During his brief time with Bici SB, Ted Hamilton enjoyed being a part of team effecting change. And he has advice for the next program manager. He'll be missed. SBBIKE wishes him luck!
Short but sweet definitely applies to Ted Hamilton’s tenure as Bici Centro SB program manager. During the past month and a half, Hamilton has led the Santa Barbara shop. He quickly became part of the SBBIKE team, and his focus on streamlining shop operations has been appreciated.
As much as he wishes he could stay longer, he had to say yes when an opportunity in line with his long-term goals came out of the blue. And while everyone at SBBIKE is sad to see him go, the crew is also happy for him and wishes him much luck with his position as a planning technician with the City of Santa Barbara’s Zoning and Enforcement.
Hamilton was a supporter of SBBIKE/Bici for years before he all too briefly joined the team. He’d regularly delivered donated parts from REI, his former employer, and was well acquainted with the Bici team.
As staff, he saw up close what’s inspirational about the Bici model. “It really is a community center,” he says. Having worked serving people who can afford to drop off their bikes for repair made serving people who couldn’t get by without their bikes or pay for repairs to be done all the more poignant. “You feel like you’re truly helping,” Hamilton says, adding that the wide range of users brought a good feeling to the shop. “Bici is doing a lot of good in the community, both as a bike shop and as an advocate."
Soon after he’d joined, the shop did a reset—cleaning and reorganizing. It was over Christmas and New Year’s. Seeing staff and volunteers come together en mass—“over a holiday!”—to devote their time and energy meant a lot. “It was pretty amazing,” he recalls.
Hamilton’s advice for the next Bici Centro SB program manager is twofold. First, “get to know the staff and volunteers really well on a personal level. Make that effort during the initial weeks.” Second, “don’t forget you're a manager.” With much to do and the camaraderie among wrenchers and other staff and volunteers, he says, it’s easy to get caught up working alongside everyone. But doing the job well requires planning and managing and time at your desk.
“It’s a cool position,” he says, “because, in a way, it’s an opportunity to own the shop. There’s a lot of leeway, as well as a lot of potential in terms of what you can accomplish here."
Interested? Apply here.
While Hamilton will miss working for SBBIKE, he’s in the right spot for him. One of the draws to the Bici position was the opportunity to see how the coalition works with the city on planning efforts. He looks forward to watching that advocacy work continue, noting that Santa Barbara County is full of opportunities for planning more infrastructure—and for safe bicycling education.
Hamilton is grateful to SBBIKE for the opportunity. His last day may be at the end of this week (Jan 18), but, he says, “I’ll be back as a volunteer.
PHOTO: Outgoing Bici SB Shop Manager Ted Hamilton and volunteer extraordinaire Joe Andonello during a January 2019 reset at Bici Centro Santa Maria. CHRISTINE BOURGEOIS