Sunday, February 19, 2006

I’ve been looking forward to today for months now. The threats of cold rainy weather never materialized and it was a great day to be in San Francisco watching a bike race. Dear daughter and I took the BART to the City this morning and got to Embarcadero about 10am. I trained her to answer “Levi!” if anyone (especially a news reporter) asked her who she thought would win.

We met up with Rick and his son who’s about the same age as my daughter and watched the racers go by from various vantage points along the Embarcadero. I had my digicam and camcorder but didn’t actually take too much footage. The crowd was really thick at the start and at the expo, and I guess it was pretty crowded at Coit Tower also but we never made it up that far.

Some of the racers had full-on time trial bikes and some had regular road bikes – some of those had clipons attached though. Some were obviously really going for it and some were obviously not.

(I have a photo to insert here )
This is Martin Elmiger of Swizerland who finished 92nd in the prologue, but whose photo turned out the best of the few I took. Martin finished the Tour in 52nd place on GC.
Tour of California Prologue!

OK, here’s my embarassing story; I had a big California Flag that I was waving at riders that I knew had a California connection. There was no start order list that I could find but I did have a lits of the riders and their numbers and I did identify the team order so I knew which team the next guy would be on and when they got down to the team leaders it was clear who it would be. So when Levi’s turn came – about 4 riders from then end, I told Rick that I was going to run in the street with my flag and he should get some photos. Well when Levi got within eyeshot, I jumped out (way in front of him so he wouldn’t be startled or have to change his line) and started running with the flag held high over my head and shouting like a fool, when suddenly I tripped on something and went face down into the pavement. My hat fell off and my keys fell out of my pocket and I scraped myself off of the road and onto the sidewalk before Levi got there. It was a total dumbass move and I felt ridiculous and then three SF cops came over and advised me not to do that again or else!

Then I heard that Levi won the Prologue so maybe he enjoyed my little stunt.

Then we hung around the Expo area for a while and scored some schwagg. My daughter got a T-Mobile poster with all the rider group photo; she really likes “the pink team”.

Very cool day – not quite as exciting as the SF Grand Prix, but in some ways bigger because this is a stage race and the Euro Pro’s are taking it pretty seriously.

No comments: