What do you do?
Cat Gruener-Goss

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I’m an instructor of bicycle mechanics at the Barnett Bicycle Institute (BBI).
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I teach students how to work on bicycles – from basic bike assembly to more intensive repairs.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I have been working as well as living on the Westside since late 2004.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I really enjoy teaching and I am lucky that I get to teach something that I am passionate about. The students make the job interesting. We usually have at least one international student (per class of 16) and everyone else is from places all over the U.S. What's really special is that I work with a great team of people.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I'd like to see more women as students. We generally have one to two women in a class of 16 students, and it would be nice if it were closer to a 50/50 mix. Bike mechanics has historically been perceived as something only men do. But that's pretty silly since there's nothing in bike mechanics that women cannot do. Nope, this is not a job for someone who prefers well- manicured fingernails, but it's fun getting your hands a little dirty.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       I was trained at the BBI to be a professional bike mechanic, which I have done for a few years here in the Springs. But I was not necessarily trained to teach mechanics. So that part has come from the examples of my mentors and through some of my own natural teaching ability. I come from a long line of teachers and have a fairly high patience level, which comes in handy.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       I like the feel here on the Westside - there's lots of natural beauty and friendly people. I am spoiled since I live and work all within the same square mile. I really get to experience the Westside as a small town and an entity in and of itself. Equally important is how close all of the biking and hiking trails are. Just pedal a few minutes right from your house and you're at a trailhead.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.