Vince Gee

Can I just leave my truck here please?

Here I am in Philly. I flew in from California last Thursday and picked up the team truck from our generous friend Pete at Haley productions who was gracious enough to let us park our team vehicles between the Housitonic race and Philly races.
Friday AM I drove to the Wyndham hotel where we will be the entire time for the First Union Series. Parking anything at a hotel (outside and not at the underground parking) in downtown Philly is schetchy at best. Parking is always a premium. But I thought two things. One was that this is Philly and the Pro Championships so they should cut me some slack on parking. Second is we are US Postal and I’m gonna use my power as a big team (OK maybe abuse my power as a big team) to get parking. Threshold Sports was supposed to have parking AT the hotel arranged but the Thursday before, that fell plan through. Thresholds plan B was a parking lot 5 blocks away. My riders are not going to walk 5 blocks every day (twice a day) to go for a ride and I sure as hell will not bring bikes back and forth. So that was not an option to park.
So, I drove around and just parked it near the back of the hotel and started to work.
OK, this one is my fault because I was told to move as I was blocking some fire hydrants. I really did not see them as they were the type that were actually in the wall of the hotel as opposed to the ones on the side walk. Again this one was my fault!
Parking spot # 2. Drove to the front and asked the manager if I could park on the front side walk (but not directly in front). Yes, he said. An hour later someone else from the hotel told me to move the truck. Security reasons.
Parking spot # 3 I drove across the street to a pay parking. I parked normal as ever (unfortunately) and took up three parking spots. Parking lot guy # 1 tells me if I take up three spots he will charge me for three spots and if I moved to another (specific) spot it will be cool. He seemed important but I told him I did not want to move again and asked repeatedly if I was really OK here. It wasn’t. The next day parking guy # 2 tells me I’m in a fire lane. I did not press him as to why other regular cars were OK in the fire lane and not my truck. He gives me 48 hours to move to another spot (in the same lot).
Parking spot # 4 A few guys from a Rehab clinic across the street come to visit, ask questions and just look around at
our operation. One of the guys asks BJ if we needed any help. Anything at all they say. BJ responds that we need parking. So, he says we can park at the side of his Rehab clinic on the side walk. Not wanting to move the truck after that (If I indeed parked there) I ask if it is OK because the City (Police) have control of the side walk and could tow or ticket us if they wanted. His response was that there was a car he wanted towed (from in front of his building) 50 feet down the street and the Police had yet to do it. So he though I’d be safe. Nervous (but pissed at the parking lot guys) I reluctantly moved the truck for the 4th time in 4 days.
Moving a car is easy. you just do it. Moving my truck is a big production. I need to roll up my water hose and power cord. My cab is full of bike bags and boxes of water bottles and other soigneur stuff so I had to empty that JUST to drive it. It usually took a good 30 to 40 minutes just to move the truck and re hook up power and water. Can I just leave my truck here in one spot please? That was what I was thinking. Thanks to Ron Siggs and John Fox at Magee Rehab for the great parking spot!!!


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.