We started the day nice and early, as we do now that we are into this stuff, at 5:55AM…bleh…The car was loaded up and we headed to the Rose Bowl to meet Bryan, Lenny and Harry. We put their bikes on the new hitch rack and headed out to Santa Clarita to meet the rest of the group and start on the Stage 7 course. We got there at 7:45 and everyone was there, within a few minutes, Marvin started giving everyone the breakdown…Get through the course fast, fill up on food when you see Kristen (me), there might be a chance that she might not be around because she got kicked off the hill by CHP…
Here I am in the SAG (Support & Gear) Car…my car…
Like our fancy signs? They actually worked out really nicely!
We headed out and I had my directions taped on my dashboard so that I knew where I was going…well…we’ll get to that later….
There were two groups, an intermediate group and an advanced group. The intermediate went first and 15 minutes later came the advanced. I decided that I would go to each turn before the riders so that I could tell them where to turn. That plan worked out for a little bit, until I totally missed a turn and ended up going 8 miles off course! Why it took me 8 miles to figure it out is beyond me! Using both the GPS on my phone AND my Garmin, I was finally able to get to an intersection that I needed to be at, but had to take the 14 freeway in order to get there. After being so far off course, I thought it would be good to just go to the main meeting point so that I could get there before them. Now, as I am getting off the freeway, I am trying to translate the directions from how I am coming off the freeway and what the directions said…well…I turned left and should have turned right, 4 miles later….I make a U-turn! FINALLY, I get on the right road, and the RIGHT direction and catch up with the riders. I met them at the base of the mountain so that everyone could fuel up, and a few emptied their tanks 😉
Once I got everyone fueled up, I headed up the mountain to the top…I passed all the riders again and made it to the top and pulled over. Within a few minutes the fast group was at the top looking for food and I waved them down and got them water, PB&Js among other things. Side note: I decided the night before that I would make some PB&Js for the group because I remembered how much it helped me on the Tour de Palm Springs…and sure enough…they were a hit!
I did a final sweep of the mountain and headed down to the Rose Bowl. I got down there, parked and made my way to the PTC tent. Riders started to trickle in and gobble up their Corner Bakery lunches. Once we got ours we went over to the festivities and wandered around the HUGE amount of people.This actually really annoyed me because they had everything in this HUGE parking lot, had a ton of room for the bouncy things for the kids but put all the booths in the little itty bitty square so everyone was on top of each other. Really festival planners? You couldn’t spread it out a little?
At around 2pm it was time to watch the riders come through. We went back to the PTC tent and stood at the railing. I got a ton of cool pics that I will only give you the link to because there are too many to upload onto here.
We saw Lance, Levi, and all the other riders come by and it was really cool. It was especially cool because they came by times because they had to do 5 laps around the Rose Bowl. So now, everytime I ride around the Rose Bowl….I will know that Lance did it 🙂
Some random guy won the stage, there was a little breakaway and the peloton never caught up to them. Overall a great experience, and I hope they come back next year because I will be there!