Stage 6, Palmdale to Big Bear - the Queen Stage of this years tour. Chris and I got an early start and arrived in Big Bear around 8:45, no traffic either. At 9:30 we were on our bikes riding the race course backwards towards Lake Arrowhead.
A few phrases were said many times on this ride, and they just about sum it up - "This doesn't suck", "Not a bad seat in the house" and "Are you feeling the altitude too?" We live around 600-900 ft above sea level. All of this riding was up around 7000 ft.
32 miles later we were down in Lake Arrowhead. Time to climb 32 miles back to Big Bear before the race comes into town. On the way back we stopped at a small market and ran into cycling scientist/fitness guru Allen Lim. He was very nice, stopping for about 10 minutes to chat with us.
The party at the finish line was awesome. Lot's of people showed up. Thousands I'm sure. We watched most of the race on a jumbo-tron, and saw the leaders sprint to a finish live.
Finally, the Tour of California, in its 5th year has a stage right in our backyard. On roads and hills I ride several times a week. Matt and I rode to the top of the Rockstore climb where Herbalife offered to measure our BMI and give us access to their "oh so posh, private, best seat in the house" party. It really was the best seat in the house too - complete with wraps, fruit, sushi and healthy shakes. We watched the peleton come up to the top for 2 of the 4 laps from this awesome vantage point.
Then we got on our bikes and rode over to the decent on Decker. We lucked out here too and found a great perch to watch the riders negotiate an off camber turn. Once the riders came through we rode to the finish line and watched the riders come in. Surely, a great day of racing and a great day for fans. I know we had a great time.