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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentines Day - Tour of California Time Trial

Valentine's Day 2009.
Up at 6:30.
Run 5 miles on the canal trails over to church.
Meet my girls and Dale to clean the building for Sunday service.
Drive home.
Drive to Sacramento to watch the Tour of California Prologue - Time Trials.
Begin hunting for restrooms.

"Would you hurry up and take the picture, please!?"

Pre-race warm up on the course.

We spent an amazing amount of time looking for and standing in line for restrooms. I have no idea how many people were out there, but whoever was in charge of calculating and supplying the facilities must have used the formula for hibernating bears, rather than chilly, mocha sipping, athletic types accustomed to frequent hydration.

The little blue houses...

...With great big lines.

We were unfortunately, well hydrated and caffeinated.

Who needs Carbon Fiber or Dura Ace?

Fabian Cancellara - Winner of the Day.

4min 32sec

2.41 miles

Is that a 32 mph average? - WOW!

Coming out of 2nd corner - unidentified rider. The first hundred or so riders no one knows - the best are saved for last.

Carlos Sastre: Winner of 2008 Tour de France
Didn't do so hot today - 114 out of 136.

George Hincapie of Team Columbia... From my own home town:

The City of Greenville has dedicated a newly completed section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail to George Hincapie in recognition of the contributions that George and Hincapie Sportswear have made to the cycling and business communities in South Carolina. The "Hincapie Path" is now open and being used by cyclists and pedestrians for recreation and commuting in George's hometown of Greenville, SC (Taken from his personal Website)

Actually she was a fan of whoever happened to be riding by at the time. Nevertheless she did scream a little louder when the crowd went wild at his finish.

Armstrong's Countdown

Lance Armstrong's finish - As we got to see it.

My Valentines and I with 2nd row seats for the first part of the race.

We finally found the starting area, but also found the roadside to be lined with spectators. About a quarter mile into the ride and at the second hard turn the riders were forced to slow and navigate 2 quick corners. Here we found a patch of sunlight on the capitol lawn - which sat about 2’ higher than the roadway - and set up camp. If I stood on one of the folding camp chairs that we had brought, I had a great view of the riders from about 20’ back, and could get a pretty clear shot – except when everyone else threw their cameras into the air for the same picture.

No matter, it was just being there, watching Ella get excited as first one motorcycle, then a blur of color, and then a second motorcycle beset with driver and videographer flew by.

As a side note, the guys with the video cameras were standing on the back of the motorcycle – holding a rigid post in one hand and the video camera in the other, taking the same corners as the cyclists at the same speeds.

Another nameless rider who had better not slow down or fall down.

The route circumnavigated the state capitol, and the Governor himself met the winners at the end of the race. As for us, we didn't get to see anyone important or famous, other than those that were sailing by. We did have a blast though.

On the way home we stopped at Sweet Tomatoes and used up the balance of my birthday gift card, topping off a Red Letter Day. And, if you are wondering - yes, Bec claims to have had a good day too. But I know that this was really my Valentines Day present from my Girls.

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