SF Grand Prix / Opera in the Park

August 2001

San Francisco Grand Prix / Opera in the Park

A fine day in San Francisco indeed! Emily and I dragged our selves out of bed at an unholy hour for a Sunday and drove over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. Armed with folding chairs, the Sunday newspaper, and hot food and drinks we staked out our spot near the top of the Fillmore Street hill and relaxed for several hours.

During this time I couldn’t resist the urge so I left the security of our spot and headed back to the car, to get my bicycle that is. I slowly rolled down unpopulated back streets to the bottom of the hill, rolled up my right pant leg, shifted into the appropriate gear, swerved into the course, and then took off! Out of the saddle I charged up the hill, rocking the bike back and forth and bobbing the front suspension up and down. Then it began to burn, my muscles were on fire, but I couldn’t slow down, shift gears, or change my straight approach to curved for a spandex clad, shaved leg, $3,000 bike riding roadie was in my sights and I HAD to pass him. I did, people cheered and at the top of the hill, after making the left hand turn onto nearly level ground I could barely pedal or breathe for that matter. I locked up the bike on the street and made my way back to our spot.

Head down, out of the saddle, I charge straight up the hill.

Suddenly our space was violated, the peleton had been spotted at the bottom of the hill and we found ourselves crushed against the barrier. We cheered, screamed, oohed, and aahed. And then it was over, at least until lap 2 when the whole madness repeated itself, again, and again, and again.

Team Postal charges up the hill! Allez! Allez! One of them is Lance.

At some point Emily left for the park but I stuck it out. If memory serves, George Hincapie won, beating out 2 Team Saturn riders at the end. Lance was under the weather put his buddy in his slipstream and made up an incredible deficit to put him in the position to win. With the race won hopped on my bike and rode over to Golden Gate Park for a change of venues.

David Clover, his friend Hill, Jay Higa, and Emily had a great spot staked out, no shortage of food and drink of course. I think I managed to get settled just minutes before the start of the show.

Emily, David, and Jay (left to right) at the 2001 San Francisco Opera in the Park. Hill (a person) may be in the hat and purple shirt to the right of Jay.

Our view of the Opera.