Interview by B Vivit
Danielle Fry had just become Director of the Ogden Bicycle Collective, or OBC for short. Fry is the perfect person for that job; smart as a whip, kind, and professional. Her experience with non-profit organizations only needed to add a new facet; bicycle mechanics. The OBC offers classes in bicycle mechanics to the community as well as reasonably-priced components to upkeep them. Most everything they have and do is based on donations from riders in the community. Additionally, the OBC provides refurbished bicycles to people who need them for transportation and provides re-training for folks looking for a new job.
BV: Which class were you? How many years did you apply before winning the scholarship?
DF: 2017 and I applied once the year before.
BV: What work were you doing before the scholarship?
DF: I had just become the Director of the Ogden Bicycle Collective.
BV: What impacted you the most about your experience?
DF: Getting to know the other people in my class from across the country who have similar experiences and learning from experiences they've had that I haven't. The collaboration with other students was the greatest part of the experience. I still run ideas by my classmates, and ask them questions about everything from mechanics to operations and industry concerns.
"The collaboration with other students was the greatest part of the experience.
I still run ideas by my classmates..."
BV: What was the most helpful skill or trick that you learned during the scholarship?
DF: Mechanically it was a formal process for tuning derailleurs. It was one of those "ah-ha" moments for some reason. It's helped me as a mechanic, but has also helped me teach this skill to students much better. Because I also teach mechanics classes, using some of the teaching techniques I witnessed during the classes has been one of the other most helpful skills I learned however.
BV: How did the scholarship help you achieve your goals?
DF: I was still pretty new to the industry when I was told I received the scholarship (and still am), so I wasn't sure what my goals should be at the time. Because of attending the class, I feel much more empowered as a professional in the bicycle industry. I feel like I fit in now more than I did and can make plans for sticking with it in the future. Now I know I do have the skills and ability to be part of it and feel more confident in taking my place in it.
BV: Did you restructure your goals after leaving the scholarship?
DF: In as far as I feel like I have a home in this type of work and can foresee myself staying in the industry. Before it seemed to be more of a side trip. Now I feel like I can make a lifelong living in it.
"Now I feel like I can make a lifelong living in it."
BV: What piece of advice can you give to the hopeful women applying this year?
DF: The class is pretty formal and, as it should be to earn a certificate, expectations are high. It is also very dense, so come prepared to learn a lot very quickly. If you can get some practice or training before, the class will be easier.
That being said, even if you're unsure of yourself or your abilities, don't be afraid to apply for the scholarship or attend the class! If you're motivated to learn, you'll get there and the work is worth it for the experience.
BV: Any last thoughts?
DF: This class and scholarship have really made a difference in my career and abilities. I am excited to see it open up to more than one session a year and am really excited to see it grow. Having more women* in the industry is only going to improve it overall and make it something we're all proud to be a part of.