Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 ON DIABLO!

The Seventh Amgen Tour of California.  I've seen at least one stage of every single year.  This year they went over Diablo on Stage 3 and your humble blogger was there.

I left work about 10, went to pick up a sandwich and some power water, then drove to Arbolado Park and changed clothes in the restroom.  There were a few other park users and a few other cycling fans; no problem parking or feeling guilty for taking up the spaces.  Started riding at 11 o'clock. 

Coach Marie: spin instructor, triathlete.

There was a pretty steady stream of cycling fans going up North Gate Road, and a few cars.

There was a traffic stop at the Bump.  Apparently a rider who crashed well before I got there, and they had him off the road but they were positioning the ambulance to evacuate him.  Had the guy in a neck brace and back board.

At the Junction, there wasn't even room to breathe.

Went down to my pre-chosen spot and it too was packed with fans and also some cars and tents.  So I kept going down to the helicopter pad where there was good viewing and lots of room.

  Met up with Rick and we watched together.  The race was about 15 minutes late so there was a lot of just joking around and people watching.  Didn't see anyone in a Borat bikini or an inflatable sumo suit.  Did get to see the guy with the ram horns riding up with his helmet on his rear rack.  Rick also showed me the recent battle scars on his bike, shoes, and flesh from the Wente crit.

This guy drove up which I thought was kind of lame, but he brought his wife and infant so that makes it OK.

My Turf

I think I was going to play with the "panoramic" photo thing on my camera but decided it wasn't worth it.  You can just imagine this string of photos all connected into one.


Thanks Rick!

Finally the race came through and it honestly wasn't very exciting.  Mount Diablo was 50 miles into a 115 mile stage and neither the 4-man breakaway nor the peloton really considered it to be a good place to make a GC move, so everybody just kind of rode it like a training ride.  Still, the atmosphere was what I was there for and there was plenty of that.
I took a little video too - click for the fan experience.

Got this with some birthday money (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

I was looking for some iPod speakers for my bike and didn't really like any of the smaller ones so I went with this big one.  I don't usually listen to music while riding, and only occasionally a single earbud.  But sometimes I like to have a little noise, like on the trail coming to work or like a party atmosphere climbing Mount Diablo for the Amgen Tour of California!

I decided on this one, which has a single speaker but it's nice and big, waterproof enclosure, runs on three AA batteries, and you just plug your MP3 player in and turn it on.  It's really great if you have an older version iPod that you don't use much anymore because you can just make it your dedicated iPod Boom Box unit.  It's big enough for your Smart Phone or Blackberry too.

It's way too big to mount to your handlebars though, you'll need a small rack or a handlebar bag or something, or you can probably find a way to make it work with your backpack like shown - it comes with a carabiner thing but you'll want to make sure it doesn't swing around back there.

I'll give it 8 of 10 on the Diablo Scott waterproof music system rating scale.  If it were more bicycle friendly and you could turn it up louder without the distortion it'd get a 10.  Comes in lots of fun colors too.

1 comment:

John White said...

Thanks for the pictures and video. I was stuck at work all day, not a chance to escape.

Good to see a big crowd, also!

Interesting little speaker you got as well - could it sit in a back jersey pocket?