Our users turn to Switchboard to ask their communities for help planning everything from careers to nonprofit projects. Some of our favorite successes, though, are the adventures—road trips through the desert and moves to new jobs half-way across the globe.
Sylvia is one such adventurer. The Wheelwomen Switchboard led Sylvia from Memphis to United Bicycle Institue's Bike School in Ashland, Oregon to take mechanics classes. Thanks to her experience at Bike School, Sylvia landed a job as an executive director of a bike shop in Memphis when she returned
Traveling to Ashland with her family, Sylvia needed some help along the way. We asked Sylvia to tell the story of how the Wheelwomen community saw her adventure through.
When did you start using Wheelwomen Switchboard?
I found Wheelwomen last March.
You used Wheelwomen Switchboard to find help while you were traveling. Could you share your story with us?
I've found the board extremely helpful. I love the information sharing and the chance to see job postings, questions, and info about what other women are up to in the bicycle world.
My big success was after my ask about going to Bike School. A woman in Portland reached out to me with the offer to borrow a bike. This was so helpful because I was shipping my bike from Memphis to Ashland, where I was attending Bike School. But my family and I (husband and 4- and 1-year old) were flying into Portland. We were purchasing an Xtracycle Edgerunner, in Portland, for my husband and the kids to ride. And then wanted to spend a couple of days exploring the bike-friendly city of Portland, before heading south.
But I needed a bike for those days. So, Helen McConnell, a Wheelwomen member, offered to loan me a bike. She brought it to me and picked it up. And she proved infinitely helpful when we realized that we had no way to get the Xtracycle from Portland to Ashland. We were renting a minivan, and my in-laws were flying in to drive down with us. We naively, I guess, thought the bike would fit inside the minivan with all of us. Helen contacted a bunch of friends and found us a bike rack to borrow and helped us attached it to the minivan.
All of this was made possible, thanks to Wheelwomen Switchboard and an excessively nice person in Helen!
Would you recommend Wheelwomen Switchboard to your friends?
I have and will continue to! In fact, I am now the director of a community shop in Memphis, and I'm changing out our links page on the website to have Wheelwomen as a top recommendation!