The Team Car

The Team Car

by / / 32 posts

With the Tour underway there are many things to envy. One that always gets me is the team cars. This, to me, is the ultimate luxury (coupled with the relentless suffering, but hey, these guys are paid for this). No need to stuff your jersey with eight kilos of food and spares. A new wheel is at the ready – a whole new bike, should it come to that. Bidons are chilled and waiting. Tools are full-sized and plentiful, not folded little compromises. And if the V-tank goes to empty, there is always the back seat of that four-wheeled decal darling.

As of today, my envy can be put to rest. Today, AAA (yes, the Automobile Association of America) will extend roadside assistance to members in the state of Washington. Now, I have a team car… and it has hydraulics. And 700 ft-lbs of torque. And a reasonable chance of some canned beer stashed behind the front seat. Now I just hope AAA comes up with a sharp looking kit.

// Racing

  1. One of the most relevant pieces ever, brilliant stuff Jim!

  2. What a great idea!

  3. I wonder if they’ll put Triptiks together for rides.

  4. The “team cars” here in Texas have tried to run me off the road and have thrown the carcasses of some of those canned beers at me on occasion.

  5. Some douche in the comments section commented that if you can’t change a tire, you shouldn’t be riding! Obviously, that douche has never had a real mechanical or has crashed yet…

    Great idea. Wish they would bring it to Alberta. My team/support car is provided by W.I.F.E. which is as reliable as AAA, but comes with heavy doses of sarcasm and criticism….

  6. @Dan_R

    Some douche in the comments section commented that if you can’t change a tire, you shouldn’t be riding! Obviously, that douche has never had a real mechanical or has crashed yet…

    Great idea. Wish they would bring it to Alberta. My team/support car is provided by W.I.F.E. which is as reliable as AAA, but comes with heavy doses of sarcasm and criticism….

    Always need more people riding. There are plenty of people willing to change a tire. “Here, take my tube, please!”

  7. Good stuff.  I wonder if the drivers are going to be trained in bike mechanics.

    Best team car ever:

  8. that is a genius idea on AAA’s part.  makes me have some more respect for them. if the service ever comes to colorado, i just might join AAA.

  9. A similar service has been available through CAA in BC and in Ontario since 2010. My wife actually brought it to my attention just the other day. Wonder if she was trying to tell me something…

  10. @Monkeyscat The inbreds you encountered must surely be related to the toothless and brainless rednecks here in Fort Worth…  very likely step brothers or first cousins. where in Texas are you dodging these fools?

  11. Fantastic. I recently heard on KUOW about AAA providing this in OR and ID. Was hoping WA would follow suit.

  12. Better World Club has been doing this for years and even has a bicycle only membership

    http://www.betterworldclub.com/competition/aaa_chart.cfm

  13. @Nate

    Good stuff.  I wonder if the drivers are going to be trained in bike mechanics.

    Best team car ever:

    absolute word!  i have wanted to find the ole volvo sitting in someones barn..unused, buy it and refurb with paint to match molteni colors/decals…but then again, maybe that would be a bit over the top now a-days.

    is that dedication or weird?? not sure myself, but since my girl is 17, its a sure way she would never drive the gas out of it 

  14. @Souleur

    @Nate

    Good stuff.  I wonder if the drivers are going to be trained in bike mechanics.

    Best team car ever:

    absolute word!  i have wanted to find the ole volvo sitting in someones barn..unused, buy it and refurb with paint to match molteni colors/decals…but then again, maybe that would be a bit over the top now a-days.

    is that dedication or weird?? not sure myself, but since my girl is 17, its a sure way she would never drive the gas out of it

    It may or may not be weird — I have the same fantasy.  In fact there is a similar vintage baby-shit beige one of these near my house and whenever I see it I think about doing it up as a Molteni team car.

  15. @Souleur

    Join us for Keepers Tour next year and you can touch and make detailed notes on its config for your build-up. The car is parked outside the Ronde van Vlaanderen Museum in Oudenaarde.

  16. @Jim (Snuffolupogus)

    Awesome. I actually have a AAA membership as part of ownership of one of our cars. Now the service has some value, provided I can figure out how to access the account.

  17. I could have used this when I melted a pair of carbon clinchers at high speed in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Instead I drank for 4 hours before I was rescued.

  18. @frank

    What a beautiful thing that picture is. Somehow it is very reassuring to know that someone else values the more peripheral bits of history.

