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April 14, 2010

Lance Armstrong and me

100_2226 About this time last year (the famous cyclist and cancer survivor) was on my street riding his bicycle. He perhaps will be back again this year as the  conducts day long cycle races across the state. Our house is on the route that the cyclists take through our Central Valley town.

This bicycle race is a big deal for the areas where the cyclists begin and end each race. The events generate significant amounts of business for lodging, restaurants and general local economies. Participants, support people, fans and the media arrive, spend their dollars and then leave. In between coming and going, they generate a huge amount of excitement.

Last year, not knowing what to expect from this first race in our town, we took the day off. Our darling neighborhood street was closed off in the late afternoon a few hours before the cyclists were expected. Police on motorcycles, volunteers and cyclists who just wanted a chance to race through the area unencumbered by the usual local traffic were the only ones on the road.

The weather didn't cooperate. We watched the race on television to get a better idea when to move our observation outside into the rain. There were crowds forming, but mostly around the corners as people wanted to see the cyclists make the tight turns. In the spirit of such a festive occasion, I had my husband turn on our still hanging Christmas lights.

In a flash it was over. The cyclists came by in a tight group, radiating intense concentration as we cheered their determination. Lance Armstrong, a mere thirty feet from our front door, was impossible to pick out from the pack.

No matter. The neighbors got reacquainted on our side of the street and waved to the ones on the other side. My 87 year old mother-in-law who lives next door enjoyed the fact that people were in her driveway sitting on ladders. I snapped blurry, watery photos of the big event. After the race, our favorite neighbors, ones that we do not see often enough, came over for a glass of wine. It was a perfect day.

It will be here again soon. In anticipation and preparation, I will plant a few more flowers in the front yard for the neighbors to admire. This year we won't have the Christmas lights still up to turn on, but I think I may just serve a little champagne. Oh, and I'll try to find out before hand, which cyclist is Lance Armstrong.

Sharon also stays busy blogging at Channeling Ricky. This is an original post to the 

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