He may not come with a Superhero cape, but JimWellington is doing his part to make sure that local community member shave a safe and comfortable bike to ride. Jim is one of the many volunteer bike mechanics for The Bike Campaign, and when asked to describe him, the word that comes to mind for Maria Contreras Tebbutt, Director of The Bike Campaign, is inexhaustible. Jim consistently volunteers on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the two Bike Garage locations in Woodland and Davis. In fact, he took the lead to design and set up the new facility in a tractor shed at the Cannery in Davis. He and a team of volunteers worked diligently in November and December 2020, installing shelves, cabinetry, and tables so that the facility would be fully operational to handle the uptick in riding during the pandemic.
Jim first started riding a bike when he was about five years old and recalls getting a Schwinn 3-speed in junior highschool. That sparked not only a life-long hobby of riding, but also of bike repair and maintenance. He started tinkering with his own bike, learning how it worked and how to repair it and was hooked.
Jim has always used the bicycle as a means of transpiration and exercise, as well to connect with his community. In the1960s, you could find him on the back of his bike delivering newspapers in the hills of Berkeley, CA. Once he moved to Davis for college and to settle after he attended graduate school at UCLA and finished a stint in the U.S. Army, he took up mountain biking and then eventually road cycling.
About six years ago, a cycling buddy mentionedThe Bike Campaign and suggested Jim come check it out to possibly serve as a volunteer. At that time, they were doing pop-ups in the parking lot of the Woodland Mall. Nowadays, the Bike Campaign has two permanent locations — one in Woodland and one in Davis. Jim is one of many talented bike mechanics helping community members size, configure, maintain, and repair their bikes.
When asked why he volunteers for The BikeCampaign, Jim shared, “It’s a chance to get out and interact with people in the community and have a good impact doing something that I like.” It’s very clear when you meet Jim that he knows bikes and loves them. His interest in the beloved two-wheeled vehicle is contagious. But even more than the bikes themselves, he loves to see people learning how to ride and care for them. He boosts riders’ confidence and helps them feel empowered to care for their own bikes. With his soft-spoken demeanor and humble attitude, Jim makes a big impact in a subtle way — no Superhero cape required.
This article was written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Drive Less. Ride More.”, contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at email@example.com