In Vail

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I did the drive yesterday from Topeka to Vail. I wanted to watch the end of the Tour stage on cobbles before I left. Man, that had a lot of drama in it, huh? I can’t really agree with T.J. about questioning whether cobbles belong in the Tour. I think that the cobbles are part of bicycle racing in Europe. And that having one stage that rides a few sections of cobbles isn’t extreme. The problem was the rain. Most of the crashes occurred before the cobbles. I doubt they would say they should take a mountain stage out of the race if it is raining. You need to be able to handle your bike. Rain makes that a more tricky. Luck is involved, for sure. But, that is the case, as always, in the sport.

The drive went pretty well. It is 650 miles. I got here around 7:30 Colorado time. I really don’t have anything to do out here. Bill and Brian are racing a Leadville qualifier on Saturday in Leadville, but other than that, I don’t have an agenda. I figure if I’m just hanging out, I might as well be hanging out somewhere beautiful. I’m staying across the valley from Vail Village, 1.5 miles up the hill. It is a huge house that my friend Stacie rented from her family. I slept in my van last night with Bromont. The house has a no dogs policy, so I’m staying with him. He has always slept with a human, so I’m not leaving him along in the van, even though I know he’d be fine.

Okay, I’m going to try to ride a little late. Maybe along Gore Creek. I’m pretty sure I can’t ride back up to the house, but I bet I try. We’ll see.

On a sadder note, my friend, Hiram Salvini, died on July 4th. He had battled ALS for a long time. Hiram was a fixture in Kansas cycling, plus a super nice guy. He will be greatly missed. Here’s a link to a Facebook page if you want to leave a message.

A super nice guy and good friend to cycling.

A super nice guy and good friend to cycling.

View across the valley from the deck.

View across the valley from the deck.

Bromont loves running around the mountains.

Bromont loves running around the mountains.

This church is just east of Denver.  It seems out of place.  I've always wanted to stop and check it out.

This church is just east of Denver. It seems out of place. I’ve always wanted to stop and check it out.

Got caught in a storm right before Denver.  Mountain storms are always knarly.

Got caught in a storm right before Denver. Mountain storms are always knarly.

11 thoughts on “In Vail

  1. El Capitan

    ” You need to be able to handle your bike.” Provided you are 5 feet away from other riders and God forbid you touch each other.

    Reply
  2. Sean YD

    It’s actually “Tejay” if you are referring to Tejay van Garderen.

    “TJ” (Eisenhart) raced last week – helped by Trudi in Madison – and won the Under 23 time trial championship.

    Reply
  3. Robert

    Hmm…Nibili sure seemed to be able to handle the cobbles, even though they’re not his thing at all. That’s a novel idea to a lot of GC riders, I guess-to be able to adapt and just figure out how to deal with the conditions presented instead of complaining about how difficult they are. I always respected Nibili as a racer, but I think even more highly of him now. I hope he wins, and by a lot.

    Reply
  4. JP Shores

    Cobble stages with rain take the doping issue out of the equation! Sad news about Hiram. He was a great person and glad I was able to ride with him years ago!

    Reply
  5. Scott

    I thought the tour was supposed to be won by the strongest bike rider, not just the best climber. Go figure.

    Reply
  6. chris

    ” I slept in my van last night with Bromont. The house has a no dogs policy, so I’m staying with him. He has always slept with a human, so I’m not leaving him along in the van, even though I know he’d be fine. ”

    Well done.

    Reply
  7. Tom

    I always enjoy reading your blog. I don’t always agree, but I respect your insights and experience, and they inspire me to ponder different aspects of cycling and life. So far as including the cobbles in the tour, it makes great viewing from the fan perspective, thus attracting more people to watch. I know I was as excited about that stage as any mountain top finish. From the racers perspective my only caution is that this is already a brutally hard 3 week race that demands everything the body has to offer. Inserting this stage might be the breaking point for some competitors. Maybe a certain rider would have been able to ride through a wrist injury without the “jack hammering ” of the cobbles. Yes the strongest rider should win regardless of the course profile/terrain. And yes I enjoyed watching the race across the cobbles from the fan perspective. But from the racers viewpoint, maybe there are already enough obstacles in getting through what is probably the hardest event the world has to offer.

    And please let me offer condolences on the loss of your good friend Hiram. I didn’t know him, but I can relate to the loss of a friend. ALS is a terrible disease and the only relief is that your friend got past the endpoint and I trust is in a better place.

    Maybe see your backside at the Chequamegon race this year!

    Reply

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