Monday, February 16, 2009
Grady and I, along with thousands of others, braved the cold, wind and rain today to enjoy the Amgen Tour of California as it made its way from Sausalito down to Santa Cruz. Fearing missing the excitement, we got out onto Empire Grade above UCSC by around 11:30 this morning.
And waited. It rained for an hour or so. Then stopped and we waited some more. And then it rained some more.
Every once in a while an Amgen festooned vehicle would come tearing by, lights flashing, horn honking and everyone along our little stretch of the road, all twenty or thirty of us, would get up, get ready and then get disappointed.
The cyclists ended up starting to come through at about a quarter to two. We were smart and I'd turned the Escape around to face the oncoming riders so that we could effectively camp out in the back hatch with it open to avoid most of the rain. And Grady and I played games together, ate snacks, told jokes and took pictures of other stuff while we waited. Grady also had fun kicking gravel into the rain runoff, so much so that he's probably ruined his new(ish) shoes.
When the cyclists did come ripping through, they were proceeded by support cars, police cars, motorcycle cops and photographers on the backs of other motorcycles. And they blazed through even though we were at the top of a pretty good sized hill.
As they tore by, I snapped pictures, shot video from a tripod on the deck in the back of the car and made sure Grady didn't go wandering out into traffic. I had both my big-boy camera, the Canon XTi, and my new SX110. I think I may have ended up opting for the 110 to replace my SD1100 because of today and the desire to zoom in.
Either way, I got some good photos, including Lance!, shot some good video footage and had a good time spending so much time alone with Grady.
My favorite (and recorded) moment occurred after the first big peleton can ripping through with all of its support cars and excitement. Grady appears on the far right of the video, watching, smiling and digging it. After the last car goes by, he turns towards the camera and says, not once but twice, "That was awesome, poppa!"
And it was awesome.
Here's my photo set from the day. I'll probably add a few more as we move forward. I'm currently working on getting the videos converted into a more usable format.