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  1. #1
    Has coddling tendencies. KiddSisko's Avatar
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    Tour of California is Coming! Wanna see it?

    While the entire tour route looks like it'll be a juicy race this year, the SoCal routes look promising for spectators. Stage 6 in particular looks like it would be fun to spend a day at the races. From this year's description:

    "The ominous Balcom Canyon will be the final climb of the day, where in 2007 nearly 25,000 fans formed a narrow corridor for the riders. The cyclists will end the day with three circuit laps in Santa Clarita that finish at McBean Parkway at the Valencia Town Center."

    Given that this year's tour will include the new Slipstream/Chipotle team, in only their second '08 race, I think it would be awesome to be among those 25K lined up along Balcom Canyon cheering the riders on! Sure it would take a little effort getting up early enough and parking somewhere nearby, then walking (or riding a bike?) up the canyon and select a spot and remain there all day until the racers pass through. I'll more than likely not get a chance to be a spectator along one of the TdF's legendary mountain climbs, but this will be close enough. The following day's ride up Millcreek Summit and down into Pasadena for a Rose Bowl curcuit finish also looks promising. Anyone watch in person last year? Any interest this year? Tips? Insights? I'm gonna make an effort to be there, video camera in hand.

  2. #2
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Kidd, you picked a good spot. Balcom is a great place to watch.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiddSisko View Post
    ...Anyone watch in person last year? Any interest this year? Tips? Insights? I'm gonna make an effort to be there, video camera in hand.
    If you can, go to Solvang for the Time Trial. A-w-e-s-o-m-e!

    Balcom? If you're driving, you need to get there about 2 hours prior to the race. Take lawn chairs, sidewalk chalk, and a grill with some tri-tip. Park on the backside of Balcom, (not on Balcom Cyn Rd, but there's a close by side street with deep ditches on either side that's good) walk up to the top.Better still, wait until a local club organizes a ride to Balcom for the stage & enjoy your hobby.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  4. #4
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    ^^ Agree with Mark, you gotta bring your bike and ride up Balcom yourself to the cheering crowds!!!

  5. #5
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    There will be a BF road trip to one or more stages. I know I will be in Solvang for sure. More info to come...

  6. #6
    sur la route il bruto's Avatar
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    Yes indeed, Balcom was a great place to be running along the riders as they appeared to ride effortlessly up this brutal grade. You wait two or three hours and then the peloton goes by in a matter of seconds. Well worth the wait, besides, you get to chat with your neighbors and take in the scenery and the atmosphere. Vive le tour de californie!!

  7. #7
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    I'm going to try to be there for every stage (I have a lot of PTO time that I need to take).
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by il bruto View Post
    Yes indeed, Balcom was a great place to be running along the riders as they appeared to ride effortlessly up this brutal grade. You wait two or three hours and then the peloton goes by in a matter of seconds. Well worth the wait, besides, you get to chat with your neighbors and take in the scenery and the atmosphere. Vive le tour de californie!!
    Yeah...that was what struck me most last year. It was a difficult walk up the hill let alone ride, and these guys just motored past. Amazing. At least there were ...what...maybe 4-5 riders at the end who looked tired and had little gaps to the peloton? All continental pros, too, not the European pros (Disco, CSC, etc...)

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Cassave's Avatar
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    There will be an SFVBC group leaving CSUN at 8:00 that morning to ride out to Balcom.
    The ride will go over Grimes to East Mtn road then up Balcom in the race direction.
    It's a fun place to watch from.

    After climbing that wall an hour earlier you can really
    appreciate the speed the racers carry up that hill.

  10. #10
    Has coddling tendencies. KiddSisko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cassave View Post
    There will be an SFVBC group leaving CSUN at 8:00 that morning to ride out to Balcom.
    The ride will go over Grimes to East Mtn road then up Balcom in the race direction.
    It's a fun place to watch from.

    After climbing that wall an hour earlier you can really
    appreciate the speed the racers carry up that hill.
    Saweeet!

