Monday, February 23, 2009

Tour of California Stage 8

Post helmet wearing "Tri-hawk" and chest hair in effect. Sorry about that.

90 gazillion dollars of carbon wheels, anyone? Wonder if anyone secretly uses Williams wheels instead, at least for training rides.

Brr, brr, brr. Looking south from the top. Interesting contrast: burnt trees from the recent fires, tons of snow from the 'massive' socal storms of late.

mmmmmm... hot dogs.

The stage was great. Freezing at the top of Mt Palomar. We rode up the "reverse" way, caught a glimpse of the climb at the top, went down the hill the pro's had just gone up, then saw them passing along at the bottom after they descended and wrapped around the mountain. Lots of fans with fancy or old or fancy AND old bikes. Spotted a Calfee bamboo bike amongst the crowd and a really old Mantis mtb and old Fat Chance mtb.

Lance wasn't too far behind Levi. This was right near the top.

Some thoughts:
  • A friend of a friend was in town from Victoria, Canada and noticed my OA shorts and knew a fair amt about the OA Victoria guys like Dave S, etc. The gospel is a spreadin'.
  • The top climbers seemed very, very small in person. Can't really "see" that on TV. While everyone was downing hot dogs, the 130 lb climbers came JAMMING by.
  • Supposedly there was a suicide that they found early in the morning part way up the hill that had been there for a few days. Yikes.
  • Starting about 20 mins before the riders arrived at our spot there must have been at least 50 motorcyles/cars jamming up the hill kicking up dust. Why? Do the riders hate all that smoke and exhaust or what?? Has anyone thought of minimizing the ridiculously huge motorcade? Or at least using a Prius? Bikes are 'green', but bike racing... hmmm. Speaking of sustainability, what is going to happen to all this carbon fiber in 50 years? or 10?
  • Cool to have Floyd Landis sitting behind us at dinner afterwards. Heard Bob Roll was a few tables away. Crazy that at this totally mainstream place they actually had two vegan options.
  • What's up with Herbalife (one of the race sponsors)? This nutritional label is pretty intense, check out that huge list of ingredients.
  • Thank you "random mountain bike guy with slicks" who tried to race me back to the parking area at the end. I really love it when some random guy follows way too closely and won't leave you alone. My revenge - let them pass, then sit right on their butt for a while and breathe down their neck up some climbs so they get a dose of their own medicine.
Hope it returns next year. Hope they figure out how to have a mountain top finish!

The fast guys up front:
video

1 comment:

  1. Nice Photos and report. I feel bad for having missed it.

    ReplyDelete