Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Live Dry (My New Motto)

Yesterday was a big day in Santa Cruz, as our humble downtown hosted the finish line for Stage 2 of the Tour of California bike race. That means that literally hundreds of viewers of the Versus channel got to see our town in all its hippie glory.

Sadly, it was an absolutely miserable day for a bike ride--in the middle of a "winter" storm that dropped almost six inches of rain in three days on Santa Cruz. Not to mention the high winds that presumably battered the peloton throughout the stage (which started eighty miles north, across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito). But at least bikers aren't pussies like golfers and the race went on as scheduled (maybe it has something to do with the drugs?).

The Tour of California is actually a pretty major event, especially this year. Fosco used to follow pro cycling pretty closely and he can assure you that there are some really big names in this race. Essentially, you can think of the field as Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, plus a bunch of famously disgraced drug users (Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, &c.).

How does Fosco know so much about these druggers? Well, mainly because a lot of these guys were his cycling heroes in previous years. And that should explain why Fosco doesn't really pay much attention to the sport anymore. It's just too dirty. Sadly, there are even days when Fosco doubts the purity of King Lance. (Although on good days, Fosco still believes that, as this article noted years ago, Lance Armstrong is just a physical freak of nature.)

Despite his disillusionment, Fosco had been planning to be on the sidelines near the finish line yesterday. I mean, how often does Lance Armstrong ride through your town? But then the weather got in the way. The older Fosco gets, the more he becomes like his mother: completely unwilling to get rained on. And while Fosco loves and admires Lance, it isn't worth getting wet to see him go cycling by (assuming I could see him at all in the peloton; and also assuming I would recognize him in full gear at that speed).

After making the decision to stay home, Fosco was trying to think of people he would be willing to stand in the rain to see. Not even Barack Obama makes that list. Actually, I don't know if anyone makes that list--no one living, at least.


Jill said...

We must have the same mother...and I'm turning into to her!

kungfuramone said...

"Peloton" always makes me think of something Achilles did, or someone Achilles killed. Or, yes, someone he did.

Anonymous said...

hmmm.... meez no make leeest?