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  1. #1
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    The Boys are Back in Town!



    Excerpted from the San Francisco Chronicle:

    (12-04) 21:10 PST -- After a one-year absence, San Francisco is back in the mix in the Amgen Tour of California.

    But don't blink, because you might miss it.

    In the first two editions of the Tour of California, San Francisco hosted the prologue, the opening race of the week-long event, and cycling fans got a good, long look at the riders as they pedaled, one by one, from the Ferry Building to the top of Telegraph Hill.

    In 2008, Palo Alto was the site of the prologue, and the Tour completely skipped over San Francisco. When the race begins for the fourth time in mid-February, Sacramento will have the honor of being the kick-off city.

    But when the second road stage is run Feb. 16, San Francisco will be back on the race map, albeit for a tiny portion of the 115.9-mile run from Sausalito to Santa Cruz: The peloton will cross the Golden Gate Bridge, take a jaunt through the Presidio and the Outer Richmond and then whizz down Great Highway before hooking up with U.S. Highway 1 in Pacifica.

    This and other details of the eight-day, 780-mile Tour of California were released Thursday by race organizers.

    I was reading the story and was thinking of heading out to the Great Highway to watch and then I saw that they are coming through MY town on MY roads.
    I get the Pros ride the roads I've now ridden hundreds of times...
    I get to ride down to Pedro Point and watch them climb up to the top of Devil's Slide!
    I am so STOKED!
    Of course, it takes me 13 minutes to climb that mile and a half, they'll do it in 5. Oh well.

    Click on the picture for the full story.
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  2. #2
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    What about Contador? The article says Lance and Levi will be there, but doesn't metion Alberto. It doesn't say he won't be there, but how could they not mention the TdF winner of 2007?

    I'm really hoping it's just an unfortunate oversight, and that Contador will be riding the Tour of CA!

    Rick / OCRR

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post




    This and other details of the eight-day, 780-mile Tour of California were released Thursday by race organizers.

    I was reading the story and was thinking of heading out to the Great Highway to watch and then I saw that they are coming through MY town on MY roads.
    I get the Pros ride the roads I've now ridden hundreds of times...
    I get to ride down to Pedro Point and watch them climb up to the top of Devil's Slide!
    I am so STOKED!
    Of course, it takes me 13 minutes to climb that mile and a half, they'll do it in 5. Oh well.
    Click on the picture for the full story.

    Better get practising if you are going to stay with them


    I went to the TDF in 2007 and chose my point with a lot of thought. I also made an early start to get there so Early start for you that day. If you know where the best place to watch is- So will 5,000 others.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Is there really any good place to watch these races?

    Do you get there 3-4 hours early to get a good spot, and then you get to see the lead pack for what 30-60 seconds before they are past you? Or are their places to go where you can see more of the race? Like say a view of the lead pack for 2-3 minutes. I realize that the trailing riders and packs may be passing you for a longer period.

    It doesn't seem to me that bike races are a particularly good in-person spectator sport.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Is there really any good place to watch these races?

    Do you get there 3-4 hours early to get a good spot, and then you get to see the lead pack for what 30-60 seconds before they are past you? Or are their places to go where you can see more of the race? Like say a view of the lead pack for 2-3 minutes. I realize that the trailing riders and packs may be passing you for a longer period.

    It doesn't seem to me that bike races are a particularly good in-person spectator sport.
    I went to the King of The Mountain climb-There was only one that day and it was just a slope. But the atmosphere of being in amongst thousands of others for 5 or 6 hours just to see the pack go past in 30 seconds is worth it.

    But this was the TDF. The procession before the race lasts an hour or so and the chance to have a few beers- quite a few burgers and watch the day unfold is worth it.
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    Last edited by stapfam; 12-05-08 at 03:07 PM.
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  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    And further to the TDF- Also went to the Tour of Britain on the TT day. Only a 2 mile TT on a closed circuit so plenty of time to walk round and see the day. there was also the pre event of Club racing which gave me a chance to see riders more shatterred than I will ever get. Also the first time I saw Cavendish race and he wonn the TT and the yellow jersey for one day.
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  7. #7
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I was disappointed when the Sacramento Stage 1 became a prologue. They would have been riding on MY roads. I will go somewhere to watch them, though. Probably the Sausalito area.

    I was at the end of the stage in Sacramento in 2007. They circled the capitol 4 times, giving ample times to get some pictures. Here's a couple of mine. I was close. You could feel the whooooosh of air as they went by.



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  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I can't imagine anything like TB's dream of a location where you can see the lead group for 2-3 minutes, but there are exciting locations to watch road races.

    The most exciting imho would be along the road on a long and hard climb. There will be many crazy fans to keep you entertained for hours and when the racers come by they will be going slowly enough that you can see them, talk to them and take pictures of them.

    Finish lines are fun because there will be announcers keeping you up to date on the race's progress and building up a crowd frenzy for the finish. If there is a finishing circuit, you'll get to see the race pass by a few times before the finish.

