Spin Doctor Mechanic Profiles – Dee Saunders

Spin DoctorNot that we’re at all bored with our normal Employee Profiles, but we’ve decided to add a new twist.  Starting today, we’re going to begin integrating interviews with our certified Spin Doctor mechanics into our normal routine.  Without further delay, allow us to introduce Dee Saunders, a Certified Spin Doctor bicycle mechanic from our new Downtown Portland location:

Dee Saunders

  1. How long have you been a mechanic and how did you get started? …Since I took apart my first Schwinn.  I have been taking things apart for as long as I can remember.  Fortunately, over the years, I got a lot better at putting things back together.  I can attribute my aptitude for working with my hands to my father who allowed me to tag along, and as I grew older, take the reins.
  2. How long have you worked for Performance? I have been at Performance for about 3 years! I work with the best team and have some of the best customers around!
  3. Where are you from? I grew up in Los Angeles, but my love and adoration for two wheeled transportation and recreation came to me when I lived in Santa Barbara for 11 years.  My move to the greatest cycling city in America: Portland, Oregon, was inevitable.
  4. What’s your nickname? hmmmm
  5. What was your toughest and ultimately most gratifying repair? Creak investigations are sooooooo gratifying.  I have had some of the toughest creak mysteries to solve.  I have ridden alongside customers as well as spent endless time test-riding bikes up hills, over cobble, and in quiet parking garages.  However I get through the process of elimination, it is quite satisfying to  crack the case whether it’s the frame, stem, freehub, seat post, pedal, bottom bracket or a chainring bolt…..I love being able to hand back a quiet bike to an appreciative rider!
  6. What’s your favorite type of riding? That’s tough!  I get great enjoyment from rolling out of bed in the morning and jumping on my bike to ride to work. Once I arrive at work, I feel more alive no matter what the weather is dishing out here in Portland.  On the other hand, a day riding through the trees and being outdoors no matter what the terrain or how many times I underestimated a switchback or get stuck on an obstacle riding up a long climb—there is no other joy and excitement like it! If I became miraculously rich one day, I would just ride….everywhere!
  7. What do you do when you’re not working on bikes? I work on bikes!  I weld steel frames on the side, so while I am not wrenching, I am measuring, mitering, filing, and welding.  When I am not riding, wrenching, or welding??  I am a very avid runner, hiker, and camper.  Otherwise, I sleep!  I am very good at burning the candle at both ends, so I recognize that sleeping is a great way to recharge so I can keep going, going, going!
  8. What’s your favorite tool?  Why? Hmmm, why are these so tough??   Well, I keep a set of Bondhus allens and a Husky #2 phillips hidden in my apron because I love a good, sharp, properly used tool….you will never find those on my peg board! Other than that, I have a secret relationship with my taps, easy-outs, dies, and my frame prep tools….so gratifying to work with!
  9. What’s your funniest bike-related experience? SO many to choose from…..one night I was watching a bicycle related parade.   A minute after the parade had passed me by, a huge group of naked cyclists emerged attempting to piggy back onto the parade.  In that group was one of my regular customers, riding the bike I usually wrench on…….that was funny!  Beware:  Every saddle has a story :-)
  10. Preferred music while wrenching? I am kind of a nerd, I really like NPR.  But so as not to drive my workers insane, I will give in to the classic rock stations.  Otherwise, I plug in my iPod full of non-top-40 rap and indie music
  11. Have you participated in any bike races, charity rides or events?  What did you do at the event (race/ride or man a support station, etc.)? I am not a racer.  I love to ride!  I have done scores of 50-100-150-300 mile charity rides and fun rides.  I love waking up in the morning and saying, “All I have to do today is ride!”  What a great day!  As far as wrenching, I have supported a dozen or so charity rides as a roadside mechanic.  That is the second best thing to say to myself in the morning, “All I have to do today is to spend the day wrenching outside!”  Matter of fact that is one thing that Performance did more of as company.  Maybe one day, we will have a mobile mechanic team that travels to all the biggest races or charity rides…..sign me up!! Please!
  12. What’s your one indispensable bike tip? I know it’s elementary, but honestly, “A clean bike is a happy bike!”  From the chain to the rim walls to the bearing surfaces……clean and lubricated bikes are very happy…..trust me, they told me so :-)

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