Today was the Austin/BMC evening criterium which is part of the Lance Armstrong Ride for the Roses weekend. Although this race required little work on the bikes, I seemed to be busy all day. One of the main things I had to deal with was a bike that Ian from Nike had a problem with. After getting a stem shipped in, I got it taken care of. Ian is very high up in the Nike chain so it was good to get him taken care of and happy. I spent more time on his bike than our bikes. Mainly because it was JUST a criterium.
I really didn’t do more than put wheels on the bikes and pump tires. I did not even wash bikes today. The biggest factor for not wanting to wash the bikes was the only water source was on the complete opposite side of the Marriott. Yeah the Marriott. Big hotel! Nice Hotel! But the down side to big hotels like this is it makes work so much a challenge. Just to get water and get my bikes safely to the other side of the hotel without theft was a problem. I thought safe bikes (not stolen) was a bigger deal than pristinely clean bikes. The other reason for not washing today was they were just plain not that bad.
After the race it was back to the hotel to change and go out with BJ (soigneur – Redlands) and Eric (FNG mechanic – Redlands and Sea Otter). The three of with their women in tow proceeded to go out and hydrate a little (OK a lot) down by the Criterium course which is closed down each Thursday, Friday and Saturday for party revelers. We had a lot of fun there. I really like Austin and this area of Austin especially. If you are ever in Austin and want to party, 6th Street is the place. You can’t even drive down the street because it is closed to auto traffic.
Over the course of the years as Union President it is enjoyable to find places we mechanics can hang out. Some places are getting to be old stomping grounds now. In Redlands one of my favorite places is the Spunky Steer. A steak house with it’s own personal atmosphere. Andy Stone took me there once and he, I and a few others go to eat and have a little fun ever since. I’ve kind of adopted it as an official/unofficial Union hall for some of us mechanics. Spunky Steer – Union hall # 1. At the Tour of the Gila (Silver City, NM) a great place is Buckhorns just out side of Silver City. Buckhorns has great steaks. You see a trend yet? Cant get real alcohol (wine margaritas – UGH!) in Silver City so if you want to drink a little (just a little) best bet is to go to Pinos Altos. It’s 10 or 15 minutes from Silver City. Buckhorns – Union Hall # 2
So here in Austin there is 6th street. I tried to get the mechanics together for a little Union meeting. Unsuccessfully though. I’m sure some of the other mechanics were there. So there was sort of a Union meeting just not sure exactly where. So I’ll just say we had a meeting on 6th street or Union Street as I’ll call it now.