LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — It’s been a solid quarter century since Win Allen raced bikes seriously, but the competitive juices got flowing this week as he competed in Interbike’s first Mechanics Challenge, presented by Park Tool.
Out of 99 starters on Wednesday, Allen qualified with the fourth best time setting him up for a four-way showdown for the win on Thursday afternoon.
“Breakfast was tough to get down this morning,” he said Thursday.
Allen is chief mechanic at Win’s Wheels, in Westlake Village, a service-only shop he’s owned for nearly 10 years. The 43 year old has been wrenching professionally since 1985.
In qualifiers, the Challenge required mechanics to complete four tasks — swap out a saddle, change a cassette, change a chain (including shortening the new chain by four links) and, in what competitors all said was the hardest stage, swap out an inner tube while wearing blacked out goggles.
In the semi-finals, competitors went head to head in heats of two through all the tasks. In the gold-medal round, organizers added a task that was secret until the last minute: mechanics had to remove handlebar tape from a road bike and re-tape the bars. The re-tape job had to …read more