Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tour of California - Mt. Baldy Stage 7

Jeff had an idea... a CRAZY and WONDERFUL idea...
He was going to ride his bike up one of the toughest climbs of a
professional tour... pulling Anna on her attached bike... AND a fully
loaded trailer with stuff to watch the finish...
Do you SEE the rocks under the bike wheels that are protecting the
bikes from crashing down the hill on this BIG GRADE!?
We should have known better...
It might have taken me a week and a half to post about the Tour, but here we go!  You might know that Jeff is a HUGE cycling fan (and I have been since I met Jeff) and we have travelled to a few stages each year of the Tour of California (except the last 2 years since they changed the date to May which conflicted with Grad Nite).  We were THRILLED to have a chance to watch a mountain top finish of the Tour this year (and to take a much needed day off work) AND to ride the last few miles up the climb on our bikes a few hours before the pros came through.

As I love to do, I am going to let the photos share the story of this fun day (a day that before I lost this weight would not have been possible... so glad to be a part of my family fun and history once again!)...

Let's just say that in between the last photo and this one, Jeff was helped/pushed
around each switchback by fans who thought he was crazy to ride with this much
weight, but impressed that he was going for it... until God finally said, "ENOUGH!"
and popped one of the trailer tires... we had to take it off and park it on the side
of the road... (thank you, God!)
Here, we were enjoying the very quiet stage fair since the only people that could
make it this far had to ride up on bike!!!  And we made it!!!
"Breakaway from Cancer" booth - Anna proudly wore a temporary tatoo for
Jeff... "I love a Survivor!"
Jeff and Anna at the festival... and the JUMBO-TRON
to watch the coverage behind them.
Anna and I opposite Jeff at the festival... YES, Jeff and I shared a beer up
here... and YES... it was one of those awesome and earned beers!
Of course we wrote on the road to cheer on the coming pro riders...
and a pretty cool photo from our spot at the 4KM marker!
Yes, there are lots of dedicated fans that dress
up and follow the Tour.  This guy is one of our
favorites, so when he decided to set up camp next to
our van and run with the racers right in front of us, we
were thrilled (I know, we are weird!)
Here he goes... doing what he does best...
showing his American spirit with all the riders!
CHRIS HORNER!!! WOOO HOOO! One of our American superstars!
BIG GEORGE HINCAPE!!!  One of our FAVORITES in professional cycling!!!
We were cheering and shouting for every rider!!!
REALLY...?  We just rode up this hill... and you just did like 100 miles BEFORE
hitting this hill... and you are chatting and drinking soda... Pros, huh!? :-)
Here comes the rest of the pelton... WOW!
What a fantastic day... and the fact that I was able to ride up this climb with Jeff and share this memory... AWESOME!!!  :-)

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