Velogal's Blog

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Velogal rides again, sort of. While I won't be covering the Amgen Tour of California as media this year, my buddy, Frank Scioscia asked me to give a heads-up about local AToC events. Please volunteer for the Palo Alto Prologue - they need your help!


The 2008 AMGEN Tour of California Prologue's Charity Challenge on February 17, 2008
PALO ALTO - Ever wonder how fast the riders of the Tour de France, Olympics and Tour of California really are? Ever wonder how you might stack up against Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie and Fabian Cancellara? This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to test your speed against some of the world’s greatest cyclists. This is more than a backstage pass to the Pro Tour – it’s a chance to experience first hand the excitement of riding a major prologue. You will ride the Palo Alto/Stanford prologue course just moments before 130 of the top cycling professionals in the world officially kick-off the 2008 Amgen Tour of California.

Imagine your name announced by the same famous voices that will be providing the live race coverage, a photo of you in the official start house, thousands of fans (and pros) cheering you down the start ramp and on until you reach the finish and look up to see your time posted on the big screen … or perhaps even the leader board?

In this short 2 mile race of truth you will race individually against the clock. Not only will you test yourself, but you can challenge your friends, go head to head against the Mayor, Stanford’s Vice Provost and other local celebrities and afterwards watch as the world’s best pros challenge your time.
· Close quarters with the pros as you and they prepare for the race.
· Official UCI timing and officiating
· Official prologue course closed just for you
· Your name announced to the roaring crowds
· Professional photography of you leaving the start house
· Professional photography of you blasting across the finish line
· Your time announced and posted on the Video Screen
· Awards stage recognition of the fastest man, fastest woman and the largest donor

This is a priceless opportunity for every cycling fan, enthusiast and weekend warrior. Lasting only a few short moments, it will be remembered for a lifetime.

Space is limited – so the 25 highest donations made to the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation (call 1-800-341-0310 to place your bid for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity) between now and Feb 15 th at 12 noon (pst) will earn a spot to test this course. Minimum bid is $500. Then, the official ranking will be updated and posted daily. Official bidding will start soon, so check back.
Note: All donations to this event will be handled through the Palo Alto Recreation foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, and are tax deductible.

For those who wish to have professional coaching advice, or a fitting on your TT bike for optimum speed, consult Dan Smith in Menlo Park at Sportvelo (650)324-BIKE (2453):
Need to buy a TT bike like the pro’s use? Contact Jeff at Palo Alto Bicycles 171 University Ave, Palo Alto - (650) 328-7411.
For more information about the Prologue course, check out

But wait, there's more!

The Webcor San Jose King-of-the-Mountain Ride, Saturday, Feb. 16, kicks off a week of South Bay cycling events, culminating in the Amgen Tour of California Modesto-to-San Jose Stage 3 finish Wednesday, February 20, at San Jose City Hall.

A pre-ride to the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, the WEBCOR San Jose King-Of-The-Mountain Ride will feature a tortuous ascent up Sierra Road. Riding like seasoned professionals up the breathtaking Sierra hill, the best and the hardiest cyclists will compete for honor of being King-of-the-Mountain.
Registration Site


Participants will gather at City Hall on Saturday, February 16 for an overview of the morning. The ride will start at 10 a.m., with Police motorcycles leading a rolling closure north and east to the base of the Sierra Road climb.

At that point, cyclists will cross a timing pad to activate timing chips and began the Sierra Road ascent: a 3.7-mile, 1830-foot climb, with an average gradient of 10 percent.
Below is a graph illustrating the Sierra Road portion only of the ride, indicating overall elevation gain and gradient change over distance.

The ride officially ends at the Sierra Hill summit, with riders invited to continue back to City Hall. The total ride is approximately 26 miles.

Riders will reconvene at San Jose City Hall for a post ride celebration including lunch and prizes.

NEW FOR 2008!
SunPower PedalOn AWARDS
Honoring cycling club and company teams, the SunPower PedalOn Awards is a play on the cycling term “peloton,” the large main group in a road bicycle race. Riders in a group save energy by riding close to other riders. Cycling clubs and company teams will be recognized for best (top 5) times and most participants. While winning cycling clubs and company teams will both receive commemorative trophies, the cycling club with the best time and the one with the most participants will each win a Specialized Allez Elite Compact bike-a $1,200 value. When registering, please be sure to enter your Team Name, otherwise you will not be entered into this category.

The Mattson Technology CEO Challenge is a competition where Silicon Valley corporate leaders and elected officials will vie for the honor of being the “CEO King-of-the-Mountain.” Participants will receive a Mattson Technology CEO Challenge jersey and an invitation to the Mattson Technology luncheon, Wed., Feb. 20, in San Jose City Hall Rotunda overlooking the Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 finish line. The male and female CEO cyclist with the fastest Webcor King-of-the-Mountain time each will be presented with a commemorative award and a $500 gift certificate donated by Undiscovered Country Tours—a premium cycling tour specialist—on the podium at the Wednesday, February 20, Amgen Tour of California stage finish line at San Jose City Hall.

For information and location of Downtown Parking Facilities, please visit, The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will provide on-site free guarded bike parking for the pre- and post-ride events.

Over the past 20 years, the rate of overweight children has tripled, and today obesity related illnesses like diabetes are affecting children at a rapidly increasing rate and at earlier ages. According to a study released by the California Department of Health Services, physical inactivity, obesity, and overweight cost the state of California an estimated $12.7 billion a year in medical care. Proceeds from the King-of-the-Mountain Ride will benefit Fit for Learning. Fit for Learning is a program-provided by the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) in cooperation with Healthy Silicon Valley-that addresses the crisis of childhood obesity and is a multi-faceted initiative that will increase physical activity and encourage healthy nutrition among elementary school students in Santa Clara County. Fit for Learning addresses the environment at every level: the classroom, the school, the district and community. For more information, visit

Webcor Builders is the largest general contractor in the Bay Area and the 10th largest concrete contractor in the nation. Over thirty-five years of serving clients such as Oracle, eBay, Lucasfilm, and the California Academy of Sciences has secured Webcor's position as a leading builder of large-scale, high-profile projects. In line with the company’s leadership position is its community outreach. Webcor Builders works hard to make a difference in the community by donating time and talents to non-profit organizations, especially those that benefit children and families. Plus, through the Webcor Cycling Team, Webcor Builders hopes to demonstrate to youth the importance of teamwork and a way to become true champions. The combination of these two strategic endeavors made the Webcor San Jose King-of-the-Mountain Ride a perfect match for Webcor Builders.

The WEBCOR San Jose King-of-the-Mountain Ride is being produced by the City of San Jose, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, San Jose Sports Authority and Blue Wolf Events, a comprehensive event management and production company, specializing in cycling events. For almost 15 years BlueWolf has been managing and producing all kinds of events in all kinds of locations through all four seasons.

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