• Sunny Gilbert

Introducing Mrs. Mechanic

Meet Mrs. Mechanic


He walked up to me after the CincyCX race at Harbin Park in 2013. This was back when CincyCX was a three-race week-end, and it was the second of the three race days. I had just managed my first Top-10 finish in a UCI race (don’t quote me on that), and was over the moon. And muddy. And cold. And my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. He says “Do you know SRAM is coming out with a ‘one by’ solution for cyclocross?” Not wanting to appear foolish, after all, the guy was wearing a SRAM jacket, hat, and branded scarf, I further enlarged my already aching smile, nodded my head, and said “can’t wait!”. Of course, you know, that I had no idea what he was talking about. (Or who he was - feel free to comment, and let me know so I can thank him properly!)


One week earlier, during the elite race of the Derby Cup in Louisville, KY, I dropped the chain on my “two-by”, not once, but twice, losing several places and dropping out of the top-10. What may have been my first Top-10 finish. Despondent, I asked Doug (at the time my boyfriend and sometimes pit mechanic), what I had done wrong. Too much power on the shifter? Not enough power on the pedal? This wasn’t the first time dropping my chain, but it was the first time that the stakes seemed to be so high. Unbeknowst to me, Doug talked to a legendary cyclocross mechanic, and came up with a system for converting my “two-by” or 2x, into a 1x. After all, it seemed that my mid-race solution to not dropping my chain in races was simply to "not shift" onto the big chain ring!


Inspired by this instance, and many others, I’ve made it my mission to learn more about the beautiful machines that I rough ride through mud, on gravel, over rocks, roots, ruts, and the occasional bit of pavement. If you have a bicycle related inquiry that you feel an elite cyclocross racer married to one of the best mechanics in the country should know or could pretend to know, send it my way. Mrs. Mechanic will now take your questions.


Taking my turn with the Allen wrench. 📸bruce_buckley

I married my bicycle mechanic, but I did not marry him for his bicycle mechanic-ing. But, it's definitely a perk!

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