    Starts are another good viewing location. Show up early and scout out the team buses for a chance to get pictures and autographs. You might even get a chance to have a conversation with a favorite or a crew member.

    I'll be looking for good race reports from you lucky Californians in 2009. With the Tour de Georgia cancelled for 2009, I'll be missing one of my favorite weeks of the past six years.
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  9. #9
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I envisioned some hillside with switchbacks, where you might see them multiple times, with binoculars.

    I can't imagine enticing people to come to a baseball or football game, where they will only see 1 minute of the game.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I envisioned some hillside with switchbacks, where you might see them multiple times, with binoculars.

    I can't imagine enticing people to come to a baseball or football game, where they will only see 1 minute of the game.
    But then, this ain't baseball or football. NASCAR fans make the same kinds of comments about roadracing car circuits, but roadracing fans still love to watch.

    Such a hillside might afford a long view, but not be much fun to watch.

    Maybe this is one of those (not so) rare situations where it is better to go experience something without trying to figure it out first.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 12-05-08 at 08:03 PM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    On some Tour de Georgia stages it was logistically possible to watch the start of a stage, drive to a viewing location along the course and then dash to the finish town and see the finish. From what I have seen in the past, TOC stages tend to run in more straight lines than TdG stages which tended to zig-zag all over the map, so it may be harder to work out such a plan.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Maybe this is one of those (not so) rare situations where it is better to go experience something without tying to figuring it out first.
    I'm not doubting that a lot of people enjoy it. Don't quite know why, but undoubtedly they do.

    Never really been interested in bike races myself, so I'm sure that after driving there, parking, staking out a place, waiting, then watching everyone go past in a minute, that I would kick myself for having gone.

    I've seen Ironman bike races, marathon runners, and local bike races, having just happened upon them. Was in NYC once during the NYC marathon. But I can't say any of them was a thrilling experience. I'd rather go to a baseball game.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  13. #13
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Man, I sure wish they were coming this way. With all the mountians in south Texas, I'll probably never see them. Have fun seeing what you can.
    George

  14. #14
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    I suppose I could just go out on the back deck and watch 'em come down Highway 1.
    What a beautiful series of some long "S"s. I've driven down this part of the road -literally- 10,000 times
    It's fun on a bike, too. I've ridden my OCR down this stretch 3 or 4 times.
    Funny, there's this sign at the top -two of them, actually- that I never seem to see somehow.


    But that wouldn't be much fun. I've got a few places in mind to go watch.
    They all offer something different. Luckily I have time to work it out.

    Mrs S & I went up to see the Santa Rosa stage this year.
    Got right up along the railing just past the finish line.
    When the peloton went by the first time, the hair went up on my neck.
    The electricity in the crowd was seriously palpable. We had all been waiting there for hours.
    The best part was that Santa Rosa had an 8 lap finish so we got to see them go by 8 times.
    Each was exciting beyond words... waiting the 10 or 15 minutes for them to come back around...
    You could hear the roar of the crowd, like a wave approaching ahead of the pack...

    Oh man ...
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  15. #15
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    This is the bird's eye view.
    The curves down into Pacifica start at Hwy 35 & Hwy and run south.
    The southern most part you see is just a bit -few hundred feet- past the high point -and start of- Devil's Slide. I've been riding up to the top at least once a week for lunch.
    http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?hl=en...42043&t=h&z=12


    The profile. I know it well by now. Very well. I hate it. I love it. I'm all confused.
    Funny how many times it hits 200'. I live at 200' (though non of the ones here)
    Last edited by SaiKaiTai; 12-05-08 at 10:06 PM.
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  16. #16
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Is there really any good place to watch these races?

    Do you get there 3-4 hours early to get a good spot, and then you get to see the lead pack for what 30-60 seconds before they are past you? Or are their places to go where you can see more of the race? Like say a view of the lead pack for 2-3 minutes. I realize that the trailing riders and packs may be passing you for a longer period.

    It doesn't seem to me that bike races are a particularly good in-person spectator sport.
    I rode through the rain, and rode too far, to find the best viewing spot for the T de CA stage from Santa Rosa to Sacramento in February. I got soaked to the skin for 30 seconds of action, and it was worth it.

    I ride a portion of that stage regularly, but to see the support vehicles, the helicopter, the dog-and-pony show, was worth the discomfort. So much pomp, over so quickly. Wow.

    You bet I'll be at a prime viewing spot in '09, and I'll be dressed for it, unlike this year. I'm not ashamed to live vicariously as the T de CA courses through our neck of the woods.
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  17. #17
    Gray Haired Commuter
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    I watched one of the post-TdF crits that was run in downtown Berlin one year--89 or 90. I was positioned just as they were coming out of a 180 degree turn on the KuDamn. It was amazing to watch those guys accelerate out of the turn--Sean Kelly in particular.
    Dave Clary
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