Mechanical Friday!! Q&A with team mechanic Alex Gidley
Written by Velo Staff on 22nd April 2016
How long have you been a bicycle mechanic for?
”I have been a mechanic for just 4 years.I have always been messing around with bikes but four years ago decided to get qualified and carried out my training courses at the Cycle Systems Academy which was in London at the time. Since then I have attempted to gain as much experience as I can in my spare time.”
What made you decide to get involved in the cycling world?
”I have always been a fan of the sport of road racing. I was a keen cyclist as a kid staring at the latest bikes in Geoffrey Butler in Croydon, riding around in my Z Peugeot kit thinking I was Greg Lemond. I competed at Triathlon for a number of years but had to give this up due to a running injury. It was at his point I thought I would try and get involved with Road Racing again as a mechanic. I have always been an engineer so thought I would utilise these skills at the same time as being involved with cycling.”
What is your most memorable experience as a team mechanic?
”The first year I was involved on the scene i did a full Tour Series. It was a steep learning curve and was pretty intense but was a great introduction to what is expected of a mechanic within the British Road scene.”
How do you keep your cool in stressful race situations?!
”My full time job is as an Aircraft Engineer in the Royal Navy. This has led to me dealing with working under pressure in environments such as Afghanistan which helps significantly with the pressures that arise during a race. The difference with the pressures in cycling is the human aspect. Riders in a race require a far more personal relationship and this is something that I have learnt is a key requirement of a team mechanic.”
What race are you most looking forward to working at?
”A tough choice. It will either be the CiCLE classic or the London Nocturne. Both very different races but each have their appeal. Rutland is THE race of the year where mechanics earn their value as it is such a tough course. The Nocturne is just a great event. In London with big crowds, a great circuit and just a fantastic advert for cycling.”
What is your favourite tool in your master tool kit?
”I am extremely lucky to be part of a team that has such fantastic sponsors. Being provided with the full Master Tool Kit by Pedro’s means I have everything I need at my disposal. Got to say that the Pro Chain Tool is an absolute cut above anything else on the market. ”
What is your favourite music?
”I’m an indie boy at heart so any band from the 90’s generally gets my vote. Oasis and the Verve are the stand out bands with a little bit of Northern Soul thrown in for something different.”
What is your favourite food?
”Got to be a Cheesy, Hammy, Eggy. Those that know, know!!!”
Tell us one fun fact about yourself that we may not know…
”I have an unhealthy addiction to trainers and once had in my possesion over 50 pairs of Adidas Originals.”