August 7th, 2013

piranha - love me some lollipops.

Tour of Utah comes through Boulder

The Tour of Utah bike race came through Boulder this afternoon.  Everyone in town was excited, and about half an hour before the race started people were already lining up on the sides of the street.  I didn't have much else to do, and not much happens in a town of two hundred, so I figured I'd watch, too.

Before today, I'd never heard of the Tour of Utah.  Apparently, it's a grueling race of nearly six hundred miles across Southern Utah; today's stretch was a mere 130 miles, from Panguitch to Torrey.  That would be challenging enough on a flat plain, but there is some truly aggressive terrain in the Utah desert.  One resident told me the bikers would gain 10,000 feet over the course of the day - so not only is it a long bike ride in the hot desert sun, it's an uphill bike ride. Needless to say, it's professionals only.

I brought my camera with me, thinking I'd be able to get a couple of decent shots as the athletes pedaled by.  As a series of cars that preceded the bicyclists drove by, I tried to get my camera calibrated and ready to go.   When the first pack of cyclists appeared, I was ready and immediately started taking pictures, but I had to stop and fiddle with the zoom because I wasn't close enough.  The pack flew by, and all I had for them was 3-4 pictures, none of which were decent.  I sighed and prepared to wait for the next group - but there wasn't one.  To my surprise, all of the riders were bundled into a single enormous group.  I had expected them to be spread out, maybe in clumps of 3-4 at a time.  Nope.  They were already gone.

So with a sigh, I stuck my camera back in my pocket and wandered home, buying some chicken sandwiches from a street vendor on my way.

The pack on its way into town!