Velogal's Blog

Saturday, April 23, 2005

OMG - It was so cold on top of Brasstown Bald that we all thought we were going to freeze to death. We encountered no traffic at all, which means we left way too early, but we drove all the way to the top in pea soup fog and then came back to the parking area, which was one K from the finish line. I took my car up, and just parked and waited - I was thinking of hiking a bit, but it was ugly, bad weather conditions. The wind was howling, and it rained, hailed and lightly snowed off and on all day. Hardly warmed up at all, and everyone was wearing everything they owned. Thank You, Kevin, for those arm warmers!! My new sox became mittens for the day. I froze my arse off the whole day long, and so did almost everyone else.

I watched the race via the Jumbotron - a huge crowd was huddled together and cheering for Lance. Altho we heard that he was a not feeling well, Lance gave 'em Hell by taking off like a shot, on the next to the last climb, and set it up for Tom to take the win. Hmmm... I wonder if this is a message that he is leaving his Lance legacy to Tom... And Tom does have the heart, guts and determination that Lance respects.

All the guys looked pretty fried when they came by, and after riding in the sunshine and climbing up to freezing winds, I’m sure they were suffering big-time. I stood at the last turn out of the parking area that headed up to the finish. One of the LPI riders came by wearing a backpack! I don’t know if he rode with it the entire day, or picked it up right before he got to us. It looked totally weird to see a Pro racer finishing the last one K up Brasstown Bald wearing a backpack...

Of course, being in Georgia, Elvis was there in a shiny gold lame suit with tennis shoes and a two-day-old beard. He made some riders laugh - much more so than The Devil at the Tour. And the Jittery Joe team staff came back down from the top in their little convertible, wearing no shirts and ski caps. No, it was only the guys....

A photographer from Brazil, plus two guys and a dog named Eddie (who had epilepsy) hitched a ride down the hill to the highway with me. I had the heater going full blast and we were roasting by the time we got to the bottom, but it felt so damn good after freezing all day. Eddie shook the whole day, and the guys reassured me, and dozens of other bystanders, that it was the epilepsy and they were not letting their dog freeze. But I figured if we were all so damn cold, that a little shorthaired terrier must be cold, too. If I were Eddie, I’d rather have waited in the car...


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