Monday, February 23, 2009

A day at the races

That's what yesterday was for us. We were all about the bike racing. We got up and packed some lunches and grabbed the sidewalk chalk and put on the old hiking shoes and headed for Escondido, where the last stage of the Tour of California was taking place. We drove up to the bottom of Lake Wolford Road, and then hiked about a mile and a half up so that we could hang out on an uphill climb, with a view of the road winding below us, and we waited. It wasn't just us, either; lots and lots of people had come out for the race. Some rode up, some hiked. We all got cheered on our way up the hill by people who had come earlier, or who had decided to stop further down. There's something exciting about being with a group of people who are all excited about the same thing. Everyone kept talking about what a thrill it was to see these world-class riders, right here in our backyard. And everyone kept saying how much they hope that the Tour comes back down to San Diego county next year. (And not a few of us commented on what an amazing thing it is in this day and age to be able to get this close to world-class athletes, and for free, even.)

While we waited, Rick and some other parents kept an eye on traffic, and the kids wrote encouraging messages for the riders.
That's me knitting in the background. I'd finished the colorwork portion of the tam, and was able to bring it along since it's all one color from here to the end. (Pictures when it's finished, I promise.)
Older Daughter wanted to know where the women were. I'm afraid I didn't have a very good answer for her. She wrote encouraging messages to Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie anyway.

We were really close when the riders came by, and the girls shouted and rang bells, and we all cheered.
There's no way those guys had time to read the messages on the road; they were moving way too fast for that. But I hope they enjoyed the intent as they saw the colors fly by under their wheels.

Then we gathered up our gear and schlepped back down the hill for the drive into downtown Escondido. We wanted to see the finish. We ended up hunkering down about 100 meters from the finish line, near the big screen TV that was showing the updates, and kept our fingers crossed for Levi. I knitted, and watched all of the people. And there were a lot of them.
Unreal. The riders said afterward that they'd never seen crowds like they've seen this week outside the grand tours in Europe. And that was in spite of the weather (which, luckily for us, was really nice yesterday). We got the girls right up to the barriers, and they got to watch Schleck and Niboli sprint for the finish. It was great.

Conversation with the three teenage girls behind me:
Teenage girls: Who won?
Me: Frank Schleck took the stage.
TGs: ???
Me: Schleck won today's stage, and Niboli came in second. But Leipheimer won the whole Tour.
TGs: But what about Lance Armstrong?
Me: No, he didn't win this stage or the Tour.
TGs: But isn't he supposed to win something?
Me: No.

They seemed very confused. Heh.

Younger Daughter was tired afterwards.
But she declared that it was all worth it to see the guys whose names she hears all July long every year.

So, not much in knitting news. I am decreasing for the top of the hat, which means it should be done soon. And that means that I've cast on for something new. Since it's knit from the bottom up, the cast on edge has 522 stitches, so there's not too much to show yet, but with luck I'll have something to show for myself in the next few days.


Willow said...

What fun to see the race's end! It's really exciting, isn't it?

Heheh, for many people Lance Armstrong is the only name they associate with bike races.

Rachel said...

Although I am one of those who knows only Armstrong etc., I can appreciate the fun day you all had!

522?!? I hope you know how to cast on with two threads, I didn't manage to master it but will learn one of these days :)

twinsetellen said...

LOL - I read 522 stitches to cast on and thought, "shawl", then immediately thought, "one of Anne's". Click - boy, are you predictable!

Anne said...

Oh, what fun (although it would have been cool to see a photo of a knitting superhero running alongside the cyclists).

EGunn said...

Sounds like a fun day! I'm glad there was a crowd for the finish; the riders must really appreciate that. Knitting, outside, fun event. Hard to beat!

Miss 376 said...

What a lovely day. I can remember having fun chasing the Tour de France when it came over to England some years ago and taking the boys to the Tour of England. The climbs and the sprint finsishes are so exciting to watch

Lynne said...

Looking forward to seeing the FO.

marit said...

We were cheering for Thor least he won one lap;-)

Looks like lots of fun on the races.

Alwen said...

That is pretty cool! Right in your own backyard. That's about how I felt when we had a fleet of Tall Ships in the local harbor.

And that It's 14 degrees out this morning and I still needed to fan myself.

Gwen said...

The cast-on alone is an accomplishment worthy of note, especially if you got the right number.

Yeah, that whole excitement with other people thing! Definitely a good day!

KnitNana said...

You're knitting a Faroese from the bottom-up? OMG. It's absolutely stunning, but I think it won't make my queue for that reason alone.

But Ice Fantasia is there...(top-down and another one by Anne!)

Bea said...

Can't wait to see the tam. This business of going to see the race up close sounds like fun. Love that they wrote messages for the riders. Also your daughters are so cute.