Sunday, May 16, 2010

Amgen Tour of California

Since every bike blog in California is going to be posting about the Amgen Tour, I'm inclined to keep it short, lest I reveal more than the usual amount of my cycling ignorance.

I feel safe in saying this, though:  It was pretty cool.  Those dudes go by FAST.  I stood at 15th and P, where the racers made the second of two close turns.  They swept within a couple feet of my the curb to get the correct angle on the left turn onto P Street and the wind and dust they generated was amazing.

I've never been a racing fan, but I could easily understand why someone would want to watch this sport.  I'm not likely to watch again until it comes back to a spot five minutes from my house, but still, I kind of get it a bit better now.

Among the surprises was the fact that there is no "backstage" for these guys to disappear to after the race.  Within minutes of the finish, they were changing clothes, wiping down and talking with support staff, all within plain sight of the spectators.  

Not even this guy could get a bit of privacy from the rude gaze of public scrutiny -- and my iPhone.  He went down in the spill on the last lap around the Capitol before the finish.

Last thought... valet bike parking is awesome!  Somebody should do this year-round.  I handed over my bike, came back to put my swag in the saddle bag and finally reclaimed it after the race, all without a second's hassle.

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