David and I watch the Tour de France every year so I thought it would be fun to watch the AMGEM Tour of California pass through our area. We live off of Highway 49 in California. Each time the AMGEM Tour has passed our way we’ve had to be elsewhere, until this year. Our home is located up the ravine from the beginning of the category 3 climb at the 68.7 mile point of the race. We decided to watch the race from a large pull out on the climb.
The estimated time the tour would pass through Mariposa (14 miles north bound on Hwy 49 from our turn off) was 12:40. We wanted to make sure we had a good viewing spot so we arrived at the pull out at 11. Our new puppy, little Lulu, accompanied us in her carrier. She was such a good trooper for this mini adventure. I brought my lunch and art supplies, David brought snacks and a book. We were the third vehicle to arrive but by the time the race was near there were many more vehicles. I had downloaded the AMGEM app onto my phone so we were able to track the progress of the race.
Looking down the category 3 climb. The beginning of the bridge that crosses the ravine is the distant road. This is taken with my telephoto at 1:09
Same scene without telephoto.
Break away group passing by. 1:28
The peloton. 1:30
Looking at the back of the peloton.
I was aware that the race experience is only minutes long and the waiting is considerable but it was worth the entire process of the event. I enjoyed the down time waiting and it was fun to see the riders of the race as well as all the riders before and after the race. Watching them ride up that long, long, long grade made me grateful for my car. I have a bike, I don’t ride anymore, I prefer to be in a climate controlled vehicle or on the back of the motorcycle.
I have decided that there were more cars than riders after watching my first live race. There were lots of cars ahead of the race, between the break and peloton and certainly following the peloton. I opted not to post the car pictures, except for the sweep car : )
David and the ‘Sweep’ car. It has two brooms on the grill.
Little Lulu patiently waiting.