A full work week

Today BJ (soigneur) and I arrived in Arlington for the first part of our Philly week. Two criteriums in the DC and Arlington area. To back track a little, BJ arrived in Sacramento Thursday, May 24th. Friday he went to San Francisco to get some supplies and a rather large picture of Lance signed by the man himself to be given to some VIP. Thursday and Friday I packed the truck and finished all the loose ends for our trip.
We left Sacramento Saturday the 26th. BJ drove the van and I drove the team truck. Our caravan car was to be transported across the country via a transport company. Janet our office manager arranged this and she felt like it was a shady company but proceeded to arrange it.
Many things happened on our trip and BJ brought his video recorder to capture some of them. One of the unfortunate things to happen was that our van broke down. We had some two way radios to chat across the country. We needed something to pass the 3,000 miles we were about to do. Half way across the country in beautiful (NOT!) Nebraska, BJ got hungry and I was not so I told him to stop get something and catch up. Normally an easy task in the van since the truck only goes 65 or so. It can go a little faster but it has a few miles on it so I’m trying to make it last but not pushing it. BJ was just starting to catch me as I could start to hear a little garble on the radio as he was just coming into range. More static over the radio and I just waited because I knew he could catch me and it could not be that important. Unfortunately it was indeed important as he was trying to tell me he had van problems and he then had to pull off the road. The van was dying (slowing) so he tried to make it to the exit and to the gas station. Not wanting to stop completely he made the exit and turned left over the freeway still going 40 (and on two wheels as he says to color it a little). He makes it to the station. I get a call on the cell and some road service company calls to say he has stopped and I need to go back. I’m 20 miles up the road and turn to go get him. The van has lost almost all the transmission fluid. We call to try to get a Truck and trailer to tow it to DC to work on it as we need to get it there at all cost. We can’t leave it and come back to get it later.
Memorial Day is NOT the day to try to get anything. After a ton of work and calls we finally find something in Lincoln Nebraska 40 minutes away. We drove 40 minutes there took, a ton of time to get it and 40 minutes back, loaded the van on the trailer and we were on the road. Unfortunately 6 hours behind schedule. We were on a sort of tight schedule and the delay meant another power drive to get to DC by Wednesday night. BJ and I made it to DC dropped off the van at a VW dealer and went to our hotel to get some badly needed rest. This trip took 5 days and about a little more than 40 hours to drive (slowly in the truck). THAT was a full work week.


Owner of Promechanics.com and long time professional race mechanic.