Hold on, let me get this. You spent more than half a year preparing for Tour of California and once it finally got going after a one day delay you blog about Amanda’s birthday? And who the heck is Amanda? Does she ride a bike?

Happy Birthday Amanda is what I call having the right priorities, being grateful and also giving recognition to a wonderful daughter and – indirectly – to the rest of the gang back home.

On a trip like the one I am on this week you get to meet a lot of people who share the same passion(s). Living together almost 24 hours a day we have an opportunity to talk a lot about biking, business and family – especially on a flat stage like today’s.

In order to prepare for Tour of California we all had to put in countless hours of training and we all spent a lot of time away from our wives and kids. It is great to meet guys who recognize that a large part of why we get to do what we are passionate about is having the support of our families. I have meant some pretty grateful husbands/dads in the last few days. It’s been only three days and some of my fellow riders already tell me how much they miss their family.

So as someone who is blessed with a wonderful and supportive family, why not start this post with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANDA!

Aaron and I shared a two bedroom condo last night. We got up at 4:50 am, got dressed and headed out for breakfast at 5:15 am. At breakfast we were told that stage 2 had been shortened and that we would start from Nevada City which is about 50 miles from where we were supposed to start. Stage 2 would not include Donner’s Pass. Here’s why:

California Winter (in May)

Nevada City is about 4,250 feet lower than Northstar Lake Tahoe and much warmer. We left winter and got to summer in about 90 minutes.

California Summer

We were a bit late getting everyone to the start. Once we got underway we made one wrong turn and hesitated at another intersection. We quickly worked out all the bugs and had a wonderful 3:30 hours ride covering 73.5 miles.

After we got to the hotel we quickly showered, put on our CTS VIP passes and headed out for the VIP section right on the finish line. What a thrill! As cyclists we always get reminded by our fellow riders and coaches to stay in the draft. Draft you say? Real cyclists don’t create a draft: they create WIND!!

 If you don’t believe me just check out this video:

 Join us on our trip:

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Stage Description from ToC’s Website

One of the longest stages of the race, Stage 2 has “sprinter” written all over the race route. Starting at the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and one of the largest ski resorts in the U.S., the riders will head north to the town of Truckee and then west past the infamous and rugged Donner’s Pass. At 7,100’, this will be the only KOM of Stage 2. From here it will be a more than 7’000’ of descending to the State’s Capitol (elev. 25’). The route will pass through Nevada City, California (last year’s official Start City) and after working its way west for several miles, the peloton will turn south and head through one of the country’s premier military installations, Beale Air Force Base. From there it will be a fast ride through the suburbs of Sacramento. Entering the circuit just past the finish line in Sacramento, the riders will begin the first of two circuit laps with a finish at the State Capitol building. You can expect the crowds in Sacramento to be some of the largest for the entire race.

Stage 2 Map

Stage 2 Map

Stage 2 Profile

Stage 2 Profile