Monday, Stage 2; Chris (My official TOC photographer) and I watched the start in San Francisco. After a few hours in the office I headed for Sausalito and parked on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We cycled across one of the most recognizable bridges in the world and took up positions to see the riders come roaring through the 0km mark at around 11:15am.
Um...that was fast. They were gone in a blink.
|What a draft...|
So Chris and I toured the Presidio, grabbed a Starbucks, and eventually blazed back across the Golden Gate Bridge.
|Note Chris the photographer on the left. I think he takes good|
photos so that he can stay out of the pictures.
Over the course of 2 hours, cyclists steadily pedaled by. I have no idea what the actual count would be, but I estimate 2,000 - 3,000 cyclists skipped work and joined the endless string of fans lining the road.
Then after standing for 2 hours...
We were treated to a split field, with 4 men in the breakaway rolling through about 8 minutes ahead of the peloton. If nothing else, it further justified the 4 hours of pedaling and standing. From the time we saw the break away riders come around the first corner, to the time the last rider in the peloton rounded the last, elapsed time was about 15 minutes. This is easily 30x the typical exposure for the typical spectator.
And then Mike pulled us all to Livermore - 18 miles away...
The heat affected more than just the racers. We were all sporting distinct tan lines in spite of sunscreen at the end of the day. This downtown Livermore fountain proved ideal for hot cyclists.
Eventually, after circling the extents of the far East Bay cities (55 more miles for them), the race roared back into Livermore.
The field had split into abut 4 groups over the last 55 miles, so we were again treated to a prolonged exposure.
Any day in the saddle is a good day; and this was a particularly good one. It's not often that spectators get the opportunity to see the race twice in one stage. It took a little work, but we pulled it off and had a blast doing it.
Thanks again to Chris for the great pictures. Can you spot the photographer in the following pictures?
|Not the guy down by the road...|
|We're not sure...|
|No trees were harmed...|