I sat down to write this post and realized I had written something similar two years ago. The only difference today is that Lance Armstrong won't be here, and neither will I. Rather than being trapped with all the road closures, we're heading down to the beach for the day :)
If you want to win one of the ARCs I'm giving away, be sure to leave a comment on this other post. You have until Sunday night. Have a great weekend!
Sometimes big things happen in small places.
Today the Amgen Tour of California makes its way through Solvang. It's astounding to me that part of this major world class event is staged in our little Valley. The riders fly by, about a block from my house. I watched from the bottom of the hill, where they rounded the corner, so close I could have reached out and touched them! I didn't want to get arrested so I kept my hands to myself :^)
The amount of people thronging our streets was pretty amazing. The booths, the groupies, the traveling masses that accompany this race -- it's overwhelming. It's not every day that you see a jumbo tv screen on Copenhagen Drive, towering over thousands of people, each hoping to catch a glimpse of the riders speeding by. Our population quadruples for the day when this event rolls through town.
One of my neighbors, a semi-pro biker, paid the thousand dollars to ride in the amateur pre-race. Other friends volunteered on the route or helped cook and serve food to the riders. For this one day each year, the town shuts down to accommodate the time trial. We don't get mail, many roads are closed, schools are out and we all throng downtown to see the spectacle.
This is the fourth year that Solvang has hosted Stage 6 of the race, and the first time I've been up close and personal with it. Soon the EZ ups will come down, the gates will be loaded and the bikers will move on to the next place.
And Solvang will go back to being a small town.