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The SoCal Cyclist Podcast- socalcyclist.org
YouTube- SoCal Cyclist
Strava- Brian Co- SoCal Cyclist
This Weeks Guest: Andrea Smith
Website: Team Colavita
Facebook: Team Colavita
Most pro tour mechanics got their start in the bike shop. They develop some skill and then really test their might on a team. The challenges they face are unique and go beyond the scope of cleaning bikes and dialing in shifting. Andrea Smith is a mechanic with the Bianchi Colavita Women’s Professional Cycling Team. Like many she got her start in the bike shop and had a knack for solving mechanical problems. She now remains the only female mechanic on the pro tour. She’s had to break down a lot of barriers and forge her own path.
Andrea grew up far away from Southern California in Montana where she started mountain biking and then transitioned into racing cyclocross. She went to college and really had to contemplate how she was going to stay within the sport. She’s seemed to find a home with the Colavita Bianchi team as has been working with them for the past three years. Some of the challenges she encounters is the fact she often is the driver and does other duties beyond dealing with the bicycle. She jokes that she has to be in shape because she often times has to sprint to do a wheel change in a race, then push the rider and sprint back to the car. And yes. She’s been that mechanic whose had to lean halfway out of the car to make quick adjustments.
Andrea is a bit of an introvert which in a way makes her more skillful at her job. She likes doing things a certain way and then focuses on the tasks in front of her. It usually takes the typical person an hour or so to go over their bike. She has to do that with a half a dozen race bikes plus spare bikes and then time trial bikes. It’s a lot for one person but she’s found her rhythm in the peloton. She’s earned the respect and received little pushback from her peers. They often see each other at races and developed a mutual respect for each other’s work. To Andrea the ideal workplace accomplishment is knowing that her work allows the athletes to accomplish their goals free of any conflicts that could have prevented them from a possible victory. This is a great episode to learn from one of the best! Don’t miss this! Only two to go!