Going round and round

The boyos round the corner leading to the final kilometer.

The boyos round the corner leading to the final kilometer.

The Race of Many Silly Names (Not the Tour of Colorado) came to Bibleburg yesterday, and though I thought it was by far the best course of the three we’ve had, the spectator turnout was about what one might expect for a one-car funeral, a Hillary Clinton pole dance, or a goat fuck on the lawn at Focus on the Family.

I rode the townie down to Colorado College for a bit of casual observation with friends and neighbors and the “crowd” was mostly not. Checking out the final lap online via Tour Tracker it seemed that most of what few spectators there were had decided to congregate in Bibleburg’s fabled Drinkin’ & Fightin’ District, a three-block stretch of South Tejon that includes a string of grog shops, alehouses and taverns, one U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters, and a bunch of small shops selling shit nobody needs*, including the “local” newspaper, The Anschutz Gazette.

Ah, well. School is already back in session, it was a workday, and the homeless, while numerous, just aren’t that interested in cycling as entertainment; to them, it’s transportation.

And anyway, I had a good time watching the circus come to town, especially because I wasn’t one of the poor saps who had to clean up after the elephants. It made for a nice break from negotiating with lenders, renters, Realtors®, roofers, landscapers and inspectors.

* The exceptions being Savory Spice Shop, Bingo Burger and Sparrow Hawk Gourmet Cookware.

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15 Responses to “Going round and round”

  1. John in GJ Says:

    I’ll say this much: few spectators means you get your choice of viewing locations and you might just get to be more than just a spectator.

    We were on Kebler Pass on Tuesday, about 4km from the summit and 1km from the end of the dirt road (at least for the uphill part, it goes back to dirt on the descent). And we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

    First the clouds broke loose with rain, then hail, then lightning, then all hell broke loose. The peleton was scattered down the road…or, if you prefer Liggitisms, “spread eagle across the road” (never really understood that one). You didn’t see it on TV or Tour Tracker though, ’cause even though the helicopter was hovering just above tree top level and dodging lightning bolts, I guess no TV signal was getting through.

    My girlfriend and I got gladly pressed into service by the Optum/KBS guys when they stopped next to us, handed over three riders’ rain kits and asked us to give them to the second Optum team car coming up the hill. Then the Smartstop guys did the same thing with a kit of their own. I even had a Cannondale rider, who I found out later was Cameron Wurf, hand me two team raincoats to give to his team mates back in the autobus.

    So yea, few fans, horrible conditions, lots of drama, what’s not to like?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, it was pretty pleasant, a’ight.

      We had guests in The House Back East™ who were here for the race, and I shepherded them over to the course, found them a free parking spot and pointed out a couple good spots to hang out and beer up, then walked home to grab a bike and rode back.

      Plenty of personal real estate for gawking and bullshitting. A fella could wave his arms around while discussing the finer points of tactics and strategy without slapping the iPhone out of some selfie-snapper’s hand.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Did you get to watch Jens go by?
    Are you dealing with realtors on both ends? That would be enough to test any man’s resilience.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The fun part was watching the caravan taking the corner at Cache la Poudre and Tejon Street. Not many Steve McQueens in that crowd, and the cops were the worst of the lot. Hate to see ’em driving an MRAP. One dude was a couple MPH shy of doing it on two wheels and then rolling it into Wooglin’s Deli.

      We’re only wrassling real-estate types in Duke City, thank God. We’re keeping both Bibleburg properties for now since after the last little market correction we’re suspicious of any asset we can’t actually lay hands on.

      • Steve O Says:

        I did the crazed spectator thing at the first 3 Tour duh Georgias. Funny watching guys you respected on a bike (looking at you, J. Vaughters, then with TIAA-CREF) who couldn’t handle four wheels to save their life.

        And, yeah, the worst of the lot where the public safety professionals. You spend too much time with flashing lights strapped to your lid, expecting people to jump out of your way, and then insert yourself into a situation where the crowd wants to turn towards, not away from, what’s passing for action … Got to wonder if you would be better off with Wild west rules, let the consumer beware, every man for himself.

