It is unfortunately difficult to ride a bicycle on public streets in most parts of the country without running into someone expounding on all the ways that bicycles hinder auto traffic. While there is no denying that a car has occasionally been slowed by a cyclist, the more realistic truth is that cars do a much better job of slowing each other down than a cyclist cruising in a bike lane ever will. In fact, that cyclist is actually helping by removing one car from that traffic snarl.
Despite my best efforts in the past, looks like I’m back to working in the bay area, while living in Sacramento. The dynamics this time around are a little different from my previous Palo Alto employment, so I’ll be spending some nights in the bay area and some nights in Sacramento. So what does that mean for cycling? Well a couple of things.
I feel like I need to preface this post with the statement that I’m not looking to embarrass or disparage any sponsors. Corporate sponsorship is absolutely critical to the sport of professional (and amateur) cycling. It clearly takes a lot to run a pro cycling team – a delicate balancing act between athletes, sponsors, crew and media.
But these names are making it really really hard for me to cheer for you as you go flying by me.
Sacramento was treated to some fantastic pro racing as the modified stage 2 course of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California offered 3 circuits around the state capitol building. A breakaway of 4 riders struggled to stay ahead of the peloton, but were caught before rolling onto the streets of California’s capitol city, where huge crowds waited despite the threat of poor weather.
In response to anticipated weather conditions, officials have moved the start of stage 2 of the 2011 mgen Tour of California to Nevada City, CA. The start time has also been delayed to 12:15 Pacific Time. This essentially moves the start along the original route to the location and time it was expected to pass the new start location, thus allowing the rest of the 61 miles to follow the originally planned route.
The route was expected to leave Squaw Valley and pass over Donner Pass. However, the threat of more winter-like conditions again raised concerns for the safety of riders, spectators and crew, prompting this change.
Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California was unfortunately canceled due to the risks presented to riders, spectators and staff by winter-like weather conditions. Many riders expressed their agreement that the cancellation of stage 1 was the right thing to do. This was further underscored by reports that as many as 6 race marshals may have been involved in an incident or incidents resulting in their motorcycles crashing in the slippery conditions. There are no reported injuries as a result of these crashes.
However, while stage 1 is behind us, there is still risk of potential impact on tomorrow’s stage 2.
The official release from officials says that Stage 1 of the Tour of California is slated for a 1:15pm Pacific time start – using a much shortened course allowing for the scheduled end time of 3:15-4pm pacific to remain as scheduled.
However, given the weather that just rolled through Sacramento, there still remains the possibility of a complete neutralization of the inaugural stage of the 2011 race.
Riders in this years Tour of California will be wearing wrist bands to honor fellow cyclist Wouter Weylandt. Weylandt was a rider for Pro team Leopard Trek. His life tragically ended after a crash in stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.
Stage 4 of the Giro was neutralized in memorial, with riders completing the stage as a group, Leopard Trek leading across the finish.
Also joining Leopard Trek at the front of the peloton was Tyler Farrar, friend of training partner of Weylandt. Farrar opted not to complete the Giro after Stage 4 in an understandable move to mourn the loss of his friend.
If you are planning on attending the finish of Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California. Sacramento can be tricky it park in and negotiate on a good weekend day. Throw in all of the traffic for a major cycling event and you’re likely to find yourself walking miles even if you do drive downtown. However, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) are helping to solve this problem for you.
On May 5, 2010 Doris Matsui (D-CA) has introduced H.R. 1780 – The Safe & Complete Streets Act of 2011. This legislation is poised to place requirements on projects that utilize federal funds that necessitate the adherence to a ‘Complete Streets‘ policy. While submitted by Matsui, the bill also lists Steven LaTourette as co-sponsor. LaTourette previously sponsored the Complete Streets Act of 2009.
…require each state’s department of transportation and metropolitan planning organization to put in place a Complete Streets policy that ensures all Federally-funded transportation projects accommodate the safety and convenience of all users. Complete Streets policies ensures roadways are built with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, motorists, freight vehicles, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. This bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH).