Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 9th, 2007 at 9:40 pm
There are many important parts to the well-oiled Cycle Oregon machine, but perhaps none is more essential than the mechanical support provided by Bike Gallery.
These guys work just for tips and they’re committed to keeping everyone on the road. With fully-stocked mini-vans they set up at water stops, rest stops, and wherever their help is needed. Then at camp each night — when everyone else is headed for the beer garden and some R&R — they’re faced with a daunting workload. Right now, while riders settle into their tents for the night, they’re working under the lights triage-style to get bikes ready for the morning.
Mechanic Matt Cardinal doesn’t seem fazed (yet), “Sometimes it’s non-stop…it just keeps coming. Mornings are really crazy, but usually it’s just minor stuff we’re doing.”
Not so for Service Manager Brett Flemming (I visited his shop back in March). Today at a rest stop he fixed a broken dropout (using a drill, a bolt and some epoxy) and later at camp I watched him prep an old Motobecane that had a stress fracture crack in its headtube. For that repair, he busted out his welding torch (yes, he brought one with him, and he also has a lathe).
As he filed and prepped the crack he said, “I accumulate spare parts throughout the year just for Cycle Oregon. Things like cleat bolts and seat clamps are in high demand.”
An hour or so later, Flemming was on the Main Stage, holding the crowd’s attention with an engaging presentation on flat repair. Yes, Flemming is the rare individual whose unabashed love for his area of expertise can make even the most mundane topic entertaining.
If there’s a downside to the tireless and comprehensive support from Bike Gallery, it’s that you can never use the excuse, “I would have ridden all the way, but I broke my bike.”