About this time last year Lance Armstrong(the famous cyclist and cancer survivor) was on my street riding his bicycle. He perhaps will be back again this year as the Amgen Tour of California 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.