Critical Section

riding Mount Baldy (and visiting the Amgen Tour)

Sunday,  05/17/15  09:27 AM

Yesterday I rode the l'Etape California, a sort of pre-Amgen Tour event where normal people* could ride the same course up Mount Baldy as the professionals racing in the Amgen Tour of California stage 7.  The course started in the flats of La Verne, climbed 4,000 feet to Baldy Village, descended down Glendora Mountain Road, and then climbed Baldy again, 6,000 feet all the way up to the ski lifts, where you "finished" through the same course as the pros.  After which you could hang up at the top of the mountain and watch the pro race.  Awesome, right?

* "normal" aka crazy cyclists who like riding up steep mountains

Yeah, except for the 10,000 of climbing, including 10%+ in the last five miles, and the freezing cold.  Brrr.  Anyway I made it, so it is fun to talk about after, and I watched a great pro race; Julian Alaphillipe won, out-climbing Sergio Henao to the finish, but even more excitingly Peter Sagan hung on gamely for third, finishing just 47s behind, leaving him just 3s behind Alaphillipe going into today's final [sprint] stage from LA Live to the Rose Bowl.  Sagan will probably be able to pick up some bonus time in the sprints to win - stay tuned.  After yesterday's amazing ride we have to root for him, although Alaphillipe is a great young rider and if he wins he'll deserve it.

My own favorite Robert Gesink, who memorably won the 2012 Amgen Tour by out-climbing the field on the same mountain, finished fifth on the day and will probably finish fifth overall, too.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from my day:

the route: 84 miles, 10,100 feet (!); not pictured, freezing cold

early morning start, led by Jens Voght (!) - 500 eager riders

through the flats of La Verne (and yes, we *all* got lost for 5 miles)

climbing up to Baldy Village, not too bad (8% ish)

Baldy Village!

the critical turn up to the ski area; this is where it gets *steep*

5,000 feet, gasp

smiling with 3K to go, 11%+ here

just 1K to go but it is 14%

500meters... legs burning

the finish, yay!

lots of snow on the ground, and ice in the air, too

watching the peloton climb up the valley

the pros ... attack! Alaphillipe and Henao on the move

Alaphillipe leads strongly, with a motorcycle entourage

Sagan hangs in there, a great ride to limit his time loss

Cheers, and go Peter!


About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?