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Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour

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avatar Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 21, 2009 03:26PM
Yosemite National Park Officials confirm they've turned down an application by race organizers

http://www.kmph.com/Global/story.asp?S=11353582
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 21, 2009 03:33PM
Potential inconvenience to park visitors. Cobb said many Yosemite visitors travel great distances for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the tour could upset their tight schedules. If the 2010 tour happened May 17-23 as many expect, it would’ve landed in Yosemite the week before Memorial Day weekend.

http://clovisindependent.com/2009/10/21/amgen-cycling-race-to-bypass-clovis/
Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 08:57AM
The officials who made the decision should be congratulated. This bike race is the most over-promoted, over-hyped, snooty, boring event I've seen. We have had two local cities groveling for their presence (San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles) over the past few years, and it's really nothing except a way to populate motels and restaurants for a couple of days (with the spandex-clad elite). They shut down major streets for them (last year they were shutting down highway 140 to Mariposa) and make a big fuss over what amounts to a clump of overpriced bicycles and their dayglo riders, followed and preceded by about a hundred vehicles trying to make a big deal out of something that's not.

I happened to be getting tires last year, next to where they were coming through Paso Robles, and though I wasn't all that interested, walked over to have a look. What a waste; major streets closed down for hours, all so bike hero fans could watch about 1 minute of bikes passing amid the vehicles. I think they operate on the idea that if they keep insisting this is a really big deal, and make as much hype as possible, along with acting as if they are blessing wherever they go with their presence, people will believe it. While there wasn't much of a crowd, I had to wonder at the people who had their chairs and umbrellas there on the sidewalk, waiting there for hours for that?!? Our local weiner-dog race is a lot more fun and exciting than this non-event, and the racers are a lot nicer.

They're skipping San Luis Obispo county this year, and I think I hear people cheering... Accolades to the Yosemite folks who have the sense not to be taken in by the hype.



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 12:03PM
Good riddance. To paraphrase what someone else once said -- if you're going through a beautiful park trying to set a speed record, there's really no point in going.

There are thousands of miles of pavement in the area where a race wouldn't involve shutting down the primary road into a national park. Why not use that instead?
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 12:38PM
Yes, stay out of Yosemite, but Gary why poo-poo the whole idea of bike racing?
What do you like?



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 01:53PM
Quote
mrcondron
Yes, stay out of Yosemite, but Gary why poo-poo the whole idea of bike racing?
What do you like?

I would note that I personally think it would have been a monumentally bad idea since the pre-race and race festivities would have caused a monumental headache given the limited roads going into and out of the valley. I personally don't care for some of the portrayals of the fans/riders as "elite". Many say the same thing unfairly about backpackers (to some degree) and especially big wall rock climbers.

Did anyone bother to read the articles? The main proposal was for what sounded like an untimed "pre ride" through the Valley to the Arch Rock entrance as sort of a ceremonial start to the stage. I've heard of a few of these things, and it's usually a leisurely ride where nobody is really trying to expend to much energy that they could use for the actual race. A place like Yosemite is where they theoretically could have gotten some nice photos/footage of the riders with Half Dome or Yosemite Falls in the background.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 02:10PM
The big problems with rides of this type, race or no, is that roads have to be closed to cars for several hours. Not a good idea in Yosemite. The flood in 97 closed the valley floor for some days but that event was planned by some higher authority, not some day-glo spandex wearing zero body fat elitist.

One of the arguments against shutting the valley, actually the whole road system in the park, is that many people have planned at great expense to visit the park and the disappointment these people would suffer is far greater than the trouble caused by having the bike route elsewhere.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 02:46PM
Quote
mrcondron
The flood in 97 closed the valley floor for some days but that event was planned by some higher authority, not some day-glo spandex wearing zero body fat elitist.

Often the race organizers aren't exactly the fittest looking people. I pass by many cyclists every day, and even many with the megabuck bikes are middle-aged riders with hanging guts.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 02:47PM
Well OK. I guess some slip through the vetting process.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 25, 2009 03:22PM
Quote
y_p_w
I personally don't care for some of the portrayals of the fans/riders as "elite".

I suspect that refers to their attitudes. I lived near Amgen until a few years ago and frequently shared the road with red spandex clad types. They didn't seem to understand that "Share the Road" isn't just aimed at cars.
Re: Yosemite Park Officials Turn Down Amgen Tour
October 23, 2009 09:07PM
Quote
mrcondron
Yes, stay out of Yosemite, but Gary why poo-poo the whole idea of bike racing?
What do you like?

So many cities are groveling for the "prestige" of having them whiz through, it's nice that Yosemite officials didn't do likewise. These folks aren't used to being told "no", they're usually the ones that say that.

Bikes are great. Bike racing, well, if you must turn everything into a competition, have at it, but please don't close down major traffic arteries for it. Bike racing on multi-thousand dollar equipment wearing sponsored day-glo spandex on city streets closed to normal users with a hundred or so vehicles escorting you?

When I watched them go by in Paso outside the tire place, after about 30 minutes of "they're coming, they're coming!!" then a ton of vehicles go through with a minor blob of spandex and magnesium alloy in the middle, taking maybe 1 minute, I thought "thats it??? That's what all the fuss and 'come to our city' and news articles and whining when a city doesn't get them is about? Thirty seconds of bike riders who don't talk to anybody outside their clan, don't see anything because they're racing, and wouldn't know what to do with a $100 Walmart bike? All that for this??"

If it floats some boats, wonderful, but it sure looked overblown to me. I was going to post a photo to show what it actually looked like as they went through, but I guess I deleted the few I snapped...not worth saving I guess.

How about a real race, on Walmart beach cruisers with one speed, and normal traffic, wearing overalls, and they have to patch their own tires...



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
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