Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tour of California Stage 3

While The Boyfriend was stationed at the top of Sierra Road enjoying his view and the excitement of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California Stage 3, Lorraine and I were getting ours, up close and personal, in our cozy cubicles. Need I say more.... Thank you Adobe (my former employer) TourTracker for providing us with nonstop video and audio feed of the tour and of course the camera persons. The two guys covering the tour are fabulous as well. Lorraine and I remained and will remain glued to our computers except for restroom breaks and library related crises.
From the start of today's stage out of Modesto, it was nonstop action and breaktaking scenery. The aerial shots of Mt. Hamilton and Sierra Road were spectacular. Lorraine, a noncyclist, got it that the climbs were difficult. These guys make it look effortless as they glide gracefully like ballerinas in a beautifully orchestrated movement of precision and inner strength. It is a joy to watch.
Once the cyclists began their descent from Sierra Road, we walked over to the finish area near City Hall in downtown San Jose. We positioned ourselves at 2nd Street so we could watch them come along the corner and stream down to the finish. First the two leads came and then several batches and next, individuals alone and then, a lovely small peleton in a sweet formation and lastly, the few remaining souls. The crowd cheered for each and every rider and we hope they know that. Unlike last year when they came flying through in a blur, this year, they seemed a bit slower (caution, we're still talking soaring speeds) and we were able to distinguish who was who; clearly the addition of Mt. Hamilton had an effect on this year's route.
We salute the cyclists in today's arduous journey and look forward to the remaining stages. We hope the pros know that they have brightened our day and we're glad they're here in California.
Tomorrow is another day and we'll be right there with you.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tour of California Prologue

I spent the day in downtown Palo Alto at the start for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California Prologue. A good sized crowd cheered the cyclists as they shot off, both the amateurs at the beginning and the pros doing the time trial that went along Hamilton to University to Palm into the Stanford campus.

Above is Tyler Hamilton.

For Low Key Hill Climbers and radio fans, in the above photo, here's Irish Greg from KFOG shooting off. Go Greg! He also participated in the Webcor San Jose King of the Mountain event the day before and finished first in his category. We're proud of you.

Next up, it's The Boyfriend. He volunteered as a marshall and got a plum assignment at the start allowing close ups of the cyclists. I was close enough to touch them. They were like rock stars and actually, that's pretty darn cool. While on the beat, The Boyfriend was able to: a) prevent me from flirting with the pros and the crowd; or b) to protect the pros or the crowd from me. Take your pick. :)

A photo of me taken by me. I really enjoyed watching the cyclists tear down the road at incredible speeds along with their motorcylists and cars in hot pursuit. I also enjoyed the man who struck up a conversation with me. He was quite handsome; tall, blonde, attractive wrinkles, taking photos with a huge lens. He reminded me of the actor Ed Begley Jr.

A photo of George Hincapie spinning. I'd like to look like this when I'm on the trainer. Sigh. I like his clothes line and have a few hanging in my closet.

Levi Leipheimer preparing to go go go. He was so cute in blue.
Next up, I'll be at the finish line with Lorraine at City Hall in downtown San Jose later in the week as the cyclists do Sierra Road and Mt. Hamilton. Oh my Gosh.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mega-Monster Enduro Ride

Me all bundled up, you know, a blob on a bike, a dot in the road, during the Mega-Monster Enduro. More photos available thanks to Bill B. See previous blog entry "Monster Bash" describing the ride. Results not posted yet not that I really want to know.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Monster Bash

Early Saturday morning, as in it was still dark and I should have been in bed, I found myself being driven by The Boyfriend to Paicines for the 2008 Mega Monster Enduro Ride, a spin off of the Low Key Hillclimbs.
I dressed as though on an expedition in Siberia while the other beauty contestants wore bikinis and swim trunks (oh alrighty, slight exaggeration). At the start, as I prepared to shoot off, Dan the Man, said to me, "No drafting." That's code for no flirting. No! There goes the day I thought. I could have stayed home, slept in, and gone to see The Hottie and the Naughty starring Paris Hilton.
The ride was an out and back on CA25, a road of rolling hills with little traffic, a few ranches, some wineries and the Pinnacles looming in the distance. I chose the 100K having not been on the Bed (aka Bianchi Eros Donna) since 6 weeks ago and having not done 65 miles since August. I am a poster child for "Just do it" though I had to revise my strategy of Start Flirt Finish. The Boyfriend opted for the 100 mile and he soon shot past me. Okay, many cyclists shot past me.
Ah, the scenery. Cows soaking up the warm air and sunshine. A fake monkey atop someone's mail box. A soothing ride. And of course the riders. Apparently, yellow is the new black for male cyclists. Quite a few of them, including The Boyfriend, in yellow jerseys. I met some nice women on the ride.
I managed to finish thanks to Fatboy Slim's Rockafeller Skank and the Ink Spots' Street of Dreams playing on my iPod to motivate me for those last few miles along with Greg who did the 100 mile and started much later than me and who passed me at the end, making me pick up some speed to finish. Embarrassing, eh. I suspect a lot of cyclists felt some burn towards the end. Results have not been posted. I'm hoping that I did not finish last but given my track record....
A big thank you to Kevin, Pat and others involved in making this event happen. While it might have been a low key kind of thing, it certainly was hi tech to have an antenna at the rest stop so that the guys could stay in contact. You all are just too cool. See you during the coming biking season.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Got Culture?

I decided to get me some culture today and I'm not talking about the kind grown in a Petri dish or the kind found in a container of yoghurt. I met up with The Boyfriend on a wet rainy afternoon at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center located on the Stanford University campus. I borrowed the photos from Wikipedia Commons.
We went to see the Private and Public: Class, Personality, Politics, and Landscape in British Photography exhibit. Stark black and white photos yet beautiful and elegant. The museum is free. I come from Virginia where I expect museums to be free -- hello Smithsonian. During my university years, obtaining a degree in cultural anthropology, I spent a summer as an intern at the Smithsonian cataloging Peruvian skulls. It was my first inkling as to the vast amount of "information" yet to be catalogued or made known to the public. My mom is a volunteer at the Smithsonian Postal Museum. I think that's so cool and I'm proud of her. I recommend the Smithsonian Catalog if you're in the market for unique gifts. But let's not forget our own Bay Area treasures such as the SF Fine Arts Museum (de Young and Legion of Honor) - check out the blog. Lovely area for a stroll as well.
Okay, enough culture. Time to read People Magazine instead of the book review I'm supposed to write for Library Journal. :)