A long day and even into the night.
I pride myself for not working when the sun goes down. Meaning, I like to get my shit done fast/before hand and not the fact that I just put stuff off till it is light out to do it. Today would be an exception to that rule. Mainly because it was a double day (two stages today). And one of them is my all time favorite. A time trial.
We started the day in Newnan, GA at about 6:00 and had breakfast done by 6:40 AM. Thank God we did not stay at the other city. That would have meant our day would have started at least 4o minutes earlier. Got to give management a thumbs up for the hotel change. Out to the truck to pump tires and load bikes on cars. I headed to Rome, GA to our next hotel and arrived by about 10:30 and then Dave, Mark and I got luggage in rooms by 11:15. Mark had to drop of Dave’s car at the finish so Johan, George and Lance could scout the TT course immediately after the morning RR. Mark would return with the team while they did their scouting routine.
Dave and I had a quick Pizza and I started to prep some of the TT stuff like mainly pumping tires so when we got to the TT we were almost ready. after about a 30 min lunch with Dave I had only 20 min or so and the riders arrived so we could wash bikes from the AM stage. One less thing to do after the TT and we would be grateful for getting it done.
We drove to the TT at about 2:00 and totally got lost. Juan and I finally found the parking area to see a massive amount of spectators. We parked the truck and also had a spot for the Blue bird (bus). In seconds we had a human perimeter of spectators numbering at least 300. I don’t mind people watching me work. Just not so close as to slow down my work process. When they are in arms reach I feel I’m going to constantly bump into someone and they would take that as rude as I’m looking to be in a hurry. And I sort of was in a hurry due to getting a bit lost. So the organizer had barriers for us and they made a perimeter when our bus shortly arrived. Now the crowd doubled (at least if not tripled) but at least we had barriers to keep them a bit at a distance.
The TT went off fairly smooth and I floored it back to the hotel. Back to the hotel by about 6:30 or so. Mark went to washing TT bikes and also cars while Juan did the final tune ups on the road bikes from the morning stage. Besides the normal tuning we had to change wheels and cogs. The past three stages were similar so we used the same wheel cog combo for those three stages. No extra work those days (changing wheels/cogs) meant a fast days work. Juan, Mark and I finished about 9:00. Juan and I headed to dinner while Mark had to do an errand. He had to drive someone to his Atlanta hotel. Mark and guest left our hotel at 10:00 PM after both of them ate. He was back in his bed at about 1:30 or 2:00 AM. OUCH!
Worse than us was the soigneurs who had bottles to do. Rubs ended at about 9:30 or so and they ate something then straight to bottles which they finished by about 11:00 PM.
A long day and into the night. Man that was a tough (almost 16 hour) day!!!!!
On a historical note, our hotel was actually a retreat place inside of Berry college. Apparently Berry college is the biggest campus in the WORLD!! Totaling over 26,000 acres. Huge to say the least. The distance from the front gate to our “rooms” was almost 4 miles. It was originally a school next to a dairy farm. I believe it was mainly a boys school at the start I think. The boys at the school also worked on the farm milking cows, etc., to create “supplies” for the school. In the early 1900 Henry Ford donated a brick plant built on the campus. So they were able to build classrooms and what else on their own. On the down side there was NO TV or phones in the rooms. Too bad but no big deal as I was waxed from the long day. I would have watched about 27 seconds of TV before passing out in a coma of a sleep.