My long time cycling friend Joe Holmes called me one day and asked me if I wanted to do a ride along in the Firefighters Cycling team car. Having regrettably declined Joe and his offer to me to be the team mechanic for the LeMond-Blender team at the US Pro Cycling Championship road race ten years or so earlier, I snapped back a quick affirmative.
You see, ten years earlier I had just started a new job after hanging up my cycling career. Fixing bikes, even at the US Pros wasn’t high on my to-do list. Several years later, I came to regret that decision after recalling that the one of Joe’s riders was Cadel Evans. Yes, THAT Cadel Evans, the winner of the 2011 Tour de France. Yeah, I could have been Cadel’s mechanic for a day. Oh well. I was busy that weekend after all.
Having raced in my teens and early twenties, I have been in several large road races before and have enjoyed the benefits of team cars. This, however, proved to be an all new experience for me with a completely different perspective. Riding in a team car gives one a vastly different experience than being a rider. It’s mayhem. Plain and simple or at least would seem. Rather the race officials, support vehicles including communication vehicles, police escorts, press, photographers, medical support, and team cars are all in constant communication orchestrating the race within the race.