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Posts Tagged ‘amgen tour of california’

Top 10 spots to watch the Amgen Tour of California in Tahoe and Truckee

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

For six years, the top professionals of cycling have tackled the winding roads of California in a Tour de France–style race with diverse challenges and amazing scenery. This year, the race kicks off at Lake Tahoe, and goes through Truckee on day 2. All we can say is, what took them so long? Our region’s breathtaking landscapes, exhilarating roads and athletic culture fit perfectly with this world-class event.

With that in mind, we’ve been working on a list of places to watch the world’s top cyclists compete for the leaders’ jerseys in their different disciplines.


Top scenic spots:

Emerald Bay: It’s going to be tough to beat Emerald Bay for a great shot of the peleton (cycling speak for pack) snaking its way up the switchbacks of Highway 89.  Located on Highway 89 between Homewood and South Lake Tahoe. Bonus: Racers will go by twice. What to bring: you’ll have to stake out a spot early here, so bring a Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover to stay warm in the early morning hours.

Cave Rock: The East Shore’s famous cave rock also offers spectacular scenery on Lake Tahoe’s shore. Spectators who started in South Lake Tahoe may migrate here, so finding the best view may require some hiking or scrambling. We recommend The North Face Crestone hiking shoes to get you to the perfect spot sure-footedly.

Tahoe Mountain Sports: Yes, of course we’re in our own list, but for good reason. Located right across the street from the beach, you can’t beat the scenery, and racers will pass on their way back to South Lake Tahoe, and around the corner on their way up Highway 267 on the way to the Northstar-at-Tahoe finish. Bonus: easy access to supplies in case you didn’t dress right for the weather.

Truckee Mousehole: Truckee is putting on “The King of the Mousehole” competition on day two, where the first rider to sprint through the Mousehole (the Highway 89 undercrossing tunnel of the railroad) wins points and the title of king, guaranteeing nail-biting action for spectators.  Fans are sure to be cheering loudly here, so bring a Summit Bugle Bulb Horn to add to the din of excitement.

Donner Summit: Snaking their way up Old Highway 40 on day two, racers will be competing for King of the Mountain points at the top. They’ll cross the iconic Rainbow Bridge with Donner Lake in the background and under Donner Peak. Grab a Thermarest Trail Seat to stay warm and comfy sitting on the rocks.

Party picks:

Homewood/West Shore Cafe: With not one but two chances to watch the racers go by, Homewood resort and the West Shore Cafe across the street will be prime viewing locations with lots going on. Park for free at Homewood’s North Lodge, grab barbecue from the West Short Cafe, hit up the beer garden for craft brews, listen to live music by Boogaloo and compete in a race-inspired costume contest. Lodging packages are available.

Blue Onion Cafe: Kings Beach is another two-fer place to party. Cyclists go through Kings Beach once on the way back to South Lake Tahoe (lap 1) and turn right past the Blue Onion on the way to Northstar-at-Tahoe (lap 2). Live music, food, kids activities and much more are on tap for this local favorite cafe.

Northstar-at-Tahoe: The finish line for day one of the Tour of California, Northstar is no stranger to bicycle racing. The Village at Northstar offers a plethora of viewing locations and all the amenities. A festival expo, live music, a bike fit clinic, live TV viewing of the race and, of course, the dramatic finish are just a few offerings on the schedule.

Squaw Valley USA: True to its Olympic heritage, Squaw Valley starts off day two of the Amgen Tour of California. Watch the riders sign in under the Olympic Rings in the Village before they hit the road. Keep up with all the action with live coverage on the Jumbotron, enjoy live music and then go skiing for just $39!

Mountain Hardware & Sports: After racers speed up Highway 89 from Squaw Valley along the Truckee River, they’ll make a sweeping turn into Truckee, right past Mountain Hardware & Sports on the corner of Donner Pass Road. Live music and more will keep you entertained while you wait for the racers to arrive.

Want more? Here’s a complete list of the Amgen Tour of California events around Lake Tahoe.

5 Under $50: Amgen Tour of California

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Lake Tahoe is in for some serious cycling action May 15 and 16th when the Amgen Tour of California starts its 2011 race around the lake. We’ve compiled these affordable finds to help you get in gear for the day. With the race route blocked off, we’ll be riding our bikes to get around and these accessories will help us do so safely and in style:

1) Planet Bike Beamer 1 Light Set – Front and Rear $24.95 (sale price)

The race kicks off on Sunday May 15 at 10:30 am in South Lake Tahoe, then loops clockwise around the lake 1.5 times, finishing at Northstart-at-Tahoe just after 3 pm. Though all this action will happen well after and before dark, we suggest outfitting your bike with these safety lights. Keep the rear red blink light on all day for safety, then turn on the front Beamer 1 to get home from the after parties.

2) Summit Bugle Bulb Bike Horn $8.95

The World Cup had the vuvuzela; Amgen Tour of California has bike bells and horns like this classic model. Honk with the loudest of fans with this monster on your handle bars!

3) Basil Jasmin Kid’s Farm Bike Basket $22.46 (sale price)

Kids won’t want to miss out on the fun, and this sturdy metal basket will keep all their essentials and swag from all the street vendors at hand.

4) Soma Morning Rush Coffee Mug and Bike Holder $39.95

This pure genius invention keeps your coffee handy for morning commutes. Race fans will be lining up early for the best course-side spots, so the Soma Morning Rush is the best bike accessory for those who need their morning java. Sunday’s start time is 10:30 am in South Lake Tahoe; Monday’s Stage 2 to Sacramento kicks off at Squaw Valley USA at 10:15 am.

5) Nite Ize Spokelites $7.49

At each stage’s finish line is a cycling-themed party like no other: health and fitness expo, cycling gear, family fun, food, entertainment and much more. We plan to stand out from the crowd (and get home safely) with these spoke lights from Nite Ize. Trick out your spokes in red, green, blue, disco or amber.

Stay tuned for more Amgen Tour of California details and fun. Our Kings Beach shop is course-side so we’ll definitely have a race-watching party and sale. We also just caught wind of a cool Bike Swap hosted by Biking for a Better World on Saturday May 14. More info to come!

5 Under $50 is a monthly Tahoe Mountain Sports blog series dedicated to showcasing some of our more affordable products. Each month we pick a theme, then show you the gear.

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