More of Amgen Tour of California on my Flickr account.
I’d only been to the Tour of California races in the Bay Area, but they were always laid back, you go, everybody hangs out. If you looked serious enough as a photographer, they let you hang out in the areas with the “real” press photographers as long as you were cool and didn’t get in the way. Sacramento was a completely different beast. There were “police volunteers” every 10 feet or so, yelling and insulting the crowd. Roaming packs for 30 policemen yelling at the crowd — and yes, I’m old enough to know that it unproductive to even open your mouth when a cop is yelling at you. It doesn’t matter if they’re being unreasonable, in a crowd situation like that it’s all about their authority. I got shoved out of position so that a student journalist could have the proper backdrop to interview student legislators about how were they getting their important work done with the disruption of the bike race going on. The important work was that they were trying to get a bill to drop the drinking age from 21 to 18 introduced to the California assembly. And the crowd was filled with surly people with personal space issue. One old woman got very upset because I was standing behind her while she sat on the curb, so her husband started yelling at me, waving his hands in front of my camera and jogging the lens while I was trying to shoot. I’m shooting with thousands of dollars of digital camera / telephoto lens and you’re going to start fucking with it?
My best pictures came from the end of the day where Dean sneaked me into a bleacher section that was supposed to be paid customers of the bar next to it and I got shots of Lance, Levi, and the “big men”.
We were supposed to go to day’s race start in Davis, but it was raining so hard and the experience so unpleasant on Saturday that we just headed home to watch it on TV.