February riding

February miles: 222.31
Percentage of monthly goal: 133%
Percentage of annual goal so far: 22%

February worked out pretty well in the bike department. Even counting a nine day stretch when I only rode once — for which my excuse of “it was raining” is super weak considering that I went to the trouble to put fenders on my bike — I rode in to work more often than not. I even got a few longer weekend rides in: one about 18 miles around the neighborhood, another 26 to and from the arroyo/Rose Bowl where Stephanie and Fletcher were taking an archery class and the USMC marching band was playing. (The band was very cool. The silent drilling group was impressive, but I guess not my thing.)

The SGV continues to be a wonderful place to ride. Cars are, for the most part, cooperative. The weather, absent the rain, has been perfect. Also, thank god for casual dress codes at work.

One thing I’ve definitely learned is that not a lot of people around here go out for weekend fun rides with fenders and a rack trunk. Clearly what I need is a Serotta with SRAM Red, a Sella San Marco, and a pair of Zipp 808’s. Otherwise I’ll never be cool. (Or broke.)

In riding news that doesn’t involve me going very, very slowly to and from work, I went out to see the penultimate stage of the Tour of California last weekend. The stage in to Pasadena has ended with a crit around the Rose Bowl for at least the last two years. I had an odd day with some weird schedule constraints, so I drove out to see it. The pictures of the race are on Flickr. Here are some of my favorites:

I didn’t get there early enough for a spot by the finish, so I settled for a corner on the bottom of a hill. There was a pretty good crowd there, including a gaggle of MTB’ers.

Astana — race leader Levi Leipheimer’s team (also that Armstrong guy) — was pushing the pace of the main peleton all day. It was impressive that they were able to keep the pack behind them so effectively.

George Hincape was in the break. He won this stage in last year’s race. I was really rooting for him to win this year’s, but he got edged out at the very end.

I was able to get a shot with both Armstrong (first in this shot, with the yellow helmet) and Leipheimer (third, in the yellow jersey) in it. Also (I think) Christian Vande Velde just entering the frame on the left and <insert name of Astana domestique here> up by Lance.

The race organizers said that 2,000,000 people came out to see the race in person. (Counting all eight days, I imagine.) They said that it was the best attended sporting event in California history, which I find to be a somewhat dubious claim on account of we had the Olympics not too long ago. Either way, the little crowd at my corner was certainly enthusiastic.

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