Vince Gee

What’s in a name-nickname?

I often without knowing give people nicknames. I’m here at worlds. The world road and time trial championships for those who are not sure what worlds are.
The mechanics here at the worlds for the US team are James (Mechanic for the Juniors) Duke (Women), George (U23s), Geoff (Elites/Pros) and myself (Elite/sPros). Normally the soigneurs are primary airport runners. Here at worlds it is not always done that way with groups coming and going. James has had the opportunity to do a few runs to the airport so far. Mainly because there are so few staff so far (more coming later). He has gone to Buffalo, NY three times I think. Well, today the U23s and Jr. men have local RR they are doing. Will Frischkorn’s bike was delayed and it would arrive in to Buffalo at 10:00 AM today and they are supposed to depart the hotel for the race at 10:00 AM. So, Jiri wanted a volunteer to go get the bike at the airport and bring it directly to the race. I jokingly volunteered James as I thought “He’s been there and knows the way” Since James was supposed to go the race as the Junior mechanic he was to simply go a bit earlier and drive to the Buffalo airport to get Will’s bike and bring it directly to the race so George (U23 mechanic) could put it together (for a noon race start). Tough but doable. So given the fact that James has gone to Buffalo more than all of us here combined, his new Nickname is “Buffalo.”
On my scenic drive across I-80 I had stopped in Kearney, Nebraska for dinner. While waiting for food, a friend called and asked if I was home. Unfortunately not, I told her. She was going to be in Sacramento for work and was hoping to get a ride in while in my hood. I was bummed that I was across the country and she had the possibility of visiting me. I told here to try the bike trail since she did not know the Sacramento area and I would not be there to show her a fun/good training ride. I told here it is about 24 miles long and it is one of the nicest in the nation that I’ve seen (so far). Right then, a voice across in another booth in the restaurant said “It’s 27 miles long.” I turned, and the guy said he used to live in Sacramento. I asked when he moved away. I’m moving right now he said. I asked him when he left Sacramento and he said Monday early. About the same time I had left Sacramento. We both left Sacramento Monday morning and both of us ended up in Kearney, Nebraska at 7:30 for dinner. Almost 1,400 miles from home and I run into someone who was recently from my town. What a coincidence.
The friend called was a rider for Saturn. Fast as hell. I always thought one day she would be world champion. I have two Nicknames for her. One of them is “The Criminal” and the other is “FWC.” Short for Future World Champ. I had hoped/thought she would be the world champion one day. I hardly get to talk to her so it was another wacky coincidence that “FWC” called on my way to the “Worlds.”
The reason I call here the criminal is also an odd story. While driving across country many years ago, I was listening to the news. The news person was talking about a criminal who was on the loose. I honestly cannot remember the actual crime they had accused this person of, but the name of the criminal stuck in my brain. The Criminals name was K. L. Bliss. My friend the who is also known as “FWC” goes by the real name of Karen Bliss-Livingston. K. L. Bliss? Karen Bliss-Livingston? Same person or not? It’s a joke that people have never seen Michael and Janet Jackson in the same place at the same time. We’ll we have recently seen that they are indeed two different people as they were on an award show a few years ago together at the same time. But I’m not sure about K. L. Bliss and Karen Bliss-Livingston. So, she will always be “the Criminal” to me.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.