A Day in the Life of Mechanic Drew Jimenez
About Drew: As the Jelly Belly Cycling’s full-time mechanic, Drew Jimenez is a vital member of the squad. He meticulously tunes and checks each rider’s bike before and after every race. During races, his mechanical expertise shines when a bike problem arises and needs to be solved in the shortest time possible.
As the Jelly Belly Cycling’s full-time mechanic, Drew Jimenez is a vital member of the squad. He meticulously tunes and checks each rider’s bike before and after every race. During races, his mechanical expertise shines when a bike problem arises and needs to be solved in the shortest time possible.
What time do you usually wake up on a race morning?
The anticipation of the next day’s events tends to keep me from getting a solid night of sleep. So I'd say I usually to get up around 5am
What’s for breakfast?
I don't eat breakfast; it takes too much time in the morning. I’ve got stuff to do. If anything I'll have a cup of coffee and a Gatorade chocolate protein shake.
What needs to happen before the race starts?
An average race day morning starts with me staging all the riders’ bikes for the day just to confirm that there are no issues. Next I'll sort out the race wheels - checking psi (tire pressure), double checking the cassette sizing (it can vary from stage to stage, and also rider preference). Then I put wheels on the race bikes, check brake alignment and run through the gears to ensure crisp shifting. That is rarely a problem when you’re running campy (Campagnolo). After that I wipe down the frames and make sure rider number plates are in order. Then from there I load up the team car with spare wheels, spare bikes and my Park tools for the day.
When you ride in the team car, what are you doing?
While riding in the Jelly Belly team car my job is to listen to the officials on the race radio when they call out rider bib numbers so that we can determine if the riders in the breakaways are threats or not. I relay messages from the riders to the team’s soigneur in the feed zone. For example, if the riders want something specific like Cokes, she will need to pass them to us so I can feed riders from the car later in the race. Generally I just hang out and wait for something bad to happen to the riders (mechanically, not physically). And between all the craziness Danny Van Haute and I like to discuss world peace and Reaganomics.
What’s for lunch?
A Gatorade bar, a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans and a Monster energy drink. (what’s on your training table)
What happens after the race ends?
After a race I'll load up the team vehicles (with wheels/bikes) and drive back to the hotel to check with the riders on any issues they might be having with their bikes. I’ll service those issues, then next clean the bikes with a little soap, a little water and a lot of love. After that I wipe them down re-lube all pivots, then place them in the trailer for the night.
When do you typically call it a night?
When I'm done and not a second sooner, generally at dusk. You’re just shooting yourself in the foot by working on your bikes in the dark (little parts get lost in the dark).