Results tagged “Tour of California” from kwc blog

Off to the Tour of California

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Ride - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

I'll be posting to my Spare Cycles blog regularly with daily photos.

I'm having a blast

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My Tour concludes

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IMG_1663

Today I hung out taking photos and getting autographs at the stage start in Santa Barbara. I thought I'd drive up Balcom Canyon after that to get some photos from the final climb, but the CHPs had the road blocked off. After hiking about a kilometer up, I decided to turn back because I had a photographer's bib (a bright yellow bib that says "photo" on it = all access pass) waiting for me at the finish line and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take my first real sprint finish photo.

I drove like a madman to get to the finish line -- it's hard to stay in front of professional bikers -- mostly because I kept on making wrong turns. With all time I had to prepare, you would think that I would have printed off street maps.

I did get my first real sprint finish photo. It wasn't as good as I had hoped, but it was exciting to give it a try.

JJ Haedo beats out Paolo Bettini and Greg Henderson

Stage 6 Report: Santa Barbara - Santa Clarita

Media Passes are awesome

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I new that the media pass would give me better access to take my photos, but who knew there would be other fringe benefits:

  • The Press Room has wireless internet to upload your photos and write your reports
  • It also has food and water
  • You get a welcome bag from the city (someone stole the fudge out of mine, but I got a wine glass, opener, and tourist info)

I'm in Santa Barbara now drinking coffee to stay awake. I still need to find a place to sleep tonight...

Sierra Road

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Top of Sierra Road Top of Sierra Road (Bobby Julich) Levi and Jason over the top, KOM

Lots to report from my Spare Cycles blog. I spent most of the day on Sierra Road: stage summary, diary.

I also got my very first press pass, which I haven't had the chance to break in yet:

credential

Crazy crash

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Levi on the ground

On a whim I decided to drive up to Santa Rosa to see stage 1 of the Tour of California. I normally ignore the sprint stages, but I figured with President's Day and all it would be worth a new experience. The Santa Rosa stage also has three laps on the finishing circuit, so there would be multiple chances to snap photos.

There were tons of people in Santa Rosa and I couldn't get a good spot near the finish line. I managed to convince someone to let me squeeze in but a half an hour later the media folk started setting up right in front of us, blocking our best views. I couldn't get good sightlines down the straightaway, which meant that the autofocus and metering on a lot of my photos were blown. It didn't really matter, either, because there were so many of the thin yellow thundersticks being waved around that half of my photos feature them instead. As it turned out, it really didn't matter what was going on towards the finish line.

After the riders passed on at the start of the penultimate lap, there was a loud popping noise. I turned around and saw bike after bike piling up. There were riders yelling at each other in anger, others were lazily getting up, and others seemed to be figuring out what damage they suffered. All the while, the forty riders who weren't involved in the crash raced away. It wasn't even until a couple of minutes later that I realized that Levi Leipheimer, who's in the overall lead, was involved in the crash. The race lost all organization after that. The announcers didn't know what was going on, the finish had to be reviewed on tape to see who won, the judges belatedly decided to neutralize the finish (award everyone the same time), and one of the riders failed to show up for the award's ceremony.

The photo above is my favorite from the day because it summarizes so much of the chaos. Off in the distance, the riders racing away. In the foreground, riders still piling up on top of one another. In the center, Levi Leipheimer. The Liquigas rider is kicking someone in the head and on the side of #118's right leg: a face (you have to view the full size to see it).

Team Uni branching out

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Team Uni was in effect yesterday. After much practice with the Tour de Comic-Con, it was time to branch into the cycling realm with the Tour of California. parakkum loaned the necessary video capture equipment, offtopicartisan shot the video and reconnoitered the course, and I shot photos.

The hardest stretch was when ota initiated the sprint from Telegraph Hill down to the Embarcadero so that we could catch the podium presentation. Or perhaps the hardest stretch was when we had to walk back up Telegraph Hill to get to my car.

Tour of California Prologue

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Levi

The prologue for the Tour of California was awesome -- thanks ota for coming along and also shooting video (stage summary). Also awesome? My Canon 30D.

Cyclists, please update your links

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Spare Cycles (kwc.org/cycling) is my new cycling blog. I've broken off my past Tour of California, Tour de France, San Francisco Grand Prix, and other coverage and moved it on over. My reasons for doing so were similar to moving the mythbusters entries: people who want to just see cycling coverage get innundated with many entries that having nothing to do with it, it's harder to navigate, and it's harder to showcase links to other cycling-related sites.

The first new content of the Spare Cycles will go up once I finish prepping an entry on lessons learned for taking cycling photographs. The blog may be a little dormant until the Sea Otter Classic and Tour de Georgia in April (still waiting for the Morgan Hill Grand Prix announcement), but I'll see what other content I can put together that isn't just race coverage and photos.

2*1000 contest participants, don't fret. Entries for all three blogs -- this one, Unofficial MythBusters, and Spare Cycles will count towards the total. And to littlestar who thinks I don't post enough, the 57 entries I've posted this month is the greatest amount since October 2004 (also 57 entries)... and February is a short month :).

Upcoming

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With the exception of Wondercon, I'm pretty sure I'll be going to all of these events. Wondercon is relatively close to Valentine's Day, which the organizers don't seem to consider a scheduling conflict.

Friday, Feburary 3 from 7-9pm: San Francisco in Jello at the Exploratorium (one night only as part of the Reconsidered Materials exhibit)

Monday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m.: Douglas Hofstadter at Stanford

Friday, Feburary 10 to Sunday, February 12: Wondercon at the Moscone Center

Sunday, February 19 at 10:00AM: Tour of California Prologue, San Franscico Individual Time Trial

Tuesday, February 21 at ~noon-3PM: Tour of California Stage 2, Martinez to San Jose

Wednesday, February 22 from 11:00AM-2PM: Tour of California Stage 3, San Jose Individual TIme Trial