Security Issues

From Dave Arnauckas, team mechanic for Volvo/Cannondale

Team mechanics travel with thousand of dollars of equipment and must be able to safe guard it at all times. Remember that if somebody wants it bad enough, they will get it. Teams in both Europe and the US have had all or some of their bikes stolen during races.

When working in a non-secure area you must be able to watch all your equipment. Stack your equipment on one side of your work area, such as the passenger side of the car. With all equipment close by you will only have to watch over one shoulder.

After a stage the area around your team van can be hectic. Be care with spectators walking around your equipment. When the riders have finished with their bikes try to stack them on one side of the vehicle and watch them. Depending on how your rack systems are set up you may require help from someone else. If you load the rack by yourself be sure not to leave the front wheels lying against the van when you walk to the other side.

When stacking bikes in a storage room your best bet is to stack them in such a manner that allows you to lock both the wheels and frame in the smallest area. Start by stacking the bikes against a wall, alternating their direction: handlebar-seat, seat-handlebar.

Once all the bikes are stacked place the spare wheels in front of the bikes. Now run a cable lock through the wheels and bikes. Start by running one end through the front wheel on the bike against the wall and continue to lace through each wheel. By lacing through the rear triangle and rear wheel, you will be securing both the frame and wheels.

Repeat this process with the rear wheel of the bike against the wall. Once you have laced the bikes go on to the wheels. There is no special method with spare wheels, just make sure you have gone through each wheel in the pile.

On occasion you will have to leave the vehicles fully load in an unsecured area. Besides locking the bikes on the roof rack there are a few tricks to providing extra security to the equipment inside the vehicles. By parking the vehicles in such a manner you can make windows and door not accessible to a thief.

For example by backing a station wagon against a wall and backing a van very close to the car and against the wall, you have made them safer. This pattern prevents both rear doors, the car’s driver’s door and the van’s side doors from being opened. You may use any non-movable object a security blanket, trees, poles, buildings, or other vehicles.

Other items to safeguard as a team mechanic may not be tangible. These may include new equipment being developed by your sponsors or team. As caravan mechanic you may be privileged to hearing your team’s race tactics or deals arranged between directors. Keep all of this information to yourself.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.