Tyler Hamilton Foundation Live Tour Stage

-posted by Kevin

so…i got myself up at 4am to be in emeryville by 5am. not a big problem as i’m pretty used to being up early. i arrived at the theater to see a parking lot full of suv’s, sport wagons and bike racks, i could tell it would be a gathering of cyclists. i made my way inside and after getting my tyler hamilton foundation pin, rei waterbottle, blueberry muffin and oj, i made my way to the screen. it was packed end to end, and i ended up three rows from the screen. i suppose it could have been worse, as the people who came late ended up filling the walkways, without a seat. nonetheless, i had to tweak my neck to watch, and was worried about the shakiness of the camera making me nauseous(but i got used to it). the worst part about the experience was that i didn’t have my bed or couch to lay out on, and with 3.5 hours of cycling coverage and an empty coffee pot, only the prospect of an exciting mountain top finish and a drawing for a set of speedplay pedals could keep me from napping. there were plently of other positives though. a portion of the $25 ticket goes to the thf, for ms research and to promote youth cycling in the us. both good causes.

a theater full mostly of cyclists, and in the least lance fans, was really fun. it was easy to tell the real cyclists with their orange lensed glasses and cycling socks with teva sandals from the lance fans with their usps gear head to toe. the way they cheer was also a little different. with the final climb up to the beille, lance fans would cheer wildly when lance would take his turn up front, pulling basso. each and every time, it would be as if he were attacking, but when basso took his pull a low moan would be expressed as if lance were about to lose to tour. but for sure the whole theater cheered as lance zipped up his jersey, and pedaled passed basso for the win. voeckler was also wildly cheered for as i think that everybody in the place could sympathize with the underdog, and being dropped on a tough climb. i even think it was louder than the lance cheers as the maillot jaune crossed the line.

the crowd was also receptive to the many liggetisms given over the course of the stage. its was almost equivalent to a will ferrell movie response, but hardly unexpected from a group of cycling fans. i swear the laughter lasted for at least a minute after phil pointed out that paul had been dropped from a tour for missing the time cut, following paul’s comment that he knew what it felt like to quit a tour. coverage was also excellent as we got all of what the oln watchers get to see, with the bonus of coverage where commercials would typically be shown.

so was it worth it?…well i like to measure worth by the accessibility of comfort, as mentioned, my bed or couch. so in those terms, it was tough to keep focused on 3.5 hours of cycling. if this were a daily occurrence i would certainly pass. but for one stage, once a yea, its a good experience, and being able to cheer riders with others enhances the experience. unfortunately, i didn’t win the pedals.