What year is it?
An easy question for most………… except for probably me. We start our camp for US Postal here in Austin Texas. It is December 2nd of 2000 and I’m already two days into our 2001 season. How did that happen? It seems a bit crazy that our 2001 season can start now but it is. I did not even get to the beach for my slew of umbrella drinks (one after another until I say uncle). I still plan on going somewhere (a short vacation) before our first race.
For those who I have not told, I will be working for US Postal again for 2001 and have been given a more lengthy contract. Last year I was on a 6 month contract and for 2001 they have offered (and I accepted) a 10 month contract. I’m truly excited to be where I am now. I have thought about being (wanting to be) a team mechanic almost my entire life as a bike shop mechanic. I’ve wanted to be a team mechanic almost as bad as I wanted to be a pro racer. I knew almost instantly after starting to race, I could be a a better mechanic than a racer.
I feel a little spoiled though as I have not been through some of the hard life other mechanics have gone through. Dave P.-formerly Saturn, Ian S.-Currently head mechanic/Saturn, Dave A.-new to Saturn, Christophe E. AKA Binda-formerly Volvo Cannonade and before that Plymouth and I even think before that, was with the national team a bit (Is that correct Binda?). Those four and a slew of other mechanics have suffered through low pay and hard work loads with the national team as well as other small teams. There are few mechanics in the US (few jobs actually) and even fewer well paid mechanics in the US. I can almost count on my hands how many US mechanics there are. So, again I feel fortunate to be currently with a Division 1 team – Tour De France champions team. Prior to that with the Saturn team. I’ve always had a good team to work for. Even in 99 when I was a part timer with the Cox/Atlanta team (now Autotrader.com) I had a good gig.
Thanks Bobby and of course thanks girls.
So most of my (hearty) thanks goes to Tom Shuler for running the Saturn team, Fernando Tapia for guiding/teaching me (you too Andy Stone) and thanks to all the staff I had the opportunity to work with on in my 4 years with Saturn and 1 year (part time) with Cox/Atlanta. Thanks also to all the staff at US Postal.
Since we don’t have a US President, I guess as the (Mechanics) Union President, I’d better start getting things done to better the life of my brothers. I’m glad the voting was not as close for the Union Presidency. Sorry Kevin, I stuffed the ballots, I paid off people to win (at all cost). Our Union is not official and it’s current agenda is really to get together and make sure all Union members are well hydrated. Sal L. kind of loosely joked about a Union when he and I were on Saturn together. I think he, I and others wished for a true Union to be able to create a better job situations for all of our mechanic brothers.