castro October 3, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    I took the Pro class in 2014. It was very convenient for me to fly into PDX and take classes there, instead of the Ashland option. The people there pumped me up and basically what my current coffee bike business has been in Costa Rica came out of that time in PDX. This is so sad. I’ll be visiting next April and I am sad to read how many of those businesses are going away due to gentrification.

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  • Avatar
    Toby Keith October 3, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Yeah but density is so cool!

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 4, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Incremental growth is usually better than manic or depressive. Gradually increasing density is cool; the rapid gentrification some people want in Portland is much less so.

      The silver lining is that if some of the cool things happening in Portland move to other places, there may be more cool places, which has to be a good thing for everyone.

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  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger October 3, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    This might be the last “nail in the coffin” or last dying “canary in the coal mine” per the private sector trends tying to hold out for the CoP bike boom reaching the 2040 objectives. Just traveling thru the midwest for NABSA conference and several of us “old bikey portlanders” talked about seeing new cities with buffered bike lanes, bike share AND $500 mortgages. These are attractive things if I were starting fresh out of school.

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      Middle of The Road Guy October 4, 2019 at 9:11 am

      Sounds like an area ripe for gentrification.

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    canuck October 4, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Good luck Ron, while it was nice to have you in Portland, Ashland is truly worth it. I really enjoyed the time I spent in Ashland at UBI. Having pretty much the whole class staying in the Ashland commons. Mountian biking right from downtown all the way up to Mt Ashland. Even having to turn back on a road ride because of the mountain lion on old 99 south of town was an experience. And of course your great staff and training, which led to not only managing a bike shop but working 10 years for one of the major manufacturers.

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      JWR October 4, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Ditto. Best wishes Ron and crew. Thanks for all the knowledge and hard work.

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    SERider October 4, 2019 at 9:48 am

    “It’s somewhat ironic that UBI was part of a wave of change on Williams that made existing residents and business owners uncomfortable and priced many of them out. Now UBI is a victim of the same circumstance.

    Sutphin says, “I am amazed, surprised, and bummed at the rapid changes in the neighborhood.””

    This pretty much says it all. Business moves in a hip, heavily gentrifying neighborhood and then is surprised that it gentrifies and it is expensive to be located there. It’s unfortunate to lose them, but if you want to be located in hot areas you need to be ready to pay for it.

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    • Avatar
      soren October 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      I hope cycling advocates learn that it’s not only businesses that are being priced out but also people. My work as a tenant organizer has put me in direct contact with dozens of tenants who have had to move out of close-in NE and SE Portland due to later-stage gentrification. When I was in their apartments many had well-used commuter bikes hanging or parked along a wall. The ill-considered cross fertilization between bike advocacy and YIMBYism is a real tragedy.

      See the study from Dr. Lisa Bates for more on how Portland has come to categorize gentrification: https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/usp_fac/83/

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      • Avatar
        Matt S. October 4, 2019 at 6:24 pm

        I wonder how many of these tenants could have made more money if their idealism didn’t get in the way of their employment prospects. When I first moved to Portland, I was surprised by how many well educated people worked non-profit jobs for pennies. Or they worked low wage no responsibility type of jobs in pursuit of creative endeavors (including myself). I get the commitment to social justice and art, but when you can’t pay rent because of it, maybe it’s time to reconsider employment and maybe just volunteer or paint in your off time. It sucks to sell out, but Portland is becoming too expensive; I suppose instead of four people living in a shared house off Alberta, maybe just find four more roommates and purchase some bunkbeds. I know I sound condescending, but the day I sold out was the day I could take care of myself. I now volunteer at the Community Cycle Center to get my social justice bike fix. What do people think?

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          soren October 5, 2019 at 10:08 am

          I think you should expect even more of what this piece implies about the trajectory of cycling in Portland.

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          Beth H October 7, 2019 at 10:41 am

          I think that if more and more people take your sage advice, we’ll no longer have enough creativity, altruism or re-prioritizing of human values to help society and/or the world.
          Other nations have subsidized musicians, actors, artists and other creatives for years, while the US refuses to do so and instills in grunt workers the mindset that being a creative is mere foppery.
          Creatives are seen as parasites, grownup children or worse.
          Fine. I’m happy and proud to be a creative parasite.

