First - who are you?
Stephen Richmond - Solvang CA - DR. J's Bike shop mechanic
What started you being interest in bicycles?
I always loved riding my bike when I was little. I would always ride my bike to school. Our friend Paul Smith started introducing me to mountain bike riding through our youth group and then with a program he started called trips for Kids. I will never forget my first time going to the dirt club in Los Olivos. I met Paul out there. He had some adult volunteers and other kids from Buellton Recreation. It was a great experience. that was in 2010. Ever since then I have loved to mountain bike. I have raced in a couple Jr. high and High school races. Sea otter Classic in Monterey CA was one of my biggest races and thats were I realized how amazing the mountain bike community is, and I knew that when I get older I wanted to do something with bikes. I was one of those kids who loved to take things apart and put them back together. Paul had given me my first mountain bike, I loved taking it apart and learning how everything works, and now I’m working at our local bike shop.
You were the youngest competitor in the Interbike Mechanics Challenge - how does that make you feel?
I was pretty nervous because there was no other kids but all the people there were very nice to me and were cheering me on. After every challenge it just kept getting more and more fun. When I finished I was so glad I did it and I felt accomplished. It was an experience that I will never forget.
Do you know how many people you beat?
I have no clue how many people I beat, but all I know is that it was really exciting and fun to compete in.
What would be an experience in cycling that you would love to do next year?
I would love to see what its like to be a team mechanic for mountain biking or have a chance to be trained by a professional mechanic.
What do you want to be when you grow up? - No not really, we know you’ll become one of the best mechanics. What is your favorite type of bike to work on?
My favorite type of bike to work on are mountain bikes, but as a mechanic working in a bike shop, you have to learn to work with any type of bike that comes your way
Tell us about Trips for Kids.
Trips for Kids is a state wide organization that cites can use to get kids active and teach them about riding and working on bikes. Paul chose to use this program for his after school club. For the rides, kids can bring there own bike or they can use the fleet of bikes that are donated from bike manufactures. Every Wednesday there was a ride, it was a great way to introduce kids to cycling and get them active. Now I am a leader when we go on the rides and I assist Paul.
What else should the readers know about you?
About 2 years ago I got a resume for the bike shop. But Cory said that he didn’t need any help. I started taking online mechanic classes and one day I went into the bike shop and Cory told me that I start working next week. I have learned a lot working there and have enjoyed it very much. Its hard being a mechanic my age because most people think that I won’t know much but now that I’ve been working there for almost 2 years most people who come in know me.
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