  3. Larry T. Says:

    Wow, you’ll be the owner* of three, count ’em, THREE houses? One is too many for me. Sorry to hear the Toasted Sandwich race isn’t drawing the big crowds…kind of puts a dent in the idea that CO was such a good idea for this thing? The old Coors Classic mojo is just gone I guess? Those were the daze.
    *I laugh at home ownership…just try skipping your property taxes and see how long you own anything. You’re shelling out loot one way or another, anyway you slice it.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I concur with O’G on virtual money in the market vs. something you can touch, but I have the Reverse Midas Touch: whenever I invest in something, it tanks. Our house in Honolulu took a bath until the day we sold it, and then it went sky high for the next seller. We started putting retirement funds in the market during the nineties just in time to see the bubble burst. Same thing with list price here in BombTown. So I suspect now that we are in escrow in Fanta Se, it will become a buyer’s market.

      I once told Meena that I’d be better off stuffing it in the mattress, and still think so.

  4. John Dallager Says:

    Saw it from Colorado Avenue w/ family and friends … and the street was sparse w/spectators.

    Jens put on his usually terrific show, albeit a doomed one, in the last big lap. He’s a great cyclist and entertainer…..hope he stays connected to the sport.

    Hard to believe it takes that many state patrol cars and motos in the “before and after” caravans to ensure the route is clear. I saw less in Iraq and a few other “strange and exotic places” when high-rollers were moving around.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      If I recall correctly, which is always a matter of some dispute, one of the legacies of the Coors Classic is that a road-race organizer has to hire the Colorado State Patrol to handle traffic at some ridiculous hourly rate, and the CSP decides how many troopers you need.

      This does much to explain the “popularity” of industrial-park crits.

  5. John O Says:

    And the road closures sure did fuck up traffic all over the downtown and westside of CS. The crowds were way down from 2 years ago. I heard the old store area was like you said a ghost town.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, it was a mess at Uintah and Cascade as I was cycling home with one lap to go. Fucktards eastbound on Uintah turned the intersection into a parking lot as I got the green on Cascade. 7-Eleven must still be having that deal on drivers’ licenses — one free with every Big Gulp.

      Meanwhile, check out the knobber The Anschutz Gazette whipped on the race. Good God awmighty. Flip a quarter in front of that lot and watch their teeth fold back. I wonder how much money this burg spent so a chain bagel shop could pump up its beverage sales.

      • Larry T. Says:

        The sad thing is, the whole f__ing thing has to boil down to “how much $$ did we make?” as the reason to do anything. More and more the SPORT is going out of these things. Yes, I well know bicycle stage races were created as a business venture, but the attraction is the SPORT rather than the business, otherwise ol’ Henri Desgrange could have sold tix to watch his printing presses run or his writers sitting at typewriters.

      • John O Says:

        I read that shit. The media in this town is un f’ing believable. Koaa reported the Pikes Peak ascent started in Manitou, went up the Incline then over to Barr to the summit. Check out their report on the bike race. On by the by way Jusuk sucks.

  6. md anderson Says:

    I took a trip up to Salida to watch Stage 3. The “Queen” stage was well attended up on Monarch Pass. Had great fun, Cliff Bar had a lounge set up and was mixing free smoothies, and you got to keep the really swell aluminum cup. I guess they figured if you could haul your carcass all the way up the pass you deserved a freebie.

    Watched the race come over from the west, then we rolled down to the ski area finish to wait for them to come back up. The finish area was well set up with sponsors booths doing a pretty good business, local food vendors doing a great business and a nice crowd watching the jumbo-trons and knocking back a few brews.

    I was smart and took video instead of trying to get still photos of the finish ’cause Tejay and Majka were freaking drilling it up the finishing straight.

    The funnest part was riding back down to Salida behind a state cop and 5 team cars. And btw, all the state cops were really friendly and clearly enjoying themselves.

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