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          • Avatar
            Matt S. October 7, 2019 at 12:43 pm

            I’m not saying creatives are parasites by any means. All I’m saying is if you’re a creative and making enough money through your art to take care of yourself, great! But if you’re struggling and complaining about housing and refuse to find better employment prospects, then not so great.

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              soren October 8, 2019 at 11:06 am

              The belief that lower-income folk are lazy hipsters who are poor by choice is so very Portland and so very bigoted.

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                Matt S. October 8, 2019 at 1:23 pm

                You may be speaking for other people but I did not write that lower income people are poor by choice.

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                soren October 9, 2019 at 10:29 am

                MattS’ FUIGM anti-poor stereotypes::

                I wonder how many of these tenants could have made more money if their idealism didn’t get in the way of their employment prospects… I get the commitment to social justice and art, but when you can’t pay rent because of it, maybe it’s time to reconsider employment and maybe just volunteer or paint in your off time.

                The vast majority of lower income people rent. And virtually all very low income people rent.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 9, 2019 at 11:15 am

                I know several low income to very low income people in my immediate neighborhood who own their own house.  These are the same people who are often stereotyped as “wealthy” because their house has become valuable over time, even as their income has remained level or fallen. They are not people who you would mistake for a hipster.

                As usual, individual circumstances vary, sometimes significantly, from the theoretical norm suggested by statistics.

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              • Avatar
                Matt S. October 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm

                I studied sociology in college with an emphasis on ethnicity, class, gender. I moved to Portland in 2008 and only looked for state and non-profit jobs because I was committed to service. I had friends who studied the same subject matter who immediately worked for banks as tellers and forklift drivers at warehouses. They made a couple dollars more an hour then I did. Then I ended up getting a grocery job at New Season. I only applied to that grocery store and not Freddies or Target because I didn’t want to work for a large corporation. I worked at CK and not a place like intel because it didn’t fit with how I wanted to present myself.

                All I’m saying is I refused to do certain types of work because how I viewed myself — I was
                committed to my idealism. Right now you can work for Amazon and make $15 plus an hour. I saw a sign for Sysco with drivers starting at $20.50. If you’re working at Powell’s Books for $12 an hour and complaining about housing, there’s other entry level work that pays a whole lot better than the job that shows how bookish you are to your friends. Hint, I had an interview with Powell’s in 2008… I worked in a library in college…

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                soren October 9, 2019 at 5:34 pm

                Those amazon warehouse jobs you are touting are “hellish” physically-demanding jobs with essentially no “sick leave” or coverage for onsite injuries. Perfect jobs for a single mom, right! /s

                https://nypost.com/2019/07/13/inside-the-hellish-workday-of-an-amazon-warehouse-employee/

                And there are no warehouse jobs available in Portland. Were you making this up?

                https://www.amazon.jobs/en/search?offset=0&result_limit=10&sort=relevant&job_type=Full-Time&cities%5B%5D=Portland%2C%20Oregon%2C%20USA&business_category%5B%5D=fulfillment-operations&distanceType=Mi&radius=24km&latitude=&longitude=&loc_group_id=&loc_query=&base_query=portland&city=&country=&region=&county=&query_options=&.

                You are a healthy dude with a college education so please stop pretending that you hoisted yourself up by your own bootstraps and that all renters have the same advantages as you.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty October 9, 2019 at 8:52 pm

                >>> stop pretending that you hoisted yourself up by your own bootstraps and that all renters have the same advantages as you. <<<

                Where did that come from?

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              soren October 10, 2019 at 3:11 pm

              Thanks for proving me wrong with an EXPIRED POSTING..

              ibb.co/djd4zcT

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                Matt S. October 10, 2019 at 4:07 pm

                But these jobs exist, that’s the point. BTW, I grew up in a single parent household. My mother worked graveyard soldering circuitboards to put a roof over our head and food on the table. Unfortunately she was never able to engage in fulfilling work, but she exemplified what it meant to have a strong work ethic.

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        Toby Keith October 4, 2019 at 8:25 pm

        My heart bleeds for these folks. Almost 20 years ago I ended up in east PDX because it was what I could afford. I didn’t feel entitled to live wherever I wanted and cry about how expensive it is.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 4, 2019 at 9:05 pm

        Soren: why don’t the people you work with move into the new housing that’s being built in their neighborhood?

