We don’t want to drive to the start in Aspen because last year parking in Aspen was non-existent, the whole having and managing a vehicle in that town during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge experience was protracted, caustic and problematic. Most, if not all, of the teams are staying in the Snowmass Village complex (we are too), various shuttles are running between Snowmass and Aspen and a Public Bus rumor is going around, but we decide to hitchhike thumbs-out-style on the main road just behind the complex. The Garmin-Sharp Team Bus Driver does give us a thumbs-up—we are clearly doing the thumbs-out-we-are-hitchhiking gesture and not the thumbs-up-hey-we-like-you gesture—and but doesn’t slow and/or stop for us. A series of Judge, Medical, and Event Staff vans pass us but do not stop. Troy Lyon, the soigneur for , offered to give us a ride in a team support vehicle he was driving, but later than we wanted. An Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Team car stopped for a moment to laugh at us and tell us that if we were hot girls they would give us a ride, but since we weren’t, they had too much shit in the back seat—sorry. Eventually a white mini-van with United Health Care magnets on the side stopped for us and offered us a ride. That’s when we met Wes Mallette (driving), UHC’s PR/Media/Social/Communications Officer and Joe Coddington (aka J.COD), UHC’s Manager of Everything That Isn’t A Race Officer. We promptly told them nobody wanted to stop for us because we’re just Manual for Speed, and Wes said yeah, well, whatever, what about Manual For Professional Kindness and Courtesy, and Mutual Respect, Respect for the Sport?
And we all said yeah really loudly together and laughed, then we had a super enjoyable drive to Aspen during which drive we told them about the Race Security Officer we met yesterday in the Media Room who told us that before this he worked for Homeland Security during which tenure his primary focus was security and threat analysis at the Aspen Airport. We also talked about caravan catastrophes and some longstanding beef between a certain Team Bus Driver and another certain Team Bus Driver. At the start where we parked Wes told us that we could get a ride back with them after the finish and that barring a we would likely be leaving more or less right away.