Friday, May 6, 2011

California Here I Come

Heading to California next week - Bella Vita Italian Vacations to be exact. My friends Mark & Kristine Studnicki invited me out for their Amgen Tour of California - Lake Tahoe Trip.

It has been 5 years since my last visit to good ole California and I must tell you I am looking forward to it. On my last visit Carolynn and I went out to the 2006 NORBA National MTB Championships held in Sonoma, CA. That was the year they we were suppose to be held at Mammonth Mountain, but got moved due to heavy snow. That is one event I would like to soon forget but can not....things started off great that year with both Carolynn and I winning the Missouri State MTB championship in our class and earning a chance to line-up for a National Championship - not that either of us actually thought we would hang with those guys. I was all pumped to head up to Mammonth Mounatin, but then the record snow fall and USA Cycling moved the event to a venue that had about 300 yards of single track. The rest of the course was held on the rolling sun backed hills of Infineon Speedway. I am not lying when I say that about 1/2 the course was on dirt roads that are used for parking spectators that come to the speedway. There was little to no skill need for this course. All you needed was the ability to climb fast and you were in the $$$. Add to it the fact that Sonoma was in the middle of a heat wave and this kid does not have a chance in hell. I raced the best I could, suffered like a dog, about succumbed to heat stroke and just did break into the top 20. Poor ole Carolynn did not even start her race. After the pre-riding the course (I should say dirt parking lot) the day prior to the Championship and the 100+ degree heat she said "there is no way in hell that you are going to get me out there". She is the smart one in the family for sure. We still enjoyed our stay out west and looked forward to a return soon especially the wine. Looks like I am the only one going this time around. Don't worry honey, I will bring you back some wine :-)

Back to my upcoming trip....At last check-in with Mark, it looks like road riding only due to guess what, damn Snow again. I though California was a sunny state. Besides riding the roads up in Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains we get to see the big guys race in the Amgen Tour of California. Looks like it is going to be a great event and watching the top riders ride is always fun, yet humbling..... I am really looking forward to this trip. California, here I come...

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