The Tour de Gastown was pretty exciting. With the rain and cobblestone you have to wonder if the cyclists are playing it safe and to be sure they are on those corners, but whew the intense speed on the straight stretches is pretty amazing.
Unfortunately, I arrived after work and the time it took for me to get from Whoville to Gastown made me miss the women's race. I only saw the last few laps and the medal presentation for the women.
I wandered a bit and visited the Saeco booth (of course). db had a coffee ready to go, I got my Saeco hat, cow bell, v.i.p. pass and away we went. We checked out the v.i.p. tent that was a bit dull with its catered food that made me shudder because it reminded me of such catered events that I use to work many of around this time last year. db enjoyed it, but I couldn't even consider it, not only because it's not vegan but just the thought of hanging out in the staging area while everyone filled up on food while waiting to serve just reminded me of how long that food sits and looks sad and gets reshuffled onto a new plate to try and make it look new and ugh, need I say more? I did have some white wine (they were out of beer and red wine? Huh?) It was nice to have little break before the men's race started so I could hang out with db a bit.
I filled up on clif bars that were being handed out, picked up some Arthur's, clearly Canadian and some Elete. Then I wandered the route a bit and parked myself on the south side of the route where there was less of a crowd and got a good view of the men's race that had just started.
I found it inspiring. I can only imagine the amount of training that goes into an event like this. The bikes are beautiful and look effortless when you see someone so skilled working them. The man who placed third actually wiped out and somehow made up the time and came in third.
Much of the race I walked the loop and checked back in at the Saeco booth now and then. Despite the rain, the atmosphere was amazing. It didn't really seem to stop people from coming to the event and with all the bars and restaurants surrounding the course you could potentially eat and watch the race go by. After my long, boring day at work and the extra long commute (I could have biked to the event faster than transit got me there), I'm so glad I went because it rejuvenated me.