Vince Gee

Spectator says I suck

We arrived at the race in the van as the riders did the short ride to the race by bike. As we pull up in the van it seems like the Beatles have arrived for their first concert in America (years ago). There is a huge crowd screaming and yelling in the area we are to park. Mobs of people. People wanting to see Lance mostly. Incredible the crowd there to see him and get a glimpse or better yet, get an autograph. Police were there and they used caution tape to hold them back. NOT!
Lance was not even staying at our hotel. He actually flew in this morning on the Concord because he did a race in Europe yesterday. As Lance pulled up (no where near our van) you could hear the crowd blocks away and could tell where he was based upon the wave of cheering following him around. Ass soon as Lance made his way to the van all hell broke loose and that flimsy caution tape gave way to the crowds moving in on Lance. He smiled and signed a few before heading off to warm up. Even while I was still standing at the van. I could hear the crowd cheer as the noise followed him around the course as he warmed up. It was almost deafening as he passed by each time.
For me the race was pretty low key. I had (a rider had) one flat so that was no big deal for me. As Kenny came in with his flat tire, he shouted with a little urgency Front Flat! Front Flat! As he pulled up to me I reminded him he had a free lap and to relax. No big deal Kenny, I said. I did not say this to him but, as I thought to myself, I have two minutes to do this as that is about the time it took per 1.2 mile lap. A rare time I did not have my wheels gapped. For those who do not know what gapped wheels are, it is when I adjust the Skewers to fit the frame. So when I change it, the service is fast (relatively). So, I calmly adjusted the Skewer (A LOT!) and chatted with Kenny at the same time. This process took me about 20 to 30 seconds easy. But I did not care. It was a free lap for God sake. After I pushed him back in to the race I walked back to the pit area. A friend of mine who I was talking with periodically during the race over heard some guys talking. These two guys were talking about me. Basically they said that I sucked. A US Postal mechanic who changes a wheel that slow sucks they said. I’ve definitely had a few slow wheel changes in my life. But if they saw me in action jumping out of the car when it mattered (to change a wheel fast) they would take that back. But, I did not care as I knew I did not need to impress anyone. I had time to spare. It is just humorous to hear people talk about how I suck as a mechanic.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.