Written by Calvin on December 6, 2011/Calvin's Corner
2011 USA Cycling Race Mechanic Clinic
Each year since 1987, I have taught at the Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic, hosted by USA Cycling. Bill was a former USAC Equipment manager. We lost Bill to cancer in 1996, but it was this man who created the clinic as a place to share experience and knowledge with newer mechanics.
Teaching at these seminars is great fun. There is hardly anything better than being around mechanics. But it is not typical mechanics training. There is no discussion of setting limit screws. We do not discuss setting chain length, or adjusting hubs, or installing headsets. We hope they know this, and this is not the place to teach that material.
The time at these clinics is split between small group session and large group presentations. The clinic size is limited so session size is manageable. Students come from all over the USA, and outside the USA. Personally, I love it when we get the SoCal mech’s and it snows.
The wheel change sessions are always fun, and sometimes we end up with a little bleeding. Like a tango, it takes two for this dance to work well, and we also teach how the rider should behave during the change.
These clinics are not for everyone and not even for every bike mechanic. There is an expectation of service, of going out and putting this knowledge to use, and to do some good in our racing community.