Can anyone tell me? Is there a ‘cloud 10′?
Three working days into my new job at MAVIC, and the boss swings by my desk with a seemingly innocuous question, “Do you have your passport?”
“It just expired,” I tell him, “I need to renew it, but I do have it with me.” All the while, I’m thinking I’ll need it for a World Cup race in Canada or for something clerical at the office.
“Well, make renewing it a priority. You’re going to the Tour in July.” He stated this in such a matter-of-fact manner that it didn’t even occur to me, the weight carried by those words. Then it did. The Tour, as in the Tour… or more to the point, le Tour… de France!
It amazes me when I stop to think about it. I got my first job as a kid in a bike shop in 1989. Back then, I had no interest in “racing bikes”, but I loved BMX and thought working for a bike shop would be fun. Well, I was right. It was fun - a lot of work, but fun - and I learned a lot, but for over a decade I never fostered any real interest for road cycling, though I fell head over heels for those wild new mountain bikes. Fast forward to about four years ago when my friend Merlyn finally goaded me into taking a clinic and getting my race mechanic’s license. Four days after the clinic, I tagged along with Campagnolo Racing Service (now SRAM Neutral Race Support) at the Wachusett Mountain Road Race in Princeton, MA. I’ll spare you all the details, but I’ve spent nearly every weekend and vacation day since, traveling in one of Butch’s cars to races across North America. It’s become an addiction that I won’t try to kick any time soon. Now, as a full-time employee of MAVIC, in their neutral support program known as MAVIC SSC (Special Service Course), I have the opportunity to put all those skills I learned from Butch, Merlyn, José, and Jasper to the ultimate test. It’s an opportunity I never really saw coming, but I’m not about to squander it!
Driving to Allston these last several weeks has actually been a breeze with all of the students out of town. Well, on Tuesday, I got my rude awakening and found myself sitting in this clusterfuck from before Neponset all the way to the South End, averaging about 3 miles per hour.
Easier days may yet be within reach, though. Today, I’m checking out an apartment in Medford that could give me that elusive reverse-commute - the one that everyone dreams of - to my new job in Haverhill. The price is right, I’ve got a solid roommate lined up, all that’s left is to cross my fingers that the place isn’t a dump. Wish me luck!