Sunday, February 22, 2009


Here's the quick and dirty, with photos to follow after we get back from Cali.
Fri, we flew to LA, then drove three hours up the coast to Solvang and the time trial. Incredible experience--Bake got Mark Cavendish's autograph, saw big Jens Voight, Hincapie, Mick Rodgers, a Schleck, and many more warming up/cooling down on rollers. Watched the second half of the TT leaning front row, 300 meters from the finish. Can't believe how incredibly fast they go. Levi was like a missle. Then they had to take a 90-degree left right after us, kept waiting for someone to bite it, but they never did. Wow! (Ian McKissick is racing here--I can truthfully say I've raced against one of these guys; he does the Mount Baker Hill Climb most years.)
Sat, we drove 2-1/2 hours to Pasadena and planted ourselves on a small hill on the 5-mile circuit loop. (Met up with high school pal Mike D'Annucci who lives nearby too--super great to see him.) Can't put into words how exciting this was--they came by five times, first a break of 10 (which included big George and Christian VandVelde), then the peloton, led by the Astana train. So, so, friggin' fast! When the peloton past, a rush of wind hits you in the face. The hill, as it were, had no effect on them. They powered up it at probably 25--30 mph. We headed down to the finish for the last circuit. Planted ourselves on a hillside where they zoomed by so quickly, it was mind-bottling. (Saw actor Luke Wilson there.)
Afterward, saw Tom Boonen emerging from the anti-doping bus. Cool. Jen remarked that he was easy on the eyes. Astana bus was impossible to get near. Mobbed, like the Beatles were in there.
Today, we head to Cole Grade, the last little hill on Stage 8.
This has been an amazing experience.

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