Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pro racing comes home!

Well...the Tour of California starts on SUNDAY!! I'm on travel (again) up in Sunnyvale (San Jose) and the first three stages are up north. Stage one starts in Sacramento, which is about 1.5 to 2 hours north for me, not counting any horrific traffic that I could encounter. I plan on being there, somewhere. I'm pretty excited to finally kick off cycling season in person...sure, it's been going on for a few months now, but that's a few THOUSAND miles away, and between working and riding and family time, I don't see ANY of it so it's not real. But THIS...being there to FEEL the vibe and see the racers, THAT is what racing season is all about for me!

Then on Tuesday is stage 2, which is an Individual Time Trial in Folsom, which looks to be about a half-hour on the other side of Sacramento. I plan to be there also, somewhere on the route (I know NOTHING about the route or Folsom, so much like Sacramento, I'll figure that part out when I get there.

Wednesday is a great stage with the start right here in San Jose, goes up/over Mt. Hamilton, and finishes up north atop Mt. Diablo (which I've not yet climbed). I'm thinking of riding up Mt. Diablo to be there for the finish. Of course, for all these stages I need to consider what time I can get back to my hotel to catch some sleep before heading in for my graveyard shift every night. Traffic up here is much like any big city I gridlock starts happening around 3pm and goes until after 6.

Stage 4 starts in Monterey and heads south, but being as it's a 1-way stage I doubt I'll head down there just to watch them zing by on their way to Cambria. I'll likely be out on my own bike after missing 3 days in a row for the first 3 stages.

The weather forecast is rain (at least for now) which we've had in the past. This week has been somewhat cool as compared to last week when we had the crazy wind shift and the hot air from the Mojave blasted the entire half of California with temps in the mid 90's. It's been hovering around 70 so far this week (I arrived on Monday)...which is actually pretty perfect for riding. I got out yesterday for a nice Mt bike ride on my favorite loop, and today I was took a rest day and did some general running around. Tomorrow is road ride day, and I'll head back up Skyline Rd for another favorite loop thru the redwoods.

Well, it's time I caught a few more hours of sleep....working night shift and being busy in the day means I only get a few hours of sleep in the morning, and then a few more in the evening. It's crazy but it least for the short time I'm up here (I'll be here 3 weeks this trip, leave for home the day after Memorial day).

Have a great week!


(ooh...I'd be remiss to NOT mention that the Giro starts on FRIDAY!! It's got a great field as it usually does, and starting in Belfast Ireland is a very unusual beginning).


  1. Hey Matt! So happy you'll be able to see the race this year! Will you be taking photos? Can you post some here & give us daily write-ups of your adventures? Pretty please? :)

    Wish I could see the Giro too, but it once again is carried by a channel not offered by Comcast. What is BEIN TV anyway?

    Supposedly NBC-SN broadcast taped coverage of Liege & Fleche I think, but it must have been either during a business day or laaaaaate at night/early AM as I looked for coverage on every weekend since PR & saw bupkis. Sigh. It is SO difficult & frustrating to be a fan of a sport when you can never actually WATCH it!

    I was a bit concerned about you, Matt, when we hadn't heard anything lately! How's the house coming? Finished everything in the kitchen & bathrooms? Any more photos? Mighty impressed with your skillz! Wish you lived near me, I'd hire you for all kinds of home fix-ups. Heck, you'd be able to buy a fancy carbon bike with all the moola.

    My "big" news is I have to go buy a new car. Yep, my 22yr 7mos old car will FINALLY be replaced. After various problems the past 3 years, it actually broke down ON the way to work a few weeks ago & that's it! I've put off getting a new car since I was so used to this one; I've driven this one car for more than a THIRD of my life! In fact, two-thirds of my driving life has been with that car. Sniff, sniff. It only has 104,000 miles, but there are several other things the repair place NOW said I needed done & don't want to keep throwing money at the old paint-peelin bucket on wheels. If it doesn't rain, I go to the Toyota place tomorrow to look/test drive, etc. Gosh, I barely remember buying a car, it was so freakin long ago. I plan to buy a Corolla. I want another car that causes NO problems for 12 years, just like my Passeo. Any advice on dealing with the car sale people? Here's my 4 must-haves : automatic, blue, radio, & moonroof. See, I'm not too demanding! I have never owned a car with automatic windows & locks but apparently, you can no longer get a new car with manual ones. Oh well. :)

    1. Hey Susie...glad you're still out there checking in now and then...I've kind'a gotten into a slacker groove (as far as posting) is still about the same...much like work, I can't seem to get any one project finished....I have multiple horses standing in the stream so to speak, move one horse a few feet forward, jump on a diff horse and move him a few feet forward, then jump on another and we go backward a step or two..and so on (which is EXACTLY like work...which is why I'm on me a nice break from our stupid pace back home...and I make some extra 'moola' for the babies...Sydney is having neurological issues (leftover from her burst disc paralysis 4 years ago I assume)..her left side isn't quite up to we've started accupuncture/cold laser treatments...and then Sweet Pea has another tumor on her knee (had one taken off same place a year ago, it's BACK) we're dealing with what to do with that, hoping not to break the bank on a 12 yr old dog, but also want to give her as many years as she's got left w/ a pain free decent life. And so I'm on travel.

      I will be taking pics of the race and posting my adventures of course. Seems I'll FINALLY have something to talk about besides my inane life.

      As to your car, wow...a NEW car...I've only had one in my LIFE! It was an 85 Honda CRX HF (5 spd, got 50mpg WAY back then!) Loved that little wife had an extreme close encounter w/ the rear end of a dodge colt w/ a tow-hitch, and that was the end of that little gem. Now I buy everything a few years old, letting somebody else pay the high price and I get it for almost half price. My current VW Jetta TDI (diesel 5 spd) wagon is my best car also gets 50mpg, and it might very well last the rest of my life! LOVE that car! I've heard good things about Corolla's (and pretty much anything Toyota makes)...good economy car, and heaps more fancy than they were 20 plus years ago when they were a bare bones they're quite nice in every way. My Jetta was the first car I've had w/ the key-fob...gosh, how on earth did I live without that little box of joy? Jeannie's car is just a bit older than yours...(it's a 91 Dodge) and it still has manual stone age!!! (of course, if you ever lose a key fob, it's SO not cheap to replace...done that once). You'll love having auto windows/doors...and also the moonroof/sunroof (my Jetta has that it!)

      Well hey, good luck w/ your haggling (I'd get crushed in that dept...and end up paying MORE than they were asking I'm I'm no help to you there)'re quite saavy...I think you'll do just know exactly what you want, don't let them talk you into extra stuff (such as extended warranty...just my 2 cents on that...if you have a good car w/ a good warranty, shouldn't need that...just save some coin here and there and make your own little pot of emergency repair money...and you'll save big in the long run).

  2. Hi Susie - nowadays you can look everything up on and find out what the real invoice price of the car is and haggling is minor. I have had the dealer print out the kbb (formerly known as Kelly Blue Book) report and show it to me - they know everyone knows about it now. For a Corolla, throw about $500 on top for the dealer profit. The other thing is to buy near the end of the month when they're trying to make their quota. I agree with Matt, no extended warranty. No matter what you do, they will still do that "I have to review this with my manager" routine. Good luck - you will love all the new stuff that comes on cars now! Barbara

  3. Now, about the Tour of California! Very excited - wish NBCSN were doing more than 2 hours a day, but that's better than one!
    I am SO happy after enduring the east coast winter this year - relentless cold and snow - am enjoying every ride! We just got back outside about 5 weeks ago!