Monday, August 5, 2013

Tour of Utah

Tuesday is the start of the 2013 Tour of Utah. This is the first year they have branched out and will see 'the rest' of Utah...(well, not 'the rest' by any means, but certainly 'more'). Here's a link that describes the stages:

I did a "Cycling" search on my Dish Network yesterday, and saw that on Wednesday (I think) there is some ToU coverage...didn't even pay attention to who was broadcasting it...SWEET! And then yesterday morning I think it was on the BEIN network they were showing a live London race...the Surrey Classic I believe. I caught some of it but was pretty busy so didn't get to stick around to see the players/winner.

Anyway...back to the ToU. Horner will be there looking to avenge his being left off this years TDF team, and he appears to be ready to rock. This will be a good warmup for him before the Vuelta, which he has targeted as a race he really wants to win. Wouldn't THAT be somethig....a 42 year old cyclist winning a Grand Tour! I'll really be rooting for him in both the ToU and the Vuelta...sadly I doubt I'll see much coverage of either...I guess watching le Tour we get spoiled and expect that kind of coverage every day...wouldn't THAT be great? All 3 Grand Tours with TDF-quality daily coverage....ahh...we can dream!

This years ToU should provide some really breath-taking scenery (for the fans anyway)...the racers will likely be too busy racing to really notice much of that (their loss). Sounds like Wednesday's stage will be the real creme-de-la thru parts of Bryce Canyon should provide for some serious viewing, provided they show it at all...I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm back on '12's all week so won't have much viewing time sadly...but the good ol' DVR will save me and let me watch whatever coverage we do get, even if it's just an hour or 2.'s o-dark-thirty here at the pad on a Monday morning...(and I'm all alone in the payload equipment room, which is on the pad and down in a concrete basement below the Umbilical Tower and rocket). We're in a "pad clear" situation right now (essential personnel only allowed on the pad) as our mechanics are "fueling the bird" with the scary stuff (hypergolic fuels). I guess I'm one of the 'expendable ones' today. The fueling is done by guys wearing "SCAPE" suits...pretty much like a space-suit, only they're hooked up to an air source rather than self-contained. Thankfully we have great procedures, and they're all very good at their jobs...not to take this lightly, but it should be quite 'routine'. As for me, I'm in here to monitor the spacecraft, and as far as I know I'm the only one on the entire-pad that can hit the emergency "power off" to the vehicle if needed. No pressure or anything...but hey...somebody's gotta do it...sometimes your're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield. Not sure which I am today...just hoping for a quiet and safe one.

Have a GREAT week!

And Stay Frosty!

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