The proposed plan: Shoot photos at Bonny Doon at 2 PM, then race by bike to the finish line and hope to beat the pros there for another set of photos at about 4 PM. Who thinks I can make it?
The Amgen Tour of California 2012 will hit Santa Cruz County early this afternoon and make the turn up Bonny Doon Road. I may make my own race of the Tour by biking from Bonny Doon to the Stage finish in Aptos and (hopefully) beating the pros to the finish line. Do you think I can make it?
The blue line in the map below shows the route the race will take this afternoon. That distance is about 50 miles and who knows how many thousands of feet of elevation gain. The red line is the more direct route I would take, which totals 20 miles and probably under 1000 feet of elevation gain.
The pros have closed roads and police escorts. They can power themselves uphill faster than I’m capable of moving on level ground, especially since I’ll pull a trailer with camera and computer equipment (and a change of clothing). The peleton will scream down that final stretch into Aptos at speeds approaching 60 MPH, while I’ll stop for red lights and stops signs.
I can move at a decent clip outside of town, but once I hit Santa Cruz traffic I know my average speed will drop to about 11 MPH. From experience I know it’ll take me right at about 2 hours to make it to Aptos from Bonny Doon Road, plus I still need to grab my media pass and (hopefully) snag one of the limited supply of photo vests.
The other downsides — there’s probably good opportunity for ‘lifestyle cycling’ type photos in Aptos, which is my real interest. I’ll miss those if I’m racing across town at my banana-slug-like pace.
What do you think? Should I go for my own little personal challenge of a race from Bonny Doon to Aptos? If I thought of that earlier wouldn’t that have been a cool idea for an alleycat race of some kind?