2010 Tour of California!!!
Tour of California, Tour of California, Tour of California. This is the second year in a row that I've followed, well, tried to follow the Tour of California. Last year work got in the way of me seeing the entire thing and this year it was a combination of work and a nasty spider bite that ruined it for me again, but I got to see the first four stages. Better some than none, I guess. Anyway, I'm a firm believer that a good breakfast is the way to get anything started and if the Tour was gonna be as good as the eggs benedict that Emily's mom made that morning I was in for a good time.
Emily's mom lives in Stockton, which isn't far from where the race would come through on it's way to Sacramento, so I found what looked like a good spot to catch the race from on the map and Emily and I hopped in the car and set out only to get stuck at this train crossing about 15 minutes in. Shades of the 2006 Paris-Roubaix.
After the train passed we made it to Highway 99, headed north and caught these guys coming down into Lodi. This would've been a pretty good spot to see the race from.
Got to the intersection of Grant Line Rd. and Highway 16 and posted up. Boxes in the trunk= super fun moving time.
My mom lives about an hour from here and just recently started riding again after about a 20 year break and has been doing portions of 16 in preparation for a ride across Wisconsin that she's doing this summer with her sister and brother in law. She was pumped that the race was coming near her and headed down to check it out and see Emily and I. She's pretty bad ass.
Is it weird that I'm kinda bummed that her calf muscles are way bigger than mine?
Speaking of calfs, calves or whatever the fuck you want to call them.
America loves cycling! Can you feel the excitement?
Emily loves Ivan Basso and Liquigas. She said he was gonna win the Giro this year and he did. I wasn't totally convinced he could, then the two of them proved me wrong. Love makes amazing things happen.
Practicing her kissy face for when she meets him.
I wonder where I get it from.
Crowd control. Anyone need a place?
This is such a bad idea. Don't bring your f-ing dogs to a bike race!
I don't think I need to say anything about this one.
After a while more and more people started to show up, so I decided to head a little ways down the road so I could get some pictures of the race without a bunch of people in them.
Lumpy, long straightaway.
Didn't mind this guy standing in front of me though. I mean, come on, Superman tattoo on your calf? This guy can stand wherever the hell he wants as far as I'm concerned.
What I'm going to call the info car, meaning the car that comes by about 15 minutes before the race blasting really shitty music yelling over a loud speaker letting you know whats going on, came by and let everyone know there was a break of four on it's way with a little less than three minutes on the peloton. They weren't lying. Photographic proof right here.
Rabobank, BMC, Bissel and United Healthcare doing their thing. Teamwork!
The plan was to catch the break down the road and run back to Emily who was posted up at the corner and watch the peloton go by. However, the info car was wrong about the whole 3 minute thing and I had barely made it 20 feet up the road before they arrived using every inch of the pavement.
Jelly Belly driving the bunch?
Levi heading towards third place overall.
Lance, far left, heading towards a busted face and a can of worms.
Mom, catching the fever!
Here and gone. Thank god for helicopters and TV coverage.
It's amazing how fast people book it after the race comes through. Places to go, I guess.
I'm selling my car and getting a motorcycle.
I do, however, need my car for the moment, and I too had places to go. I had to be at work in an hour and a half with a two hour drive ahead of me and I was absolutely starving. In 'n Out, if you don't know you better ask some buddy. Double double combo animal style missing the grilled cheese I inhaled as soon as it made it's way through my window.
Luckily, traffic wasn't bad at all and I made pretty good time. Hello, San Francisco. Yes, I sometimes take pictures while I drive. Get off my back, you don't know me!
Hello, work. That was a long night.