Why Gracie's Wrench?
Gracie's Wrench developed from a mutual love of bicycles and sharing. Part of feeling confident to depend on cycling for my transportation and my early income as a messenger began with overcoming my intimidation of the machine. It was bigger than me, seemed to have more parts, and worked like magic. At least until something went wrong. Then it—and I—didn't work at all.
From the start it was considerably easier to build muscle, reflexes and balance than it was to find someone—anyone—who would take the time to show me the inner workings of bicycle mechanics. Climbing hills was nothing compared to struggling with egotistical mechanics who hoarded knowledge. Worse yet were those who were nice enough and tried to be helpful but told me with a shrug after taking something out of my hands to do it for me that I "just kinda gotta do it" or "read a book" to learn.
I thought then and am sure now that there is a better way.
Gracie's Wrench is my answer.
My programs reflect on an era when folks lived by the DIY (Do It Yourself) credo because it made good sense and maybe they had to, not because it was trendy. A time when something new was special, to be valued and taken care of because there wasn't another to be bought off the shelf at the store.
Over the past six years I've had the pleasure of teaching for The Center for Appropriate Transport, the Community Cycling Center, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, North Portland Bikeworks, Bike Gallery and the City of Portland.
Through these programs and my own courses and clinics I've learned the importance of individual attention, small class size, the experience gained from putting the tools in my students hands, as well as the invaluable sense of ownership and accompishment in actually doing it with your own hands on your own bike.
Who is Gracie?
No, my name is not "Gracie". So who is she and where did she come from?
When I was a child I lacked a considerable sense of spatial relations. This manifested itself in bumping into things, falling down, and generally bumbling about my life. My mother often chided me at those moments with a roll of her eyes saying, "Nice one, Grace."
"Gracie's Wrench" is a nod to the girl I was from the woman I've become. Proof positive that if I (with two left hands and two left feet) can fly on a bicycle and learn to become a master mechanic then it's within the reach of anyone, no matter what your skill or confidence level.
You can contact Gracie's Wrench at: