Each Winter, for over 20, I can look forward to reconnecting with some of my favorite mechanics and meeting 60 more at the USA Cycling Mechanics Clinic. This year, from Dec 1-5, we gathered at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to teach skills and techniques that support bicycle racing. It’s always a rare treat to be among brethren who share passion for bicycles and aren’t afraid to do some serious work.
My fellow instructors are among the most experienced and iconic wrenches in the business, veterans of teams, campaigns, olympics, and adventures worthy of the big screen. This is one of the most resourceful, clever, humble, and dependable clans you’ll ever meet. By the end of the 4 day intensive clinic, all the students can tell what good fortune it’s been to attend this event. Just ask someone who’s been and you’ll hear what I mean.
While a few important faces were missing due to conflicts and other necessities, energies were high and students were diligent. 100% passed the 100 question final exam, earning them the right to apply for a Mechanic’s License. But more important, they’ve become initiated into the mechanic’s cabal and a higher level of skills, resources, and confidence than before.
I lead sessions on wheel building and design and carbon fiber, closely related topics near the core of bike racing’s contemporary pulse. Very exciting to share the latest news and views. This year, students hailed from 22 states and Canada. Big thanks to everyone who contributed, especially James Stanfill and Gregory Cross, USA Cycling leaders that make the program possible.