11 May 2013

California Cruisin' - Traveling to the Tour of California

Beautiful California and Fast Bike Racing

I have come to California to watch Bike Racers. What a glorious way to spend a vacation. The best part of attending a race is that I never know what will happen. Sure I loosely plan, like where is the bike race and when, but what will happen once I get there, I never know. I have learned to be open and spontaneous.

Eye candy abounds at a bike race and this year I want to see bikes, bike legs, bike saddles, bike racers, and generally have a grand time with all the hard working people who make this race happen by working on it, or attending it. I also plan to enjoy the ocean and the local fresh fruits and vegetables, since I live in Colorado and our fruits and veggies taste other-than how I remember as a child growing up in plentiful California.

California - palm trees, best Mexican food ever, avocados under $2, delicious wine, and bike cruising ride. Oh and my family is there! 

Amgen Tour of California begins on Sunday in Escondido

I will be at the southern and central California stages:

Sunday          5/12/13     Stage 1     Escondido
Monday        5/13/13     Stage 2     Murietta
Tuesday        5/14/13     Stage 3     Santa Clarita
Wednesday  5/15/13     Stage 4     Santa Barbara
Thursday      5/16/13     Stage 5     Santa Barbara

Route and Maps: 2013 Tour of California Route Maps & Stage Info
Riders racing: Riders at the 2013 Tour of California

Previous interest posts for the day:
Who is that voice on stage?: About Brad Sohner the race announcer on stage
The fans want Podium Girls?: About Allison and Joanna - the Podium Girls

Photos and Stories

I arrived into John Wayne Airport in orange County, within the hour I was having a Mother's Day breakfast of sorts with my Mother, Father, two brothers and sister-in-law in Newport Beach. I watched the press conference live streaming online on the Amgen Tour of California website, where Tejay van Garderen listed his top contender threats as Michael Rogers, Francisco Mancebo and David Zabriskie. There were plenty of questions about the route and heat, but these men are professionals and as we have all seen they will race through practically any conditions for a personal or team win.

We hoped on our cruiser bikes and rode down the Newport Beach Boardwalk.
Me happy to be riding a beach cruiser in Newport Beach.

Our destination was the American Legion, where $9 will get your three glasses of wine and this view....

The next morning my brother and I visited the Lyon Air Museum, a war aviation collection of planes, cars, mortor cycles and bikes. A P51, B17, B25 were giving "bucket list" rides for $2200, $400, and $400 for 30 minutes flights. The B17 and B25 are headed up the coast to Santa Barbara to thrill more customers. Maybe we sill see the old planes flying overhead next Wednesday and Thursday during stage 4 & 5 in Santa Barbara.

Willie, my fellow Pedal Dancer Photographer and I headed down to Carlsbad where we are staying with family/friend Jeannie, a welcoming stay and locations to attend the first two stages of the race. We drove over to pick up press passes and check out the layout in Escondido.

Escondido town hall
Saw some old familiar faces.
Michelob Light Ambassador (podium girl) Allison Steinkamp and race Announcer Brad Sohner.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

And then we stopped by the wonderful Stone Brewing Company, a brewery in a park setting. And good beer.
Gardens of the Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA. Sit sip and relax.

Tomorrows Stage 1

Stage 1 : Route Map  |  Route Profile  |  timetable  |  Escondido spectator guide

Stage 1, Presented by Nissan: Sunday, May 12 – Escondido 
2013 ATOC Stage 1: route map, profile, and stage information
Start/Finish Location: Broadway and Grand Ave.
Start Time: 11:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 104.3 miles

CITY HIGHLIGHT:  Route & City information about Escondido
KEY FEATURES: Climbing begins on day 1 at mile 12, climb of Mt Palomar (from the eastern slope) summits by mile 50, followed by a fast descent and a final sprint in town. Start and finish are from the same city of Escondido.

Stage 1 ATOC 2013, (zoom in on route map and profile)