Bill Woodul was a story teller for the ages. Does it take a thick Southern drawl to excel at this art? How much of his stories were true? If you ask me, in the greatest sense, they all were. He was among the first US mechanics to venture into the big world and he brought back enough stories and encouragement that, today, US mechanics are part of virtually every program on every continent. We heard about stage racing with Bedouins, gluing tires in monsoons, trading coffee for bike parts, sleeping with scorpions, and contests over jalapeno’s and tequila (or grappa or aquavit or vodka).
Once he showed us a truing stand he “traded” for some tires. This was during the Cold War, so bike mechanics were among the few who could ignore the Iron Curtain. This truing stand was unbelievable. It couldn’t be a one-of-a-kind. Yet, it was so painstakingly fashioned and detailed, they certainly weren’t mass produced. It came from the Russian National Team and, although that nation was a military super power, their cycling teams were poorly equipped. This stand was a work of inspiration by someone with little budget and lots of time. Read more →