Quite a day today; preparations for Megan's Party, in which we were invaded by 40+ 13-year-olds, and a reconnaissance ride of Rockstore preparing for the Amgen Tour of California stage 8 tomorrow, and then the party itself; an invasion of noise and fury in which nobody was hurt, nothing was broken, and a good time was had by all :)
...to give you a flavor of Meg's Party, Shirley prepares the "cake" made from donuts...
In today's Amgen Tour of California stage 7, an individual time trial in downtown Los Angeles, Tony Martin won (!) and teammate Michael Rogers slightly extended his tenuous lead overall over Dave Zabriske, now at 9 seconds. Levi Leipheimer was a disappointed fourth and now sits third overall, 25 seconds back. It sets up quite a showdown in tomorrow's stage 8, a circuit race in my backyard...
Meanwhile Vincenzo Nibali won stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia, as a tough mountain stage allowed the GC favorites to recover time and realign the standings after that weird huge breakaway mixed everything up. They're still quite a ways back, but you can see it will all be okay in the end...
John Gruber has some Post-I/O Thoughts. "What we’ve got here is a good old-fashioned epic rivalry. It’s exciting, vicious, fun to watch, and ultimately should prove to be excellent news for consumers." Yep. He, too, notes Microsoft's absence from this party. It is interested to reflect on the fact that while I use Google every single day, all day long I have never paid them one penny. Even while they've earned a lot of money from me, indirectly. Meanwhile I pay Apple for stuff all the time. Different business models as well as products.
I love this, a Time Magazine cover from 1994: The Strange New World of the Internet. Ironic in that one of the biggest victims of the Internet's rise has been Time itself, which is now irrelevant.
RIP Martin Gardener, a pioneer in modern recreational mathematics and inventor of popular math games. For thirty years, he penned a math games column in Scientific American, and I read a lot of them. He will be missed.
I am so ready for stage 8! That would be the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California of course, which takes place in my local stomping ground... including the "world famous Rockstore climb". I will be stationed on that very climb, having wangled an invitation to join the Amgen Cycling Club who have a nice "VIP compound" on the last turn of the climb.
Tomorrow's route is a circuit race, four laps around a 20 mile course:
right there from mile 10 to mile 12.5, that's the Rockstore climb...
and not to be neglected, from mile 16 to mile 18 is the descent down Westlake
the green arrow is at the finish line location
here's the Versus version of the course, which includes the start at the Oaks Mall
the Versus route profile (not quite as accurate as RideWithGPS above)
For a detailed tour of the Rockstore climb and the Decker descent, check out this video I made back in January... a 4X playback of me riding the very route of stage 8:
re-watching this video - especially the descent - I can't wait to see the pros doing it
Today I made a little reconnaissance run up Rockstore, down Decker... checked out all the barriers and signs and parked motor homes and so on... pretty amazing to have a world-class tour finishing stage on my little playground.
an informal scoreboard at the base of the climb
the Rockstore itself! will be considerably busier tomorrow...
the summit awaits, glowing in the sun
last bend before the summit, with the Amgen Cycling Club compound at left
final straight - could be the scene of some fireworks tomorrow!
It is going to be a very interesting stage, as Michael Rogers is only leading Dave Zabriske by 9 seconds, and Levi Leipheimer by 25. There are bound to be some attacks. You can imagine a breakaway taking out the finish time bonuses, with the peloton sitting tight for three laps, and then fireworks on the last lap as the GC contenders try to get clear for the finish. Yippee.