COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (BRAIN)—USA Cycling graduated 49 students on Dec. 13 from the 2009 Bill Woodul Mechanics Clinic held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Mechanics came from around the country to take part in the clinic, which covered everything from wheel changes to bicycle design fundamentals, and team mechanic responsibilities to tubular tire fundamentals.
Three full days at the instructional seminar gave students the opportunity to learn from industry experts, receive hands-on experience and network with leaders in the cycling industry.
“I thought it was important for me to come here. I‘ve done some race support, both neutral and with teams over the past two years, and I really thought this would be a good opportunity to fill in some of the gaps and flesh out what I already knew,” student Max Thomas said during a wheel change class. “There are a lot of little techniques that will make it go faster and I knew I would get those here."
The students come from a variety of backgrounds and goals, but all left with an enhanced ability to provide the best tools possible for all types of riders. World-class race mechanics from companies like SRAM, Shimano, Pedro's, Fox Racing, Mavic, Park Tool and BMC Racing served as instructors, presenting on topics such as race support, team and neutral mechanic responsibilities, coach and soigneur interaction, wheel changes, team inventory procedures, bike inspection and wash, tool, equipment and supply needs, bicycle design and material fundamentals, fork theory and tuning and wheel theory.
“The overall goal of the clinic is to increase mechanics’ skill sets in order to keep riders and spectators safe and also to raise the professionalism of the sport,” said Calvin Jones, who has been an instructor for the clinic since 1988. “And the No. 1 thing that the license gives to mechanics is the education that they had to come through the clinic to get, as well as the networking and the opportunities to work at various USA Cycling events.”
The graduates of this year’s clinic can now carry a USA Cycling mechanic’s license, which makes them eligible for certain jobs with cycling-related companies or professional teams.
The Bill Woodul Mechanic Clinic is named after USA Cycling mechanic Bill Woodul who held the first clinic in the late 1980s as a way to recruit mechanics for his program.
Photo: Instructor Dave Arnauckas demonstrates Shimano electronic components to some Bill Woodul Mechanic Clinic students. Courtesy of USA Cycling/Gregory Cross