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  • Avatar
    Kate Echols Moore October 4, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    I attended UBI Portland’s Pro Mechanic course and received my pro certification in January 2019. I can say with zero hesitation and complete confidence that it 100% changed my life for the better. Learning from Steve, Jeff and most of all Richard Belson made me a more confident sales/customer service employee and a person who finally felt empowered to work on bikes independently. In my experience UBI provides a supportive, positive atmosphere for all attendees, but particularly strives to support their women/trans/femme/nonbinary identifying attendees. I attended a co-ed class with one other woman and we never felt othered or singled out. We were treated with respect and equal attention. Asking for help is encouraged and UBI tailors their learning/teaching to your individual learning styles. Two female friends of mine went through the same program at UBI Portland that I did and had the same experience; they’re now successful, confident bike shop owners. I think it is very rare to have such a truly positive experience in any learning environment and I know I didn’t feel that way about a lot of other classes I’ve taken over the years, including at college institutions.

    I always felt that the teachers were there for me and truly believed in my skill and commitment to learning. I think about my time at UBI CONSTANTLY and I would of course love to return to Ashland for additional courses one day.

    Thank you for everything!

    Kate Echols Moore
    Surly Bikes
    Minneapolis, MN

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    Alain October 4, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Middle of The Road Guy
    “retaining legacy businesses”That’s a little unfair to new businesses, though.Recommended 4

    Municipalities set priorities all the time through tax breaks and other incentives. The bike industry works well within the scope of climate goals and initiatives. I see no problem in the city prioritizing such businesses, esp. an Oregon-grown businesses like UBI.

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    Richard B October 4, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I spent 6.5 years of my professional life teaching and learning at UBI. It is an honour to have done so, and it has changed how I perceive others, and made me a better person. And, let’s be honest, I got paid to talk about bikes all day! It was dream job at a pivotal point in my career, and I’ll never be able to thank Rob, Denise, Steve, Jeff and Craig enough for bringing me along on the ride!!!

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      Craig D October 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Ditto. I loved working with all of you and this was easily the most fun I’ve had at a job.

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    Pete S. October 5, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Well I, for one, am shocked that a business model based on students paying for a degree that qualifies them for a position earning poverty wages in a largely dead end industry isn’t working out.

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      philip higgins October 6, 2019 at 7:10 am

      IKR? Should have gone to culinary school (or obtained an English degree)

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      Beth H October 7, 2019 at 10:42 am

      Quote Of The Week right here. Succinct and brutal.

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    Carrie October 10, 2019 at 9:10 am

    Pete S.
    Well I, for one, am shocked that a business model based on students paying for a degree that qualifies them for a position earning poverty wages in a largely dead end industry isn’t working out.

    While I don’t agree with the ‘dead end industry’ part of this quote, this recent job ad on BikePortland emphasizes this point succinctly. https://bikeportland.org/2019/10/09/job-mechanic-assembly-person-breadwinner-cycles-305946 . They need a person with top notch skills, probably experience or a UBI certificate, but cannot offer healthcare, paid PTO, paid sick leave or any other type of fringe benefit other than free coffee. And a wage that is not sustainable for many people. I’m not knocking Breadwinner, I’m knocking our whole society that doesn’t value skilled labor for its skill and our society that has zero safety net regarding healthcare, mental health (vacation) and long-term financial stability (aka retirement).

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    Dead Salmon October 13, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Soren says: “The vast majority of lower income people rent. And virtually all very low income people rent.”

    A significant percentage of retired folks have low to very low income and they own their homes, but they do have to pay high property taxes, insurance, maintenance, HOA fees (if any),etc. Thanks to the high taxes that result when voters stupidly approve every tax bill on the ballot, some folks eventually have to sell. Same with bike and other businesses – some have to sell. Those high taxes must be paid by people who OWN rental units, so everyone who rents gets a rent increase. I’m west of PDX in the suburbs, and the property tax on my modest $300K home are $300 per month! Then there are $300 HOA fees, insurance, repairs, etc. Don’t get me started on those who want “estate” taxes when a child inherits the family farm.

    Time to grow up. Stop voting for liberal BS that doesn’t work. When they want to spend YOUR money, question if that is needed, will it actually work, or are they just throwing money at it so it looks like they are doing something? Stop supporting the expansion of government – just the pension costs of government alone are destroying most US states – we can’t afford 1 more government employee. Think!

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