Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tour of California and Road Rage

At last, some details about the 2010 Tour of California, and it's looking pretty good for those of us from the southern part of the state. There is one stage that goes into Sierra National Forest that should have some nice climbs. What's really nice is that it starts in Visalia, which is a decent distance form the L.A. area, but not so far that it would be a multi-day trip. That particular stage ends in Bakersfield, a bit less than 100 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Speaking of downtown L.A. a time trial that doesn't leave the center city is a poor substitute for, as an example, the Santa Monica pier to downtown, but with subway and light rail it should be easy to get to. A circuit from Thousand Oaks, over the Santa Monica Mountains to Pacific Coast Highway and then back over the mountains to Thousand Oaks should have some nice climbs and fast descents. The route that looks the most interesting to me is Pasadena to Big Bear. The route goes past Crystal Lake, up route 39. That should be fascinating since route 39 is closed past the lake. The road is still there, but hasn't been used by cars for more than decade. The route does go through Wrightwood, so it has to be route 39 all the way. I'm guessing that the riders will be going through, or near Victorville, before climbing up the north slope of the San Gabriel Mountains to Big Bear. Finally, a summit finish.
The L.A. road rage trial of Dr. Christopher Thompson continues. I'll never make the argument that we cyclists are little angels. I've seen far too much bad behavior from my fellow bike riders to write that! But, the Thompson case isn't a he said, he said case, it's about a driver who purposely stopped short in front of two cyclists. Witness, LAPD traffic investigator Robert Rodriguez has testified that Dr. Thompson told him that he did it to teach the two cyclists a lesson. One rider went over the doctor's car and rolled over into traffic. The other went through Thompson's car's rear window. I won't make the argument that the good doctor was trying to kill the the two riders, but he clearly meant to do some harm, and if found guilty, should do some prison time for what was clearly an assault with a 2,000 pound car on a couple of 20 pound bikes.
I do have another blog about hiking, and cycling. I try and limit that blog to posts about actual trips, so I thought The New Common Sense a more appropriate place for Tour news and observations on the Thompson case. Anyone interested can check out Self Propelled at Too, I've blogged about the possibility of a fourth grand tour in North America. Anyone interested in an imaginary Grand Tour of California can go to the archives and find posts published on 7/15/09, 7/20/09, and 8/3/09. For a post on the idea of a Tour of North America with rotating locals, go to 8/18/09. Hey, I needed a break from all of the political posts.

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