The Good-Bad news is that they will not have an extended stay as a team. I say good (for the Postal Team) and Bad because the scene of the past few years reminded me of that scene from Forrest Gump (Shut up Steven) where a zillion people are following Tom Hanks down the road as he runs. For some reason, every Tom, Dick, and “I can pedal a bike too” Hairless seemed to think the team’s training rides are a come one come all affair. Think again Kimosabee… Even one of the PEZ Staff got turned down when we requested to join the team on a ride while attending the Team’s official presentation today in California.
Like those Forrest Gump people, the folks following the Postal team on training rides have no idea how far they are going or even where they’ll wind up, and are just star struck into turning the pedals until they realize that the only air they have is in their water bottles and the only fluid they have is now in their lungs.
I feel a little better for the Postal guys not staying here too long because lots of everyday riders seemed to weasel their way near the group in Arizona on training rides and they really have no place there. While the Team members and staff were trying be gentlemen about it, and the organization as a whole are very Professional, it went over about as well as a bunch of fans of the TV show ER showing up for someone’s real life brain surgery. One of these would-be surgeons actually knocked Big Goerge off the bike!
What was kinda funny was that, by the middle of these rides and despite the fact that half the crowd had on Postal Uniforms (which didn’t help em do anything but confuse the team even more…), even the strongest amateurs discovered that they had no clue what they were getting into. These are professionals at work, and the goobers that tacked on (regardless of how good at Cat 2 they were…) were totally unprepared and found themselves scattered about the roads, unable to keep up, lost and out of water.
And before long the group was, uh…. Smaller. And the only non Postie was a Bicycle Ranch guy that was supposed to be there.
I guess I am trying (and failing) to find a nice way of saying unless you got an invite in the form of a Pro Contract with US Postal Presented By Berry Floor, do everyone a favor, save yourself the embarrassment, and leave the riding to the folks that should be there… I just couldn’t imagine reading that Lance doesn’t get to go for number 6 or George was out of the classics because Joe Shmo wanted to prove to himself that he had the stuff to ride up close. Like Eric the Photographer on Alpe d’Huez (that knocked Guerini down as he was leading at the end of a mountain stage) and the Kid with the Muesette that “bagged” Lance last year, there is the wrong kind of famous… and you don’t want to be it.
If you want to get close to The MIB (Men In Blue)
The folks at Bicycle Ranch are having an autograph signing and general Q and A thing attended by George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Viatcheslav Ekimov and Victor Hugo Pena on the same day as some Football game (the Super something…). That is the official list, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few other riders you might know stroll through. The guys at Bicycle Ranch do some things on the down low for the pro’s on a regular basis, so, like Forrest says “You never know what you’re gonna git”…
There will be a 50” Plasma set up for the Superbowl, and there will be a pretty nice spread of prizes if I know they guys at Bicycle Ranch…
And who knows, maybe the Postal Berry Floor team (I had to call em that!) will ride a little while they are here and will be able to do so without the swarm!
Give the guys at Bicycle Ranch a call. They will not only offer up the pros, but will have the whole Trek Fleet available for test rides and such at 10 am on the same day, and the fitting and training services they offer are some of the best available in the country (or any country), so try em out.
That’s February First at this place: 15454 N Frank Lloyd Wright, Scottsdale
www.bicycleranch.com or call 480-614-8300.