Katie Archibald dishes the dirt on her me­chan­i­cally-in­clined other half

Cycling Weekly - - Welcome - Katie archibald

My boyfriend is a me­chanic. A pro­fes­sional, though he also does his fair share of un­paid labour at home. I get ex­cep­tional sup­port from Bri­tish Cy­cling and Wig­gle-high5 main­tain­ing my fleet but, some­how, I can al­ways find a prob­lem to take to Gus. The grind has been pretty light for him to­day though. We made pizza, had friends round, watched a movie, and now we’re sat in bed ready for the land of nod. He hasn’t touched his 5mm all day and there’s not a chain oil mark on him. A full day off ? Don’t be silly. In­stead of fix­ing my bikes, tonight I’ll have him fix­ing my col­umn. This is my three­minute in­ter­view with An­gus Gillies, bi­cy­cle me­chanic.

Why did you be­come a me­chanic?

He stut­ters over a few vari­a­tions of his an­swer that he keeps ver­bally eras­ing through fear of in­sult­ing his trade. They all im­ply he just sort of fell into it but the an­swer we’re most happy with is: “I’ve been a cy­clist as long as I can re­mem­ber. I love bikes. But it in­ter­ests me more to work on them some­times than it does to ride them.”

What’s your favourite thing about be­ing a me­chanic?

“Prob­lem solv­ing.” I then let him paint a scene that im­plies he’s both Hugh Lau­rie in the TV show House and Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch in Sher­lock. I start to day­dream about epony­mous TV shows and try to think of one that’s fe­male, in­ter­nally fist pump­ing when I get The Mindy Project, and zone back into Gus say­ing some­thing about in­ter­nal ca­bling. He has skipped a ques­tion and is now moan­ing about the worst bike he’s ever worked on. I get him back on track:

What’s the best bike you’ve ever worked on?

“Cervélo R5 Ca. It costs £7,500.” I ask him if this made him ner­vous. He scoffs. I re­mind him of the time I saw him crack his own frame man-han­dling it into our bike stand. He takes ex­cep­tion to what I’m im­ply­ing and ends the in­ter­view. I don’t re­ally mind, I’ve lost in­ter­est in the game any­way since now I’m won­der­ing if man­han­dling is a sex­ist term I should re­move from my lex­i­con. An­swers on a tweet please.

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