  11. #11
    Has coddling tendencies. KiddSisko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    Yeah...that was what struck me most last year. It was a difficult walk up the hill let alone ride, and these guys just motored past. Amazing.
    That's either going to be inspiring or depressing to many of us to witness first hand

  12. #12
    Has coddling tendencies. KiddSisko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    If you can, go to Solvang for the Time Trial. A-w-e-s-o-m-e!

    Balcom? If you're driving, you need to get there about 2 hours prior to the race. Take lawn chairs, sidewalk chalk, and a grill with some tri-tip. Park on the backside of Balcom, (not on Balcom Cyn Rd, but there's a close by side street with deep ditches on either side that's good) walk up to the top.Better still, wait until a local club organizes a ride to Balcom for the stage & enjoy your hobby.
    This is why I'm bringing the camera, not only for the two or three minutes it takes for official peloton to fly past, but also the crowd and pre-race local parade!

  13. #13
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Yep, we were there on top of Balcom last year...


  14. #14
    Has coddling tendencies. KiddSisko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    Yep, we were there on top of Balcom last year...

    That's hilarious! France has their red devil with trident pitchfork, and we have our crucifix wielding Catholic Bishop! Are there any more of these pictures to share? Link please.

    Those riders look too serious Take it easy man, this is Cali.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiddSisko View Post
    This is why I'm bringing the camera, not only for the two or three minutes it takes for official peloton to fly past, but also the crowd and pre-race local parade!
    I don't think it was much more than one minute!

    Maybe I got there late, I never did see a parade. A bunch of cops & VIPs went by...A couple vendors were working the crowd, handing out freebies (thundersticks especially).

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  16. #16
    1 Serving Per Container awiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomson View Post
    Kidd, you picked a good spot. Balcom is a great place to watch.

    Jim, let's plan to ride there again this year for Stage 6. Maybe I will drive there the day b4 and hide some goodies in the hills to snack on.

  17. #17
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Adam, I am trying to plan a bike tour from Palo Alto down to follow the tour. We will be in Solvang the day before and I am not sure we will get to Balcom before the riders. If it were up to me, it would be no problem but I will be with a couple of late risers. I will know more as I plan more of it.

    Sure enjoyed it last year, that is the place to be.

  18. #18
    1 Serving Per Container awiner's Avatar
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    Sounds fun Jim.... I guess we can figure it all out as it gets close. This year I will brining my super duper EPO detector that will instantly evaporate any rider who shows signs on EPO usage. I guess that means by the time the peloton rolls to the finish we will have a race between 2 riders !

  19. #19
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiddSisko View Post
    That's hilarious! France has their red devil with trident pitchfork, and we have our crucifix wielding Catholic Bishop! Are there any more of these pictures to share? Link please.

    Those riders look too serious Take it easy man, this is Cali.
    But did you notice the SoCal BF jersey?!! Ya gots ta reprezent!

    (hint, over the pope's right shoulder)

  20. #20
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiddSisko View Post
    Those riders look too serious Take it easy man, this is Cali.
    If you watch their faces live going over Balcom it doesn't look so effortless-- a lot of them are getting worked pretty good. I was up there for the first time they ran the ToC, and I saw more than a few guys making the Q sign as they came over the top.
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  21. #21
    Scum, Freezebag! Mo'Phat's Avatar
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    ps. I'm boycotting all (so-called) Tours of California that don't include San Diego.

  22. #22
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I might take a backwards drive through the final stage soon to see where I want to watch from.

  23. #23
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awiner View Post
    Sounds fun Jim.... I guess we can figure it all out as it gets close. This year I will brining my super duper EPO detector that will instantly evaporate any rider who shows signs on EPO usage. I guess that means by the time the peloton rolls to the finish we will have a race between 2 riders !

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by awiner View Post
    Jim, let's plan to ride there again this year for Stage 6. Maybe I will drive there the day b4 and hide some goodies in the hills to snack on.
    Route and time? Ride from home or drive out to Moorpark and take off from there?

    Sheldon
    [insert clever quote here]

  25. #25
    1 Serving Per Container awiner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
    Route and time? Ride from home or drive out to Moorpark and take off from there?

    Sheldon

    Ride from home... About 55 miles round trip. Last year we rolled at 9:30am and were there in time to get a good spot at the KOM marker.

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