Stars and Water carriers
I have been a professional mechanic since 1995. Most of those years I was with the US based Saturn cycling team. The rest of the time, I have worked part time for Cox/Atlanta Velo (women), Timex (women) and the Saeco/Cannondale guys (Italy). Currently I am with the US Postal Service team. Yeah, the team Lance is on and no I’m not his mechanic nor have I worked on his bike. Actually, I have not even seen him since our January camp in California.
I have worked on many bikes from some of the top US riders and even some from abroad. Some riders stand out a little more than others for various reasons.
On Saturn there was Steve Bauer and Frank McCormack who are two that stand out as great riders with a real professional attitude. Thanks guys! There are more than these two, but I can’t list all of the ones that I have admired. Even though I admire some of these athletes, it is just a job. I work on the bikes weather or not they are stars or water carriers. Besides the professional athletes I have worked for, there were a few Stars. Not cycling stars but public figures/stars. While on the Saturn cycling team, we had Michael Ward of the band The Wallflowers ridding for us. He is a great guitarist and a fairly good bike racer. He is a Category 3 rider (he did not race with our pro team) and does a few races when not playing gigs. Very nice guy. You would never know he was a big/popular band member if he was sipping coffee at a cafe. He is just a guy who plays in a band a likes to ride.
During the Rapport Toer in South Africa, I met Phil Ligget. He is most known for anouncing/play by play at some or the top cycling events on ESPN etc. He was there to announce and do play by play for the two stage races we were racing. He also was there to do a fun ride connected with the last stage race we were to do (The Argus tour). He asked me for a little help, so I obliged and took care of his bike for him.
Jim Kennedy is the top dog at Cox communications which is huge as he owns many properties/companies. He use to race just a little but he is really a CEO of big dollar companies. At the ride for the Roses a few years ago he was there to do the ride and attend the Lance foundation dinner for cancer. He needed a little help also so of course I took care of his bike since he was (basically) paying my salary.
Today at our service course in Belgium, Julien Devriese pulled up and dragged out a bike from his car. A very nice Eddy Merckx. What else are you gonna buy in Belgium? This particular bike was for the prime Minister of Belgium. Julien asked for me to look over it and take care of it with maximum TLC. It got just that.
Not to many non cyclist but a few have had my hands pass over their bikes to revive them.