The Biggest Tool in the Shed

You know that amazing adjuster-hammer-wrenchy-thingy-bob in your tool box that you have relied on for years. You use it daily, for so long, you can’t even quite recall how it got there. You are incredibly fussy about who gets to use it. Only a select few know how to handle it. It is for pro use only. If you lost it, you would be, well….. lost.

We have a just such a tool that keeps the Naked Factory Clock wound and ticking. We call this tool by many names: “Dyck Handler”, “Repachage”, “Pringle”, “Den Mother”. To be safe, Just approach slowly, slightly from the side, without eye contact and wait for the right time to simply ask, “Regan? I was wondering if…………….”

I’ve known a lot of mechanics. Many good ones. Many opinionated ones. Some with actual time management skills. Some who won’t take shit from lazy/late/entitled riders. Some with a tidy bench. Some who actually ride. Some who have been in the trenches. Regan is all these things. Love him. Fear Him.

No other cycling sport puts this much wear and tear on machinery, day in and day out. The un-initiated often ask, “So what’s with this cyclocross thing anyway?” I usually explain we are racing the wrong bike, in the wrong place, at the wrong time of year. All of those ingredient leads to some beat up machines.

“What pressure you want kid?”, Regan asks. A moment of panic washes over Carter Woods, our greenest but strongest NFR racer. He looks helplessly to the rest of us, who pretend not to see his cry for help. Regan tries again, “What do you usually run?” “Ummmm…. Not sure. 40 maybe?” The rest of us scatter like flies. Regan shakes his head, brings Carter over for lesson in cross pressure, and quietly informs him, “Lets do 24 and 25 today”. Meanwhile, the grizzled veterans try to remember if they even put air in there tires this morning, while enjoying their ‘bits and frites. They know Pringle’s already got them sorted.

Breaking things is easy. Fixing them is also easy in a warm dry shop when you have all the time in the world.Pulling a mangled rear mech out of a taco-ed wheel in between laps at the World Championships in freezing conditions with only the tools you can bring on the plane, that’s when we find out who the biggest tool in the shed is. Without wrenches like Regan, Cyclocross would involve a lot more running. Running with broken bikes. I hate running*.

*not true. Fake news.