Kim and I were in San Francisco for the Amgen Tour of California this month! The third stage finished on top of Mt. Diablo which is outside Walnut Creek (home of Rivendell Bike Works) and about an hour on the commuter train from the city. Kim and I took our bikes on the train in the morning. We stopped at the Safeway in Walnut Creek and bought a 12-pack of PBR and bag of ice which we loaded into my backpack. We then biked 13mi to the halfway point of the final climb of the stage up Mt. Diablo. It was well over 90 degrees. The climb itself was not steep but long, at 7mi and 2,100 feet of elevation gain (that’s just to the halfway mark). There was a big crowd biking up there with us and lining the road when we got there. Not like you see during The Tour, but good sized.
Just above the halfway mark, we found a shady part of the road with no one set up yet, and staked it for ourselves. We had no idea when the peloton might get there but there was a steady procession of official cars for about a half hour. After a while, you could feel (more than hear) the peloton coming up the mountain, like some huge unseen wave. It was just a vibration, a combination of the far-away crowd, the helicopter and all of the vehicles. Then finally you could hear it, and it got closer and closer, and then a bunch of tiny guys in spandex were flying up the mountain and then there were all the team vehicles and then the broom wagon (with actual brooms tied to the front) and then nothing. Despite the brevity it was so much fun to watch, with the noise and the helicopter and the crowd and the motorcycles. Wiggens was easy to pick out, as he was in bright yellow leading the peloton, but we also picked out Tom Boonen and Thor Hushovd, who was almost dead last. Sagan and Cavendish were lost in the pack. They all look so similar.
Later we watched the British EuroSport coverage, and totally saw ourselves cheering on TV.
Anyway, it was a story I knew you and Lori would appreciate. Also, I have attached pictures.
Also, thanks for sending the coins!
Andrew & Kim