Sticker shock

It is Tuesday, the night before my first event for the year. The Sea Otter classic. Normally the Redlands Stage race is our first event of the year but not this season. With Redlands and Sea Otter moving to April it became logistically impossible for our team to participate in the Redlands Stage race.
I sit here in my hotel room after preparing the bikes for tomorrow’s stage. My second mechanic for this race, Eric Brandt, will not arrive till later this evening. It is actually nice to be at a race because it is, to a certain degree, a known quantity of work.
During the last week of March I glued all the tires in order to hit the road with complete wheels. All told, I glued more than 65 tires that week. I’ll probably have to glue tires from time to time but I will not have to do anywhere near that amount the rest of the season. Maybe one or two or so from time to time.
Our new team Subaru’s were to arrive between March 31 and April 2. Guess when they arrived? You guessed it. April 2nd. I had arranged for a good buddy of mine who owns a decal cutting, installation business to sticker our 4 new Subaru’s. On Thursday I started to get cars from the local dealer where we had them delivered. Straight away, I started on racking the team cars. Normally for an average consumer, racking a car is an easy task. But, for me it was an all day affair both Thursday and Friday to rack all 4 cars. On most peoples cars they may carry 2 or 3 or at most 4 bikes. A simple installation. I had to map out a plan for two of our cars to hold 7 bikes each. If you know a Subaru you know it has a relatively small roof and where would I find room to hold 7 bikes. My plan will probably void any Yakima warranty but I have two cars with 7 bikes facing perpendicular to the normal direction. And I had to get them as close to each other as possible to get them to fit on Yakima’s longest bars. That being done, the next step was getting them to Marty at to decal them for me.
Prior to their delivery Marty and I with one of my bosses direction mapped out the layout. Marty had this cool CD ROM with templates for a ton of different cars. So we had a great canvas to map out the look and see it even before we started. The only glitch was it was not updated. We used the template for a 2002 Subaru but the 2003 car was slightly different. Marty had estimated to do one car per day. One Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Two of the cars had to be picked up Monday morning to get shipped to Georgia for the inaugural Tour of Georgia. The other two were going to Sea otter on Tuesday morning.
Unable to start decaling cars till Saturday meant four cars to be done three days. I went over to Marty’s place to help out a little. His assistants Michael and Tim were already going full gas decaling cars. I did a few tasks to help them go faster. Nothing too technical for me just simple tasks so they would not have to. I was a little late Sunday but eventually was there for about 14 hours. Monday was about the same amount of work. Marty, Michael and Tim at did a great job on our cars. I was really happy to see them done and a look so cool. But, now that is over, I think I’ll always have sticker(ing cars) shock.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.