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Old 05-21-11, 10:42 PM   #1
Yen
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Pictures I took today during AMGEN Tour of California

My husband and I volunteered as road marshals for today's Tour of California. I have a raging Cold of the Century: aches, fever, hurricane-force sneezes (OMG!!), headache, sore throat that feels like I swallowed razor blades, and yesterday I lost my voice. I came very close to contacting the volunteer coordinator to let her I know I wouldn't be there, but realizing that each volunteer serves an important role to protect the riders and spectators alike, I pulled myself together --- it's amazing what adrenaline can do.

I took pictures at our volunteer station on Baldy Rd. between Mills and Padua, later on GMR (near Sierra Madre Blvd. -- the road was already blocked to vehicle traffic), and in the Claremont village during and after the race. The link below shares the photos that I think best capture the essence of our experience. This afternoon, Levi Leipheimer said the climb on Mt. Baldy felt "just like Tour de France" and hopes they'll do this again next year. A lot of us hope so too!

ToC photos
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Old 05-21-11, 11:22 PM   #2
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Thanks for the photos with a personal touch!
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Old 05-22-11, 05:55 AM   #3
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Nice report, Yen. You're a trooper for hanging in there with a bad cold. Well done!
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Old 05-22-11, 06:10 AM   #4
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Thank you for the pic's. It gives one a more personal view of how it works. I've watched every stage & your pic's were more interesting. Thanks again.
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Old 05-22-11, 06:52 AM   #5
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That was good Yen, thanks a lot.
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Old 05-22-11, 07:52 AM   #6
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Thanks from everyone for your good work, Yen. Working while you re sick is tough.

Had a fun day at the ToC yesterday. I saw friends all over the mountain, and I saw Evelyn Stevens and rode beside her for a minute. She smiled and said "hi".
Watched the race go by twice, once on a steep, twisty downhill section where the cars were having trouble keeping pace. The fact that they finish in around 3.5 hours is just mind-blowing. It's only 75 miles but there is over 11,000 feet of gain and the last 4 miles has a lot of 15%.
Before they came by the second time I was climbing a steep little hill and a cop stopped his mc to yell at me so I got off the bike. People thought I couldn't make the climb and were offering to push me and give me water. One spectator invited me to sit in a chair under his tent and eat. He had a keg of beer and enough food for a small peloton.
He was from Columbia and his accent was so thick he was hard to understand but part of that may have been because he was drunk. Took me a while to figure that out.
So I watched the race go by with him and he insisted on pushing me when I started up the hill. Nice guy, thanks Edgardo.
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Old 05-22-11, 08:00 AM   #7
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I see you have '???' next to the "end of the world" missing person display.
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Old 05-22-11, 11:04 AM   #8
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Thanks all... and also for the "end of the world" interpretation.

When I made the decision to follow through on my duty, I planned to just pick up our shirt, vest, and assignment, get to our station, finish the job, and go home. Hubby also wanted to go to GMR, so I figured we'd drive up there to wait and then go home. I did not plan to spend the whole day out.

It's great viewing the race (or, at least the highlights) of the taped TV broadcast. But there's nothing like being on the side of the road with other enthusiastic spectators, waiting for the first sign of the race approaching. Baldy Rd. was closed to non-race vehicles at 11:30. About 30 minutes before the peloton was due to arrive at our spot, the Nissan vehicle drove by (first shot I shared on Baldy Rd.). Several minutes later, another vehicle. Then a California Highway Patrol car, and soon after that another CPH vehicle with lights flashing, then a few motorcycles and other vehicles behind them. As the vehicles in the front of the convoy thickened, we knew they were just around the bend. And then, there they were, approaching like an army of ants. Before I knew it they were right in front of me, almost within arm's reach.

As much as I enjoy taking pictures, my view of the race was almost entirely viewed from behind the camera lens ---- not much different than through the screen of a TV. If they return next year, I think I'll take fewer pictures and spend more time watching and looking for the familiar faces.
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Old 05-22-11, 03:26 PM   #9
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Having grown up in a very small town in upstate N.Y. 80 miles north of NYC, I know that the most important work in America is performed by volunteers. Thanks Yem.
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Old 05-22-11, 04:51 PM   #10
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Wonderful images. Thank you for posting them. They sure do go by quickly, don't they?
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Old 05-23-11, 05:13 PM   #11
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Thanks for the photos! Those sights remind me so much of many great days watching some of those same riders during the Tour de Georgia years. Glad you were able to get out there in spite of being sick.
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Old 05-23-11, 05:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berner View Post
Having grown up in a very small town in upstate N.Y. 80 miles north of NYC, I know that the most important work in America is performed by volunteers. Thanks Yem.
While participating in my first charity ride last fall, I was really impressed by and grateful to the volunteers all along the way. Helmets off to you, Yen! Great pictures, too.
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Old 05-24-11, 08:31 AM   #13
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Thanks for being a volunteer and thanks for all the great photos Yen!

I took maybe three or four photos all day but you got lots! We rode up GMR to GRR to just past the 3-1/2 mile climb (mile 14 to 17.5) and watched the race go by there, then rode to Mt. Baldy Village and from there to the top of the Ski Lifts to watch the finish.

Great being able to see three switchbacks down the mountain! Plus, the riders were going more slowly up top and were more spread out, so easier to see and identify each rider. Saw the podium ceremony too, that was a first for me. Heard the interviews with Chris and Levi, so that was fun.

Overall a great day on the mountain (only 50 mi. and 6,500 ft. of climbing for us). Great to see all the spectators on the tough climb above the Village; I even got pushed three times! Plus, I heard several people shout my name when I went by, though I have no idea who they were . . . Plus Lynn Katano ran out in the road to take my photo as I made that climb so pitifully slow (4.5 mph), so that was fun too.

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Old 05-24-11, 10:50 AM   #14
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Thanks, Rick. Sounds like you had a great view and great time! Did you ride in the L'Etape?

We would have loved to be on the mountain, and at the starting line to see the buses arrive and get autographs, etc. We couldn't be everywhere. We were happy to be stationed on Baldy Rd., though not a lot of spectators there. I was thrilled to see all the fans on the mountain during the televised broadcast, and either Chris or Levi expressed appreciation for the turnout of the fans.
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