Sunday, August 05, 2012

Bike Race in Our Backyard

Last Sunday was the 2012 Tour de Nez in which John raced on his bike with the Men 35+ 1/2/3 Category. Now in its 20th anniversary, the event has attracted many spectators to watch professional and amateur bicycle racing in downtown Reno.
 
It was a warm day. There were droves of people cooling off in the Truckee River.
 
John's race started at 3:15 p.m. in the afternoon -- very hot at that time of the day as the group made loops around the downtown surface streets of Reno.
 
The race carried on for 60 minutes.  Imagine that, pedaling your hardest for an hour!!  Standing on the sidewalk in the shade and taking photos, I was tired from watching the riders pedal up the steep pitch of a road.
 
It must've felt like hours to the athletes.  Makes me wonder why they subject themselves through all that pain.  John had wondered the same thing himself with 5 minutes left on the clock.  He swore to himself he would never race again.
 
After the race was over, he was all smiles gushing about how much fun he had!
 
Some might think the idea of grown men in spandex racing bicycles is a funny concept.  I can see how that could seem humorous.  The truth is these are working men.  Men with families.  Athletes who train almost daily, hours and hours per week they push themselves...not all of the efforts are for the bike races but for themselves.  The race is just a test of their abilities, a measure of what they can do, how hard they can push themselves when faced with friendly competition.  There's a thrill in that.  It keeps them honest and gives them a goal--a reason to continue to set their personal best.
 
When the award ceremony was over, the Women's Pro 1/2/3 Cat raced.  Followed by probably the most anticipated race of the day -- the Men's Pro 1/2 Category.
 
As with all the races before, the roads were closed to cars (and any kind of traffic) and safety was ensured by officers on motorcycles.
 
Now it was our turn to relax and watch the race.  I took a break from taking photos and enjoyed a refreshing brew offered from one of the many vendor tents.
 
The pros raced for an hour and a half!!  I cannot imagine the intensity of the pace--but it was a thrill to watch from the sidelines. Sometimes the chain of bicyclists is called a train and when they pass by--it sounds and feels just like that, as if a train rushed by.  I am standing so close, I could reach out and touch them.
 
Finally it was all over.
 
A woman from the crowd stepped out and congratulated one of the podium finishers. 

I am so glad we had a chance to watch one of the biggest races in the west, from our very own back yard.  It was fun for both the racers and community of spectators and I'm looking forward to watching the events again next year.
 
Switching gears, my scooter is doing great.  After riding another 127.4 miles, I filled it up for $3.50 and that will be good for two more weeks before the next visit to the gas station.  Fortunately it is is summer so the weather is warm and nice outside.  Riding in the fall will be beautiful, but it will sure be chilly when winter comes.

You see, we traded in both of the vehicles we had -- the Toyota Scion and VW Jetta Sportwagen for a Dodge RAM so we can have a four-wheel drive vehicle for winter.  With one car in the household, the scooter is my daily commute for getting to work and home.  It works for now. :)
 
About the Tour de Nez: http://renotahoe.about.com/od/tourdenez/a/Tour-de-Nez.htm
Photos Tour de Nez (About.com): http://renotahoe.about.com/od/bigeventspictures/ig/Tour-de-Nez/

3 comments:

JoeinVegas said...

You didn't say how he did - was he pleased with his time?

Daly said...

Oh my gosh, Joe -- I forgot!! Thanks for catching that. John was very pleased with how he did. The category he raced had many of the fastest Master's (Cat 1, 2, 3 Men who are 35 years or older) and he finished in 7th place out of the 55 who started. He was the only Cat 3 to finish the race. It was a tough course and about 22 of the racers finished if that tells you how fast and furious it was.

John said...

Great write up honey!