Monday, May 24, 2010

Tour of California - Stage Six and Our Weekend Adventure

The Tour of California bike race took place this last week and stage six of it was in our local mountains. We got reservations a couple months ago to camp right near the race and went up last Thursday for a weekend of fun and relaxation.

Race day was sunny, warm and perfect. We headed over to the race area first thing in the morning to check things out. This event is watched all over the world and being there was pretty exciting. It was fun to walk through the finish line where so many famous cyclists were going to cross through later that day (that's not us in the picture)...


Here it is from the side they ride through, looking up toward the Snow Summit Ski Resort, where we ski in the winter. That's the podium to the right, where they award the winners after the race (we took pictures of each other standing on the winner's box)...


Along the side, near the finish line, there were special tents set up for VIP's. We heard that they paid around $1500 to view the race from that area. They had drinks, food, large TV's, furniture, waiters and waitresses, and the best seats at the race...


Check out this furniture made from bike rims...




Later in the day, we saw specially marked cars driving the VIP's up to the tents through the race area and spectators...


This is another area for VIP's. It was a little further down from the finish line. We viewed the race right across the road from this tent. They even had a little art gallery in this one with paintings of mountain scenes and wildlife...


The center pieces were so cute...


The cameras were ready. Check out the size of this thing! It even has it's own truck with a lift...


News vans were there...


After checking things out, we walked back to camp and packed a lunch, grabbed chairs and other necessary things and headed back to the race area to grab a spot and wait for the racers. We set up about four hours before the racers arrived and took turns walking around the expo. Did I bring my knitting? Of course I did! And, check out the colorful bracelets that I collected at the expo...


As the racers neared, the helicopter appeared with a camera...see it at the front...


The last stretch of the race was a long, straight, uphill road. As the racers turned the corner and headed up, we all got our cameras ready...


They rode 135 miles that day with a LOT of climbing. Here's the winner, Peter Sagan. He's only 20 years old!...


More racers...


We were close enough to the finish line to see the podium and hear what they were saying...


The leader board was huge! The building behind it is two stories tall. This has all the standings for the race and for that stage...


These are the motor bikes that carried the officials and photographers that film the race and take photos. I think the photographers are pretty amazing to be able to look into cameras while riding around twists and turns. It sounds like awful motion sickness to me!...


This one has a guide to help them know which jersey is for which team...


After the race was over, we took our things back and walked Salsa back over to the expo. This was her favorite part...a stuffed brown bear. She bounced up and down and got just excited about it in the afternoon as she did that morning. I wonder what she was thinking?!...


The weather wasn't quite as nice the next day. It was sunny but there was an icy cold wind. Here's a view from one of the ski slopes, looking down toward Big Bear Lake...


It got really cold that night and the next morning we woke up to this...


This is the road that the race finished on. Quite different than race day!...


It looked really stormy over the lake!...


The snow was building fast!...


We took the back way down, toward the desert. It's usually the last road to remain open and we figured it was our best chance of getting down the mountain that day. Hubby put the Yukon in 4X-Low and we did great. Someone else didn't do so well and they jack-knifed their truck and trailer further down the hill. So, we sat for about an hour and waited. The wait provided for picture opportunities and knitting time. And, the sun came out and started melting the snow...


Spring flowers in wintery snow...


We were in the transition area of the mountain, where pine trees start to disappear and cactus, Joshua Trees, and desert plants start to appear...




Ahhh...the dry, snow free desert below...


There was a light dusting of snow on the desert side of the mountain, near the bottom...


And, then...Ahhhh...dry, snow free roads...


As we headed west, toward highway 15, we drove along the outskirts of the storm. It looked pretty intense!...


We had a great time at the race and enjoyed our new trailer. The snow and cold weather sure were a surprise though...especially, since next weekend is Memorial Day! Isn't it suppose to be warm by now? It's spring and summer is only four weeks away!

5 comments:

DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

Looks like a lot of fun, but really snow? I can't believe that I'm seeing snow in May?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures!!! I was watching this race on TV and thought WOW! and here you are seeing in person. GFlad you all enjoyed your weekend. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

Me!

KarenB said...

Looks like so much fun! For some reason, I thought it was north of LA. Guess I didn't pay much attention. What a great memory. See you soon, hopefully.

Acorn to Oak said...

Actually, it started in Northern California and they raced each day for about a week, working their way southward.

jomamma said...

Awesome! And they say the weather is crazy in Texas. We never get snow in May, but we don't have mountains like you do either. One of my son's friends is a cross country bike racer.