A central figure in Melbourne’s bicycle industry for the past four decades, Mick Jamison, has joined the Bicycle Academy team in a training, assessing and business development role.
An owner of several Melbourne bike stores since the 1980s and one of Australia’s earliest mountain bike competitors, Mick had already set his sights on training industry newcomers as his next challenge, when the Bicycle Academy role arose.
“I was looking for some avenue to get into training for mechanics or the bike industry in general,” he said.
“After being out of the industry for a while, doing some construction and renovating a few houses, I was thinking about starting another venue and decided I didn’t really want the stress of being in retail again.
“I figured I had a lot of experience and knowledge I could pass on. I could see there was a real need for mechanics training, there was such a shortage of skilled personnel in that area.
“When I saw the advertisement for the Bicycle Academy, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.”
Mick’s resume of bike store ventures begins with owning Open Road Cycles from the mid-1980s, followed by a partnership in the Bicycle Workshop. He then cofounded the Triathlete store with Victorian triathlon identity Robin Tullett, created Australia’s first specialist MTB store, Victorian Mountain Bike Centre, with his brother Simon, before owning Croydon Cycleworks for about 16 years.
“Back then, we became self-taught mechanics because we didn’t have the resources that exist now,” he said.
“We had books, we had each other, or we might call a supplier to get information that wasn’t available.
“The training available now would have saved me from making a lot of costly mistakes and made my life a lot easier,” he joked.
Mick said since then, there has been exponential growth in the industry in terms of complexity of bikes, their hydraulics and electronics.
“There’s a lot more to learn, a lot more to be aware of and even more benefit to getting mechanics formally trained,” he said.
The Bicycle Academy was launched early last year, as a partnership between bike retailer and distributor The Pedal Group and training organisation Industry Graduates, to address a shortage of training mechanics in the industry.
It secured the licence to provide Cytech training – an internationally recognised program based in the UK – in Australia and NZ and, after focusing on the Pedal Group’s own staff, opened the service to the wider industry in late 2022.