Friday, May 10, 2013

ATOC Day -3

Hi all
Welcome back to my blog, from here I'll be recording a few observations and memories from my big trip to the US of A for the Amgen Tour of California.  I'm here with 4 other great cycling buddies from Sydney to ride the ATOC and raise funds and awareness for the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer initiative.
A quick recap on my journey
- train to the airport all good, only to be greeted by a monster queue at the checkin, something about 12 Qantas flights leaving Sydney over a 2 hour period!
- Flight all good, except no sleep (of course!) A plane seems to be the one place I just cant nod off.  So watched three good movies, Life of Pi, Argo and Lincoln (some good US culture to get me ready!)
- Land in LA early, but they cant open the doors till 6:30am, ho hum.
- one guy on customs desk, Welcome to America! well atleast he was friendly
- Then waiting at the airport till the car hire place opens and finally we are on our way west.
- Check in, very nice hotel, dont really know where we are but then the fun begins..Westlake???

A couple of hours to unpack and freshen up, quick swim in the heated outdoor pool and then we roll out for a "gentle ride".  Straight into the Santa Monica Mountains we head, oh man, so beautiful!  I'll add some video later, you'll see what I mean.  50km later and 1000m vertical, love those climbs, those quiet roads, friendly drivers, smooth roads and amazing views.  Makes Bobbin Head look like an ant hill.

Back for coffee, rest, and ready for dinner, then a very early bed!

Tomorrow we are planning a longer ride (4-5 hours) 120km, should be amazing.  Weather here is perfect 22 deg and sunny.  Thanks to Malcolm Hill our guide, you are awesome!

Much more to come
Keep Riding
Mike

Mulholland Hwy Descent from Mike Israel on Vimeo.
Sorry, this is kind of a boring video, but you get the idea, long sweepy descents are fun!  The video just doesnt do the views justice!

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