Day 16, May 19, Big Bear Lake, 0 miles
I decided to take the day off today! A bit of rest won’t do any harm! And I got to see the time-trail of The Tour Of California. What a great opportunity! I am a big lover of watching bike-races. In the last years our famous Belgian rider Tom Boonen used to attend this race. Unfortunately, he was not here this year since he just retired in April.
I started the day with some breakfast in The Broadway Cafe. The lady who took my order asked me where I lived and I told her that I was Belgian. She said she had some family living in Ghent. I live in a town which is only a 20 minute drive from Ghent. And besides that, Ghent is by far my favorite city in Belgium. No, not Bruges! If you’re in Belgium one day, check it out. It’s a nice city with old buildings and water running through it, like Bruges, but unlike Bruges, it also has a nice liveliness! At least, that’s my opinion. Enough with the promotion, it’s not like Termont (mayor) is paying me for this. After breakfast I went back to my paradisy room and just laid on the bed for a few hours, texting with the home front, Discovery Channel playing on tv.
Around noon I went outside to check out the timetrial of the Amgen Tour Of California. The first riders were to take off around 1 pm. The spot where I wanted to check out the race was about 1 mile down the road. Ofcourse, lazy as I am, I tried to hitch there. Succesfully I got at the crossing were I would settle myself for the afternoon. Vons supermarket closeby, I went to buy some sodas. I was all set. I downloaded the Tour Tracker app so I would know which riders were about to come by. I felt like a professional cycle-watcher. I took pictures, noted the time and checked which riders were flying by. I had fun! The last rider, the leader in the overall standing, Rafal Majka, took off around 3.20, I took his picture and left my spot soon after.
I went to Von’s to buy a drink and guess what, Nathan and his dog Bandit were there rounding up their groceries! He had arranged a stay at a trail angels’ house and they would soon pick him up.
In the evening I went over there to have some drinks and chats. There were about 7 hikers in the house. The owner is trying to sell the place and in the meanwhile hikers can stay there and enjoy every aspect of it. The owner lives a few houses down the street and brought dinner later on. What a luxury! The evening progressed and it got wilder and wilder… What happens in Big Bear, stays in Big Bear… I found my way back to the motel around 3 at night. I had an amazing zero in town but it’s about time to get the hell out of here! I’d probably be a mess tomorrow!