Archive for April, 2007

Fly Like the Wind

| April 30, 2007 5:50 pm

Today I slept until 9 am, which is late considering I went to bed at 10 pm. I guess I was still recovering from the Devil Mountain Double on Saturday. Ann and I decided to go on a bike ride. It was very nice weather when we left, around 10:30 this morning. We headed up Hecker Pass Highway and then turned right at Burchill over to Watsonville road, left at Uvas and around the reservoir, turning right at Oak Glen. We then climbed over Willow Springs to Hale Ave, down Hale for a ways then a climb back over Llagas to Oak Glen. We then turned left down to Morgan Hill for a nice lunch at Erik’s deli.

After enjoying a nice lunch on their patio area, with absolutely wonderful weather, we made our way back to Santa Teresa. The wind was real strong now, and it was a tail wind. With the straight, flat road and the strong tail wind, we were flying. Ann stayed right with me as I took the speed up to 22 mph. Then I wanted to see what I could do and got down in the aerobars and really hammered, reaching eventually 32 mph for a brief spell.

We rode Santa Teresa all the way to Thomas Road, then back home on the bike trail for a total of 42 miles. Our average speed was nearly 15 mph hour, which was great. We had a total climb of 1,300 feet. It was a very fun bike ride and I am sure Ann enjoyed it also. She will definitely be ready for the Tour de Cure ride on June 9th.

Tour de Georgia – The Final Stage

| April 22, 2007 2:18 pm

It was a beautiful day in downtown Atlanta to watch the 7th and final stage of the Tour de Georgia. We drove down with the grandkids to meet John and Amy before noon. While we were waiting for the 1 pm start, we went over to the area where the pro cycling teams had their busses parked and waited for the Discovery team to come out.

Lance Armstrong was down here. Kyle, my 5 year old grandson, got his autograph along with autographs from Levi Leiphemer, George Hincapie and Johan Bruyneel (team manager).

Kyle with Tour de Georgia autographs

With seven loops we had a wonderful chance to see pro cyclists serveral times. I moved from spot to spot looking for a good location to take photos. This one I took from accross the street.

Family watching Tour de Georgia

After watching a couple of the laps we all went over to the CNN building for lunch in the middle of the race.

Family at CNN Building during Tour de GeorgiaThis format also allowed me to get some good pictures, like this one.

The Final Stage (Tour de Georgia)

Click here for my cycling photos. After the last lap went by us, we moved to try to see the finish. It was so crowed that John and I climbed up on a wall, but even up there we couldn’t see much.

John and Franz at Tour de Georgia

Tour de Georgia at Stone Mountain

| April 21, 2007 6:25 pm

This morning John and I went for a jog along a river. It was my first run since the marathon so I kept the pace down. Later in the morning we headed out with everyone to Stone Mountain, where Stage 6 of the Tour de Georgia was going to finish. While Ann, Amy and the grandkids went into the park, John and I went on the road bikes about 10 miles, circling the Stone Mountain park and scouting out where the Tour would go. We found the finish line, which was less than half a mile from where we had parked the cars.

We called Ann and Amy and met them back at the car and we all went down to the large expo area, collecting a bunch of goodies. We then positioned ourselves at a spot only 100 meters from the finish. This stage had the riders come through the finish, then on a 7 mile loop, and then ending at the finish line, so we could see them twice. It was amazing the speed they were going. Unlike the prior day with a mountain top finish, it was difficult to get any pictures. But it was exciting to watch the sprint finish. Freddy Rodriguez was the stage winner.

Franz and Ann at Stage 6 of Tour de Georgia

John and Amy were going to spend the night in Atlanta, so after the race we took the grandkids back into the park for an hour while the traffic cleared. I asked Kyle what he liked most about the day, thinking it would be one of the many attractions in Stone Mountain, but he said it was the race. Good going Kyle!

Tour de Georgia at Brasstown Bald

| April 20, 2007 8:09 pm

John and I went to watch Stage 5 of the Tour de George. This stage had a hill top finish up Brasstown Bald. We took road bikes and parked about 10 miles from the finish and biked in. The last 2-3 miles was a steep climb where the pro cyclists would be going later in the day. I was on my daughter-in-law’s bike which had a triple crankshaft but since John only had a double I decided to do the climb in the middle chairing. I passed about 50 other bikers on the way up. There was one section that was very steep and I had second thoughts about trying to keep in the middle chainring, but I decided to grind it out. I noticed that most all of the other cyclists were now walking their bikes, but my pride would not let me stop. I finally made it past that part and the grade returned to simply “steep”.

Up near the top was a level area filled with big crowds and an expo. The actual finish was up another 1,000 feet climb but they would not let us ride bikes up there. One offical said it was too steep except for the pro cyclists, but I knew I could climb it. Nevertheless we had to walk up a ways where we sat and waited for the cyclists to arrive. Here is a photo of the stage winner, Levi Leiphimer.

Levi Leipheimer

Click here for more cycling pictures. It was amazing to watch the pro cyclists climb this steep section. After the entire field came up we walked back down to get our bikes and waited for permission to head back down the hill. I kept the decent speed down since I was not on a a bike I trusted completely. As we were about half way down there were several emergency vehicles which we had to walk our bikes past. We could see they were administering CPR to a cyclist laying on the ground. Someone said the person was coming down too fast and it was a terrible crash. I was glad I was careful! After the steep decent we raced back to the cars and then a two hour drive back to Atlanta.

Sea Otter Classic Mountain Bike Ride

| April 12, 2007 6:41 pm

One of my favorite mountain bike rides each year is the club rider over the Fort Ord trails to visit the Sea Otter Classic. This year Ann joined me for her first long mountain bike ride. She did great, and made it up every hill. We even did one single track section, which she handled with easy. We arrived at the Sea Otter Classic before most all the rest in the group.

It was sunny and the temperature was not too bad, around the high 50’s. But the wind was something else. It rarely blows that hard in California. We were all plenty warm while we were biking, but when we spent about 3 hours over at the event, visiting the vendor booths, it got on the cold side. Ann bought a new cycling jacket at the Voler booth (for only $20) and decided to put it over her other jacket, and vest and jersey for 4 layers. I love to try to find a bargain jersey at the Voler booth and did find one this time, something about Boulder Triathlon Coaching, for the wannabe in me. It is a medium race cut. I tried it on when I got home and realized I had better not gain a single pound more so I can wear it. The race cut is much tighter around the waist than the so called club cut that I usually wear.

At the Toyota booth they took our picture in front of one of their monster SUVs the FJ Cruiser (I think FJ is from my first and middle initials). For that we were each given a multi tool kit, quite nice. Some other freebies were some tire tools at the REI booth, a bandanna at the Volkswagen booth, and a whistle at the Gore bike clothing booth (they people of Gore-tex fame).

It was beautiful biking over the trails. We went on some of the paths that the cross country racers traverse this weekend. I asked Ann how she liked mountain biking and she said she really likes it and wants me to buy her a full suspension mountain bike so she can take on the really tough stuff!

Here are some photos taken by Bob Thompson. The Toyota photo takes 72 hours, or when you buy a FJ Cruizer, whichever comes first!

Franz and Ann mountain biking to Sea Otter Classic

Franz mountain biking to Sea Otter Classic

Ann mountain biking to Sea Otter Classic

Franz mountain biking from Sea Otter Classic

Ann mountain biking from Sea Otter Classic

Franz and Ann by FJ Cruiser at Sea Otter Classic