2017 Tour de California: Stage 03
Tuesday May 16, 2017 | Pismo Beach
Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach has the world’s best doughnut shop logo (period).
No tracking, guys. I free walk. I FREE WALK! Daniel did 20442 or 10.8 Miles (but he went running for four of those miles. He’s feeling pretty great about that.)
Quality Inn Santa Barbara: So far, this is the smallest room on the trip. It’s tight—one could even say crowded—in comparison to our palace in Modesto. But the outside, the exterior, is so much nicer than the exterior of Modesto. Whereas Modesto was a vast expanse of tan and manure, here in Santa Barbara the door of our shack opens to the American Riviera where the mountains plunge into the sea, palm trees abound and facsimiles of Spanish architectural motifs are as invasive as scotch broom–as disparaging as this sounds, the vibe one gets from the ubiquity of the terracotta roofs and whitewashed walls is extremely pleasant. So really, our hotel room could be an overfull port-a-potty and we’d probably be happy.
- Interview Ian Boswell. Ok, so today we needed to discuss hunting, which we did, which was great. You can watch the interview here on our web-blog a few scrolls down.
- Decide on how to watch the race. Again, this is one of those ones that happens before every stage of every race we attend, but today’s race presented a special problem because it was going to be especially tedious from a photographer/man-on-the-street/combat journalist POV. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that on the TV or the streams there was much ado: Ligget spewing trivial anecdotes and improvising the pronunciation of names from across the globe, helicopter shots of a two hundred foot line of cyclists trudging down the coast, and so on and so forth. There’s something to that; good or bad, there’s at least some meat to bite into. But for us grunts on the ground, we were looking at a slim pickings. Do we just shoot the start and head to Santa Barbara? Or do we shoot the start, enjoy a donut, then head back to San Luis Obispo to catch the sprint? Going to the finish was out of the question. Sorry. If we did the latter we’d be able to pick up a few more pics for our fans and maybe add to our story. The former and we’d be in Santa Barbara eating tacos before the clock struck three. In the end we decided to head to San Luis Obispo. Did it make our day longer? You bet, but we love our fans and we know you love us and because our affection for each other is based on an economy that is in a large part based on our ability to produce Professional Road Racing images and insights, and because we’re addicted to your affection, we decided to risk a long day in San Luis Obispo. We did it for you, we did it for us. We did it for love.
- I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out that I was predestined to buy a set of Apple AirPods today… and bought them I did. Have I set them up yet? Not yet. But I plan on doing a run in the morning and I plan on listening to some music or maybe a podcast, I dunno. Either way, I plan on doing that shit wireless.
- See my two-plus-year-old niece and my brother. I did. I know the race was way cool. But honestly this way SO much cooler. You get it. I know you do.
- Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, 4:53:26
- Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin, s/t
- Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, s/t
Two-time Host City Pismo Beach returns this year, and the aroma of clam chowder and the sound of crashing waves will be the sendoff for this nearly 115-mile stage. The riders will enjoy a little of everything they have come to expect from California: beaches, sand dunes, vineyards and wineries, a little climbing, lots of spectators, and lush countryside. Guadalupe, Orcutt, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo will all welcome the riders as they head back to the coast and a finish in Morro Bay, which became a very popular start city in its first showing last year. Riders will encounter one KOM, two sprints, and a nasty little .5 km climb to the finish.
I am going to be honest and only tell you what I know firsthand. I know that it started in Pismo Beach and that Pismo Beach is just fine, not great, but fine. On the plus side there’s the ocean and the beach and the surf vibes and that donut shop with the cool graphics. On the other hand, the pier was under construction and our media parking was taken away. Also we were told by a woman that there was a red hand, which was her way of telling us that the crosswalk was, at that moment, off-limits. Which, sure, but then again all the roads in our vicinity were, at that moment, off-limits to cars. That hand, through no fault of its own, was just acting out of habit, and that woman should have known better. So maybe there are some power trippers in Pismo? I don’t want to judge the entire town on one woman’s action, but I also don’t not want to. We also experienced San Luis Obispo. It has a nice Whole Foods, an Apple store that—as of the last time I checked—had four pairs of AirPods in stock, and a Starbucks that acts as an underground railroad for vagabond musicians and their hangers on. This is what I know. And as far as my experience tells me this, is the totality of Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California.
Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach has the world’s best doughnut shop logo (period).
Still no Bugs Bunny. That Albuquerque is a doozy.
Even the lead car with the microphones seemed to acknowledge the ridiculousness of running the race through the center of San Luis Obispo. He pulled up to the packed lefthand corner located a couple hundred yards after the sprint and asked the crowd to say WHOOSH. “Can you say Whoosh? Say it, goes by pretty quickly right? Well that’s how fast this is going to happen.” Then, about three minutes later, the peloton came through, and that was in fact how fast it happened.
People talk about over-population and how it’s a problem, but as I was driving south down the 101 north of Santa Barbara I started thinking about how maybe it’s only a problem because people, for some reason, have decided to overpopulate crappy parts of the world. For instance. Bakersfield is huge but the central coast is nearly uninhabited. So maybe the problem isn’t over population but mislocated populations. I know there are a lot of capital/commercial reasons as to why things happen this way, but then again doesn’t that raise the question as to why they need to happen that way? Let’s discuss.
Buds, the world is nuts. Fidget Spinners? Nuts.
Daniel and I both had coffees and juices from the Starbucks across the street from our hotel. Then we drove to the race. After the start we went into Surfside Donuts because the logo is SO cool. We both bought mugs and I bought a donut and a coffee (they serve Stumptown, HOLLER). Later we drove to San Luis Obispo and took in their Whole Foods. I had a sushi platter. Afterwards we hit up the downtown Starbucks where we each enjoyed a coffee while eavesdropping on the local folk gossip: who’s boppin’ who, and more. For my evening meal I joined my brother and my ADORABLE little niece for pizza at the Copper Penny. The food was fine but my little niece was insane cute. INSANE CUTE.
Dear TdC, we apologize for the lack of enthusiasm with which we attacked today’s race. But if we’re being honest, some of this is on you. I mean today’s course was SO contrived. And I quote, “Today these racers are going to ride 120 miles in order to get to a finish that is 24 miles away.” What the fuck is that? Anyway, we know you’re trying to do your best. We totally respect that, but you can’t blame us for sometimes feeling that maybe you’re not trying to do your best even when you say that you’re trying to do your best. I mean maybe you need to look at yourself in the mirror and think about the kind of courses you’re putting together. We apologize if we sound so harsh. It only comes from a place of love, and we just thought you should know.
Interviews with the Boz Ian on Hunting
The thing to know is that Ian is wonderful. Like he’s such a rad dude. I come to his camper just minutes before he’s supposed to roll out.11Pat Malach—fellow Oregonian, writer for Cycling News, and one of my personal favorites on the Bike Race Junket—corrected me this morning when I said, ‘This bike race is about to kick off.’ ‘Hey man, bike races don’t kick off, they roll out, come one you should know this.’ Pat, now I do. Thank you. I’m dressed like I am about to try out for the Blue Man group and I have Sonic the Hedgehog hair and he still treats me with patience and respect. Just a swell guy.