2011 Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic overcomes snow


Last weekend, 59 aspiring bicycle mechanics participated in the Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The clinic began on Thursday, Dec. 1 and concluded Sunday, Dec. 5.

Mark Niemiec of Mavic teaching students
Mark Niemiec of Mavic teaching students
The students, who came from varying experience levels and backgrounds, learned various essential aspects of being a successful race mechanic from several of the best mechanics in the business. While many of the students are shop mechanics, there are some students who bring more experience to the clinic than others. One of the students is a mechanic for UnitedHealthcare, another student is a frame builder at Independent Fabrications and yet a third student runs the training and service for part of the bike police division in Washington, D.C.

The goal of the clinic is to provide the students an idea of the subtleties of being a race mechanic.

"We want them to go away knowing that there is more to being a bicycle mechanic than just working in a shop," USA Cycling Director of Operations James Stanfill said of the clinic that mandates the participants have at least two years of experience working in a shop before attending. "Taking their shop experience and applying it to specific things like team support, neutral support, race and event support."

Students learned proper tire gluing techniques
Students learned proper tire gluing techniques
The clinic covered every aspect of being a race mechanic. From how to sign up for a USA Cycling mechanic's license to what kind of glue to use on a rim, the clinic as a whole was comprehensive as the aspiring mechanics jotted notes in preparation for Sunday's test to continue on their path to success. The students were even dealt the unexpected obstacle of Colorado's winter weather complete with frigid temperatures, high winds and snow as they attempted to jump out of a car to change a tire to simulate likely race scenarios.

"I learned a lot of cool stuff that I never would have been able to do in my shop environment," student Adrein Samonek, who works at Livermore Cyclery in northern California, said. "It's really cold. This is the coldest I've ever been. Colorado is a cool place to get experience."

The students took classes from the following group of experts:

Dave Arnauckas — Shimano Shawn Farrell — USA Cycling Calvin Jones — Park Tool
Butch Balzano — SRAM NRS T.J. Grove — Biketek, Inc. Nick Legan — VeloNews
Matt Bracken — Pedro's NA Marc Gullickson — USA Cycling Mark Niemiec — Mavic
Bernard Condevaux — Select Medical Ric Hjertberg — Mad Fiber Andy Stone — Team Type 1
Nick DeLauder — Fox Racing Chip Howat — C.S. Howat & Associates Tom Vinson — United States Olympic Committee

Among the topics covered by the experts were:

What it Means to be a Mechanic — Reflections on a career Suspension Fundamentals Bicycle Design Fundamentals
Mountain Bike Support Team/Neutral Tubular Tire Peloton Support
Neutral Criterium Support Wheel Change Independent Program Development
Venue Support Challenges Position Measurement Cyclocross Support
Inventory Control Bike Wash Inspection UCI Bicycle Jig Uses & Dis-Uses
Wheel & Tire Fundamentals Team Road Support Coach's Perspective
Track Support Materials of Construction — Carbon Fiber DOT Rules & Regulations
BMX Support Materials of Construction — Metals USA Cycling Professional Development Opportunities

USA Cycling would like to recognize and congratulate the graduates of the 2011 Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic:

Justin Allen Brian Andriot Stan Barrett
Russell Berryman Chris Bondus Hunter Braasch
Steven Brandt Marty Caivano Kristofer Carlsted
Louis Carranza Eric Carter Aron Casaday
Christopher Chorice Ernesto Ciccolini Philip Colon
Thomas Crase Christopher Denoma Chad Dilworth
Dominic Dougherty Cynthia Dywan Daniel Enriquez
Patrick Ferland Dereck Fish Brys Fleming-Henning
Ron Gainer Andrew Gruening Ryan Gual
Edward Harris Christian Hartwig George Henson
Eric Hockman Scott Jackson Sam Johnson
Gregory Jones Ben Kalama Timothy Keating
John Koenck Brandon Lewis William Lyke
Ian Margave Joseph Meldrum Gershom Morris
Mike Newberry John Nicholson Mike Olson
Aaron Peet Robert Plumb Huber Rodriguez
Jorge Romero Andy Rossetto Adrein Samonek
Graham Snyder Brian St. Amant John Stutzman
Doug Sumi Hunter Veloz Tyler West
Ryan West Jon Wojcik  

Check out a photo gallery of the clinic.

For more information on USA Cycling’s mechanics program, please visit http://www.usacycling.org/mechanics.

This Article Published December 7, 2011 For more information contact: