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Posts tagged ‘Bike racing’

chasing the race

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I ran around like a crazy person at Tour of Utah and made photos and wrote words. Every day was like a puzzle with a bunch of pieces missing. This image was one of those lucky strikes that got me through. I picked a spot near the final corner and Eric Young launched his race-winning sprint right in front of me. Thanks bro!

For my friends who are into looking at pictures, here’s a collection from the week’s shenanigans — Tour of Utah Gallery.

The biggest near-disaster was the part where I opened my camera bag and realized I hadn’t packed any camera straps. Like at all. Oops. Good thing my brother had an old one sitting around I could borrow. I spent the week with a D200 strap on my D3 and felt super pro. Maybe that’s why so many dudes wanted to explain photography to me. Anyway, I think I’m just going to leave it on there.

The most useful thing I had in my bag? 2x teleconverter. That thing saved me a few times when I just wasn’t really in the right spot at the right time. It turns out I’m not that good at running really. I did some podium photos from some pretty odd places. In one case I climbed into a windowsill of a building.

Only one pair of sunglasses was destroyed in this adventure. I’m counting that a win.

Thanks for a fun time, Utah and thanks Bicycling Mag for sending me out to chase the bike race. Let’s do it again sometime!

Coffee Drinkers’ Guide to the Amgen Tour of California, Vol. 2

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Welcome to the Coffee Drinker’s Guide to the Amgen Tour of California.

This is the second annual Guide, which is to say, we’ve reached the terrible twos, screaming and teething and drooling all over the joint. If this is your first time, don’t worry. Everything will be just fine. Also, you can find last year’s edition at Paved, may it live forever in our espresso-blackened hearts.

So you’re going to the Amgen Tour of California and you like coffee. You are totally in the right place. We’re going to tell you where to get your fix at every stop on the race. That’s it. It’s all so terribly simple.

This year’s race begins in Sacramento on Sunday, 5 May and finishes in Thousand Oaks on Sunday, 18 May. That’s a whole lot of coffee right there.

Stage 1: Sacramento

“Love what you do. Life is short, so celebrate it!” The people at Old Soul sound like our kind of people. They roast coffee and make bread in a wherehouse in Sacramento. We could not confirm the existence of a La Marzocco, the sure sign of good coffee. But there is a photo of their roaster, which is a very good start. The building has bricks. This is also promising. Life is risk, but we’re feeling pretty good about this one. Go to Old Soul, drink all their coffee.

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first race

This is a story about a bike and a bike race.

Once upon a time I was a swimmer, but I got bored of the pool and bikes looked pretty fun, so I thought maybe I should get one.

A boyfriend in college used to lend me his. Yes! It’s true! And a total cliché. Ask just about any woman rider who she got into the sport, and there’s probably a boyfriend or a brother and a borrowed bike somewhere in the story. So, there’s mine. I also borrowed my brother’s bike, which is funny, if you only knew how much taller than me he is. 

Eventually, I decided to get my own bike, but really, I didn’t have any money. So, I bought this green steel thing. <Grandpappy voice> In my day, they only put suspension forks on the expensive bikes! </Grandpappy voice>

So, I got one without. It was steel. And forest green. And rigid. It had cantilever brakes that didn’t really work. It also had hideous decals that I eventually tried to remove with disastrous results.

I took that bike on lots of adventures. Including this beautiful disaster outside San Diego. 

After a while, I thought it would be cool to have a suspension fork. So I bought one. But still, I had no money, which meant I couldn’t buy a good one. Hey! At least it was yellow so it looked like a Judy, even it wasn’t one.  The Yellow Fork – because who remembers low-end anonymous product names – was only slightly better than nothing.

I rode just about everywhere on that bike. My helmet was always crooked, because it didn’t fit. Also, bar ends. I don’t even know why we had them. The first day I rode clipless pedals, I fell over in front of all my dude friends. Because that’s what you do on your first day with clipless pedals. Who was I to argue with the pattern that Fate had outlined?

Then one day, my friends were going to a bike race. I’d never been to a bike race, and they convinced me that somehow it would be fun. I think I’m a very convincable person, maybe. 

So we piled in cars – I did not drive my VW bug to this edition, that came later – and headed up the coast to Sea Otter.

I stayed at some random house crammed full of people. I think it was in Santa Cruz, but I don’t really remember. I do remember the next year involved a crowded hotel room, and one of my dude friends eating donuts in bed. But that’s another story, my friends, for another day.

Then, I went to the bike race on my heavy steel bike with the shitty yellow fork with no name and the brakes that didn’t really work and my helmet on crooked. And it was the funnest thing in the history of the world. 

After that, I went to lots more bike races. I put roofracks on my VW Bug. And I bought a nicer bike with a real suspension fork and brakes that mostly worked.

But I think the first race is always the best race. Because you go there with no expectations. It’s all just one crazy who needs brakes anyway adventure. You can’t be bothered with the results and you can’t be bothered with fixing your crooked helmet. You’re too busy having fun.

Really, life should always be exactly like this.