On Friday I happened to stumble upon the fact that stage 5 of the Amgen tour would be finishing in Santa Barbara THAT AFTERNOON.
I am not a huge cycling buff, but during my time working at the SBR shop in Kentucky I was exposed to my fair share of Tour de France and Beyond the Peloton DVDs. And I thought it would be awesome to see.
So after Memaw graciously agreed to watch HH for the afternoon, I was out the door and downtown in the hot, hot heat.
My friend Rika, who doesn’t particularly like cycling, just happened to be in town and agreed to stand with me to watch.
Around 3:45 the barricades were all up, nobody was allowed to cross the street, officials were yelling at pedestrians to STAY OFF THE ROAD, you could see the blinking lights of the escort in the distance…when suddenly a homeless dude on his cruiser with two large bags full of cans slung over one shoulder came cruising down the middle of the course.
He seemed somewhat tuned into the fact that something was…different, but completely oblivious that he was in the middle of it all.
Cue: mass hysteria.
Every official nearby was yelling and chasing after him, flags in the air. Caught completely off guard by the uproar, Can Man started swerving all over the road to avoid the various people trying to tackle him, almost colliding with one official in the process. There was a collective gasp as everyone envisioned cans strewn across the road as the peloton descended.
Surprisingly dexterous in steering his bike with one hand and carrying an unwieldy load in the other, Can Man managed to avoid crashing into anyone or anything, finally rolling off the road and into a nearby park yelling over his shoulder about how EVERYONE was being ASSHOLES. Crisis averted.
And then Taylor Phinney came flying by.
Then came the peloton.
It all happened in bouts of about 3 seconds. I thought it was very exciting. At the end Rika was like, “That was it? That’s what we stood here so long for?” But ultimately agreed the homeless dude fiasco made the event worthwhile.
Nice little article on how brutal that leg was here.