Sixty bicycle mechanics earn right to carry a USA Cycling mechanics license

Sixty aspiring bicycle mechanics gathered at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs last week to participate in the Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic.

The 26th edition of the one-of-a-kind clinic was aimed at mechanics with at least two years of work experience. Held Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, it gave them an opportunity to learn from industry experts, receive hands-on experience, and network with cycling industry leaders.

At the end of the five days, all 60 students graduated and are now eligible for a USA Cycling mechanics license.

“I asked some well reputable mechanics in my area if they were familiar with the program and if they had their mechanics license. Most knew of the program but none had attended so it behooved me to attend and get the license to add value to the shop and my own resume,” explained one of the participants, Michael Crowell, who works for North of the Border Bicycles in San Diego. “I also had a close call with a job at Shimano last year and was told I missed out since I had yet to attend the Woodul Clinic. I’ve had a desire for some time to work on the road for a pro team and really decided it was time to pursue. This clinic was the only program of such sorts I knew of to help get me there.”

The clinic focuses on helping a mechanic reach the next level of professional expertise by improving their skills both in the classroom and on the bike. Instructional sessions included:

Bike Wash/InspectionRoad Team & PelotonPara Support Challenges
CyclocrossSuspension FundamentalsMass Ride
Materials of Construction – Carbon FiberTubular TireCareer Development
Materials of Construction – MetalWheel ChangeWheel Fundamentals
Bicycle Design FundamentalsPositioningGravity Support
TrackNeutral Mountain Bike Support
Independent Program DevelopmentVenue Support Challenges

Topics that were brand new for 2012 were Para Support Challenges, Gravity Support, and Career Development. In addition to all of the great lectures and hand-on experiences, the students took a field trip to the 7-Eleven U.S. Olympic Training Center Velodrome where Velodrome Operations Specialist Tom Vinson gave them a tour.

“What I found to be most valuable from the clinic is the industry career class and all the race support classes,” Crowell continued. “I also feel that I was informed on what to expect out of me and my pocket book to work any of the many types of jobs out in the field. Being a racer, race spectator, and fan it is hard to understand how stable and what kind of income to expect working events instead of running a shop.”

“This year’s clinic stood out because the participants really raised the bar,” said organizer of the 2009-2012 clinics, James Stanfill. “The highlights of the clinic for me were the 60 fresh faces who were all excited to get into this side of the sport and make a difference. Seeing my fellow instructors who all graciously volunteer to be part of the program and share their knowledge with others will continue to grow this industry and push the envelope.”

The Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic helps mechanics reach the next level of professional bicycle mechanic expertise. Licensed bike mechanics may support Olympic trials, national championships, USA Cycling training camps as well as international events.

Congratulations to the following mechanics for their hard work at this year’s Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic:

Matthew AllanThomas FedeleAndrew Schmid
Aaron ApelJohn FennellRonald A.P. Schmid
Diane BlakeBen FietzKyle Schwarz
Christopher BlancettJimmy FlahertyRonald Semba
Sam BlomquistCharles Gray IIJoel Smith
Joshua J. BrownMichael A. GuintaJames Stapleton
Paul T. Brown IIDrew HagerStefan Thompson
Dave BurkeNeal HerringChauncey Tudhope-Locklear
Mark BushMike HetrickRichard van Buskirk
Bobby CataTimothy JohnsonAustin Warner
Jayson CisakMatthew D. KelleyPaul Watson
John Howard ClarkScott KellyMichael Webber
Tom CooperGregory H. KinaMichael Wehner
Ron CrandellPaul LawmonJames Werle
Michael CrowellJames LongTravis Wideman
John D’AmicoLorinda PutterSteven Wilke
Larry DavisMartin ReniereCarter Williams
Scott DedenbachSean RudzinskyDavid Chris Wrenn
Paul DotyMichael SapioneYangyang Xu
Nicholas EngelsonJason SavillBrent Westenburg

Special thanks to the following people who made this year’s Bill Woodul Race Mechanic Clinic possible:

James Stanfill – Clinic Organizer and Instructor, Specialized
Chip Howat – Clinic Organizer and Instructor
Calvin Jones – Instructor, Park Tool
Butch Balzano – Instructor, SRAM NRS
Matt Bracken – Instructor, Pedros
Ric Hjertberg – Instructor, Mad Fiber
Nick DeLauder – Instructor, FOX
Nick Murdick – Instructor, Shimano
Andy Stone – Instructor, Team Type 1
Than White – Instructor, Industry 9
Benjamin Sharp – Presenter, USA Cycling High Performance Director of Endurance Programs
Randy Shafer – Presenter, International Commissaire
Tom Vinson – Presenter, USOTC Velodrome Operations Specialist
Bernard Condevaux – Presenter, Physical Therapist and Soigneur
Marlis Johnson – USA Cycling Office and Programs Manager

Andrew Hawkes – USA Cycling Program and Operations Manager

For more information, visit the USA Cycling mechanics webpage.

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