  19. Now Pacific Northwest cyclists have no excuse but to do away with their European Posterior Man Satchels.  Support vehicle = no more extra shit.  I wish we had something like this in the PetroMetro.  Bloody good idea.

  20. @El Mateo

    Hey, El Mateo, whatcha doing in Ft. Worth?  I grew up there, which means I must know everyone in a city of half-a-million.

    Does the West still begin there, or did it get too fucking bored and move to Dallas?

  21. @El Mateo Houston now, but most of my encounters occured in Beaumont.

    ahhh Beaumont, home of the mouth breathing knuckle draggers. sorry, I’m getting a little misty remembering the family reunions. Uncle Daddy, momma, and my sister/wife we would all get togahter and throw our empties and my brother. then we would all just point and laugh at him while my cousin would play the mouth harp.  

  22. @Skinnyphat

    I could have used this when I melted a pair of carbon clinchers at high speed in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Instead I drank for 4 hours before I was rescued.

    that doesn’t sound that bad actually

  23. ^ I bet the tow truck guy will drop me off someplace where I can drink for 4 hours.  If I were still in PDX, I’d have to add a roll of small bills to the jersey pocket for the dancers…

  24. @Skinnyphat

    I could have used this when I melted a pair of carbon clinchers at high speed in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Instead I drank for 4 hours before I was rescued.

    What were you using the brakes for (I assume that’s how you melted them)? Surely you realize that brakes are strictly ornamental and only intended for use by “sissies”.

  25. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Now Pacific Northwest cyclists have no excuse but to do away with their European Posterior Man Satchels.  Support vehicle = no more extra shit.  I wish we had something like this in the PetroMetro.  Bloody good idea.

    Waiting for the time limit to expire on my new ToolKit Assembly. Carbon Lezyne minipump, Latex Tube, Lezyne V5 minitool, Lezyne tirelevers. Dispensed with CO2/Chuck as they were heavier than everything else combined. My phone outweighs the lot by a solid order of magnitude. Everything in the middle pocket and I still have room in there for an unabridged volume of Shakespeare’s Complete Works, signed by the author.

  26. @frank

    @Jeff in PetroMetro

    Now Pacific Northwest cyclists have no excuse but to do away with their European Posterior Man Satchels.  Support vehicle = no more extra shit.  I wish we had something like this in the PetroMetro.  Bloody good idea.

    Waiting for the time limit to expire on my new ToolKit Assembly. Carbon Lezyne minipump, Latex Tube, Lezyne V5 minitool, Lezyne tirelevers. Dispensed with CO2/Chuck as they were heavier than everything else combined. My phone outweighs the lot by a solid order of magnitude. Everything in the middle pocket and I still have room in there for an unabridged volume of Shakespeare’s Complete Works, signed by the author.

    It has to include the Apocrypha otherwise it breaks a Rule.

    Probably.

  27. @frank

    @Skinnyphat

    I could have used this when I melted a pair of carbon clinchers at high speed in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Instead I drank for 4 hours before I was rescued.

    What were you using the brakes for (I assume that’s how you melted them)? Surely you realize that brakes are strictly ornamental and only intended for use by “sissies”.

    there’s a mildly famous “hairpin turn” on the descent of route 2, and while I normally agree with your braking philosophy, you don’t want to hit the hairpin at 50mph, or else you’ll  be George Jetson off a cliff. It’s all good, got a brand new pair of rims out of the ordeal.

  28. @El Mateo

    I’m new to Velominati [and cycling] but I agree with you about the locals here… Quite like ‘Deliverance,” eh?

    Last night I took a late night to midnight ride around downtown Fort Worth and the Trinity and experienced everything you speak of.

  29. Frank – you’ve ditched the CO2, eh? Very interesting. I’d never used mine until a few weeks back. My Lezyne pump was giving me problems – a weird suction formed and could only get about 1/3 a chamber of air into the tube. Used my C02 and was back on the road in no time.

    Hmm, have to ask the VMH but I’m pretty positive she has AAA. I better make sure I’m listed on it – don’t own a car, but would LOVE to have my very own team car!

  30. Ha, just realized that the team car pictured is from Western & CNY! Oh how I miss thee.

  31. @frank welcome to the minipump side. Those Lezyne pumps are beautiful. A new floor pump is on my need list. What model did they send you guys at the Keepers Tour?

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