Big brother hand me downs
This is my fifth season with US Postal (soon to be Discovery). Season 1 we had a VW van and 2 VW wagons. Season 2 we bought the old/small Saturn team truck in addition to our VW vans and wagons. That truck was a 15 foot fix body truck (the box was 15 feet long). We named that the Ice Cream truck. That lasted till now even though we basically out grew it at the end of 2002. I’ve been lobbying for a bigger truck since them. Well, I got my wish.
We sold our small truck to Rene Wenzel/Subway team a few months ago. So, it sort of stays in the (old Saturn) family. I’m glad someone knows it’s real value. It has lots of miles but should treat him well for a while.
Our new truck is again the old Saturn truck. It’s big to say the least. It is a 24 foot box and is also at least a foot taller so there should be plenty of room for us for a while.
When the Saturn team owned it, they had it exclusively as a mechanics truck. From front to back it was full of bikes, wheels, parts etc. They had to as they had both a men’s team and a women’s team at (almost) every event. They would sometimes show up with more than 16 or 18 athletes at times.
Dave flew to Milwaukee the second week of September to pick up the truck from the Team Sports offices and drove it to Lubbock, TX (his home). He will later total about 6 weeks of hard work to get his part of it ready for this Austin camp. For our team it has to be redecorated for our needs. The truck has a side door that was originally to enter the front portion of the truck and still able to go into the mechanics area (when on Saturn). But for us we needed to have two separate rooms.
So, Dave Bolch (our Soigneur extrordinaire) went into full Bob Villa mode. Dave’s dad built a bulkhead. A separating wall between the (soon to be) two areas. The rear of the truck is the mechanics area and the front will be the soigneurs area. That area is more commonly known as the “Kitchen” area. There Dave build Cabinets to store/seperate things like Bars/Gels, Breakfast supplies (cereal, honey, Peanut Butter, Table Cards, etc.), Wash towels and spare clothing. But the coolest thing(s) is/are the washer/dryer units and the Fridge. The fridge will be key so the soigneurs can make things (like sandwiches) and keep them cold till they need them instead of making them at the last minute. The washer and dryer are key because in a multiple day stage race it is hard to A) find units and B) Get there first before the other teams do. Having our own washer/dryer will make easier the lives of the soigneurs for sure.
The “kitchen” is beautiful. Dave did a fantastic job and most people would be proud to have that type of work in their own house.
Our truck is not officially “European” so to speak as ALL team trucks over there are like this. But actually bigger as European races require more. More bikes, more wheels, more bottles etc. So those trucks will easily be 4 to 6 feet longer than our US truck.
With a mattress in the cab area, I may just use it as my apartment. I’d only need a TV and I’d be set. I already have Satellite radio.
The old small truck we called the Ice Cream truck. I think I may call this new truck the Mobile home. Eat, Drink, Sleep, music? Again I’m only missing the TV and maybe a microwave or a stove.
Both the small truck (we used from 2001 to 2004) and the bigger truck (2005 to?) came from the now defunct Saturn team. It’s like getting hand-me-downs from big brother.