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California Pez: Check Out Any Time You Like

But you can never leave. Wow, what a trip. It took many a solitary ride since my return home to distill all the sights and sounds that made up the Amgen Tour of California from this writer's perspective. From seeing the Lion King roar again, all the way to watching smaller American teams riding their guts out against the big boys, there was never a dull moment among the beautiful landscape that is California.

California Wrap: A Few More To Go

With the end of TOC also comes a long awaited winter thaw… it’s time to get racing again! Like every race we cover, there’s a lot more to see than we have time or space to report, so here’s my own collection of some noteworthy gear and moments from California…

California PEZ: Balcolm In The Middle

After seeing last year’s exciting stage from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita that climbed over the ugly steep Balcolm Canyon, I knew this sucker had to be tested for myself. After 3 days of riding stages at ToC, I was ready for our queen stage, but never suspected it would be this tough…

California PEZ: Chasing Tom

As in Zirbel - the big powerhouse on Team Bissell. The weather was up to it’s old tricks again today, as rain rolled through and threatened another wet one, but the skies brightened in time for the race, and I hitched a ride with the SRAM support car for one fast lap – good enough for 8th place in today’s TT. Here’s how it looked from shotgun…

California PEZ: To Go In SLO

I’m told the worst weather hits California in February, and it this holds true every time I visit SLO for a bike race. Today was no different, although unlike last year when the entire morning was heavy-rained out, the sky was just cloudy and threatening this morning, so my planned ride to the Pacific Coast highway to check out the final miles of the stage was a go.

California PEZ: Hammered On Hamilton

It’s 4:21 and I’m settled into a comfy chair in the hotel lobby as I pen this report. Every muscle in my body aches, and the 2 beers I had with lunch did little to quench my thirst... but sure tasted good. Today’s ride over the 4000 foot Mt. Hamilton was epic – and perhaps the longest 3.5 hours of cycling in my recent memory.

California PEZ: The Sausalito Shuffle

After a few days on a cycling tour, it all starts to become one stream of consciousness. The race becomes a migratory flock of fans, riders, bus drivers, cops, and groupies. Oh yeah, and hapless journalists, of which I count myself one. Today I shuffled into Sausalito for the stage 1 start...

California Pez: Step Right In!

It was a day for those fast and powerful men, as the short prologue course for the 2008 Amgen Tour of California would not give much quarter to those who didn’t bring 100% from start to finish. The big story was Cancellara's storming win, but there was plenty of action all day long - and PEZ stepped right into it...