Tour of CA — Stage 4
Monterey to San Louis Obispo
We are in beautiful San Louis Obispo today. Close enough to the finish
that the riders can ride back to the hotel. I think that’s cool. I’m not
“at” the race so it does not really have an affect on me. Julien and
Chris go in the follow cars and thus to the start and finish of each
stage. So if the riders ride from the hotel to the start or from the
finish to the hotel, it means the race mechanics don’t have to load the
bikes on the cars. Sometimes we drive to the start of from the finish
when it is only 10 or 15 K. Not far by bike racer standards. Especially
since they are racing upwards of 150 plus Ks per day. Sometimes 200 K on
certain stages. But then for that short drive it means loading bikes for
a 10 minute drive.
The real plus for me is that riders generally get back to the hotel
quicker than if they would load up and drive to the hotel. So, for me, I
get bikes in my hands faster and then I am washing bikes sooner.
Sometimes I have had two or three bikes washed before the rest of the
staff (inc. the other mechanics) have arrived at the hotel. I’ll wash
the first bike of the guys that get here quickest and actually have a
clean bike sitting on the other work stand waiting for the other
mechanics to start working on them.
When the “race” mechanics get to the hotel, their first task is to
immediately put all the spare bikes and spare wheels away in the truck.
Once all that is away then they start working on bikes. If I am flying
in the bike wash mode, I have occasionally washed ALL 8 bikes before the
“race” mechanics get back to the hotel and put all the spare stuff away.
Rare, but it happens.
Before the race finished, I got the truck set up as usual on a daily
basis. “Power and water please?” is often what you will hear me say/ask
for or just plain look for. Checking into the hotel I told the one hotel
staff where I wanted to park and he told me where power and water was.
Nice guy. He knew I was gonna ask that question. Power was from inside a
building. Perfect. Water was from the nearby restaurant. So I hooked up
my garden hoses from the restaurant outlet and turned on the water to
the truck so we could do some daily (staff) wash while the race was
still finishing. All was good except two things.
A) The water hook up was feeding HOT water
B) My garden hose was old
Sure you can get the picture of what happened soon after. I put laundry
in and went to lunch. I came back and the laundry machine was not
running. No water into the machine stops it. I checked and my hose was
removed from the outlet. A few moments later a restaurant guy comes out
sort of upset. Apparently my hose blew like a whale surfacing after
forever. So he shut it off and unhooked my hose. Mainly because with my
blown hose HOT water was running all over the parking lot. HOT water
that should be going into the dish washers in the kitchen. No hot water?
No clean dishes!! Ooops. Sorry dude!! Mental note to self. Use a GOOD
garden hose if you got hot water running through it.