Posted by: emilybybike | May 21, 2010

The Sport that Comes to You

That’s why people love cycling and the grand tours.  No overpriced tickets, no cramped uncomfortable seats where you need binoculars to catch a glimpse of the action, nope, none of that. In fact, sometimes all you have to do to see a professional cycling race is walk outside (if you’re very, very lucky).

Driving from Sacramento to Santa Rosa in a gray drizzle by way of the vine-covered hills of Napa and Sonoma, we chanced to stop for lunch at a quaint cafe in Glen Ellen, only to discover that in no more than 45 minutes the Tour of California would be passing us by. Talk about luck. Hadn’t planned on watching the tour today, but here we were, and the tour was coming to us.

And no, no rain-outs for cycling, both athletes and spectators both endured the chilly spring drizzle. Sirens and cowbells ushered in the lead of a shattered peloton, after having climbed several steep hills, including the famed Oakville Grade, now racing toward a soggy finish in Santa Rosa.

 

When the fray had passed, the crowd dispersed and Glen Ellen returned to its quiet peaceful state, while I hope the other spectators, like myself, left with feelings of excitement and awe for those lycra-clad crusaders, who brought their battle to us that day.

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Responses

  1. I worked Stage 1 in Sacramento and then the departure for Stage 2 in Davis. After the riders took off I planned on going to San Fran for the day and get in some riding but the weather didn’t cooperate. Cold and rainy, I decided to do what any cyclist would. Took the long way and went up to Oakville Grade. Made in through just before CHIPS closed the road but had a hard time finding parking. Eventually found someone’s driveway on the following hill — Trinity climb — they weren’t going anywhere anyhow.

    I got cold and wet watching the peloton go by. If they can suffer, so can I, so I stayed to cheer every rider who turned himself inside out to make the climb. Even Sean Mazich (Jelly Belly). He had dropped behind the caravan and was eliminated but chose not to abandon by jumping in the Broom Wagon but he rode the entire stage. Then was eliminated.


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