Woohoo! May 23 – last day for ATOC and everybody on the team support staff seemed a bit more relaxed. I’ve been thinking that maybe the race should be renamed “Tour de Starbucks”, or at least sign them on as a major sponsor, because it seems like the support staff always seeks out the nearest Starbucks and empties the coffee urns.

We headed off to Westlake Village, again as early as possible, and it worked out well since we managed to squeeze the RV in along the race course just past the finish line. Not even Radio Shack got as good a spot. I really did not have a whole lot to do today beyond helping Mike San Jose get luggage moved up to the hotel rooms in the Hyatt right at the finish line. My plan was to leave immediately after the race ends, assuming my girlfriend showed up to get me. She had her first wedding reception at this Hyatt, and considering the way the marriage turned out I was afraid she might get spooked.

The race got underway and I was mostly hanging out at the RV or walking the vendor areas. At one point I was talking to one of the race moms in the RV when a fellow walked in and asked me if I could give a tour of the RV to one of his friends. Turns out that the fellow who walked in was Tom Ritchey, who is a sponsor of the team. While I gave the tour I tried to recall all of the unique features about the RV that Dan the driver had told me, and lamented the fact that one of those features was not a laundry facility. Those little things do seem to matter.

NGDGU = No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. When I worked for the team two years ago, I caught the tummy bug that ran through the support staffs and peleton, forcing many racers to abandon. Personally, I spent an embarrassing 10 minutes squatting next to the van, with a roll of toilet paper in hand and my fever spiking, on the side of a highway near Napa in the falling rain. That was in a wet and cold February. This race edition took place in a mostly pleasant May, but I still did not escape getting sick. I probably picked up a bug at the keyboard of the computer in the lobby of the hotel in Big Bear, and it hit me on the last day after too many nights of not enough sleep. This one was respiratory and I spent the next week hacking up phlegm and coughing until it hurt too much to cough. My gal did show up to take me home, but kept me at arms length until I got better. Missed out on an entire child-free weekend of frolic with her. Ah, the prices we pay for our indulgences…

Here is my final set of pix from the tour: ToC2010_May23

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