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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tour of Cal No More

So the news is out there that the Tour of California week-long professional bicycle stage race will not be returning for the year of 2020 which in my mind puts it at extreme rick of never occurring at some future date.

It's a bit sad and surprising. It seemed to be well attended and sponsored. And there were some great stages over the years.

A couple of favorite stages that come to mind were both seen in person. It's still the only bicycle race I've ever seen from the ground. I remember George Hincapie crushing it on a breakaway on several loops around the Rose Bowl which also included a climb up and out and back in, I think up Holly St somehow. That was some great hard fought racing! I think that was the first race I ever saw.

And then one year a stage started right here in town. Which was lot's of fun. Mission Street was closed off all morning with all the team cars and bikes lined up for viewing and general swag and excitement all around. I even pulled my daughter out of school early that morning so we could soak in all things cycling for a brief moment. She was in Pre-K at the time so really big deal, I know! I wonder if she'll remember that.

In recent years I've felt a little overwhelmed with riding the mountain roads around here because of all the speeding cars and motorcycles. It hasn't felt safe up there on a bicycle for a long time but I do love those roads and those mountains. And that was one of the amazing side effects of Tour of Cal - it closed off roads to cars for the racers but fans on bicycles could still head up early before the race and enjoy the mountains car free - oh, and sure, the race... I'm realizing now that I didn't take nearly enough advantage of that loophole...

3 comments:

JAM said...

I remember watching the Tour that year as they zoomed around Pasadena. Other than a couple of years of the Tour de France at the beginning of the century, it's the only time I've ever watched cycling on TV.

mindful mule said...

Thank you, JAM. And thank you for following along - this stream of thought being not quite your cup of tea... On a somewhat related note, I have a stack of magazines that I'd really like to write for some day that I mostly just read when I'm, for lack of a better word, shitting. Don't worry - it's pretty much just the three of us - you and me and Midnight... Anyway, I was reading an article in the great cycling magazine, Peloton, about a Belgian-born, french speaking, jazz singing phenom named Jacques Brel from the 50's and 60's... And at first I was all, why should I spend the time to read this, but, and, ah ha, yes, of course we should spend the time to read this because we are all writers! We like things, sure. Certain topics, yes. But, we also like to read and write and share and learn... Writing is like riding in that way - a process of intent, passion, desire, effort, struggle, endurance and suffering for pleasure and pain and companionship... p.s. - I am not a Robot...

JAM said...

I just enjoy when people try to communicate something other than 160 characters on Twitter, or dog photos on Instagram, or Trump memes on Facebook, or... well, you get the picture. I'll read anything if my friends write passionately about it.

Actually, that's probably not true. I don't want to read about prison rape, guacamole, or soccer.