Outdoor Industry Association® WebNews –April 1,2009

April 1st, 2009 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

If you don’t already subscribe to this newsletter you should! There are usually some really great articles about the outdoor industry that are very positive.

 

An excerpt from this week’s talks about promoting local vacations and the rise in campground reservations;

 

Surge in Campground Reservations
Creates Opportunities for Outdoor Businesses

 

More evidence is emerging that Americans are turning to the outdoors for a respite from tough economic times, or perhaps because of them. Advance reservations for nearly 89,000 campgrounds on federal lands were up 26.1% for the period of January 1 to March 22 compared to the same period last year, according to data from the National Recreation Reservation Service. The overwhelming majority of the reservations came in online via reserveamerica.com. Read more…..

Tour of California-Day 7, Solvang Time Trial

April 1st, 2009 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

Orbitz Worldwide Travel named Solvang one of the Top 5 “US Domestic Destinations with International Flair” and the city has been recognized by Sunset magazine as one of the “Ten Most Beautiful Small Towns in the Western United States.”

 

Solvang attracts over a million visitors annually with its thriving Danish community, unique shopping, distinctive architecture, award-winning bakeries and regional wines….Did I mention the bake shops about 2 per block!

 

We arrive early in order to get parking. We have made several friends along the way this week and meet up with 2 friends from Santa Rosa who have a spot picked out right on the finish line. You must guard these spots as they become more valuable as it gets closer to start time (some folks even lock their beach chairs right to the race railing!).

 

The best thing about this stage is that all of the team buses are parked right on the main street so the opportunity to see your favorite rider in one of the local bake shops is high.

 

This stage is one where you basically stand in one spot, for hours, and wait for each rider to come though. Race leader Levi Leipheimer (AST) took a big step closer to his third consecutive Amgen Tour of California title by acing the stage with a winning time of 30:40, eight seconds faster than U.S. National Time Trial champion David Zabriskie (GRM). Gustav Larsson (SAX), who won silver at the Beijing Olympic Games in the time trial, had the third fastest time, 16 seconds slower than Leipheimer, who padded his advantage in the General Classification over Zabriskie.

 

Some pics of the highlights-

img_4093 img_4090 img_4095

 

After lunch at one of our favorite cafes, we headed back to SLO, one more night away from home, and another Tour of California under our belts…till next year…..

Tour of California-Day 6, to Paso Robles

April 1st, 2009 Terri Berbena-U'Ren

I think that today was my favorite day of any Tour of California! The adventure began as we decided to do something a bit different….

 

During these long stages the riders need to constantly refuel themselves, consuming up to 5,000 calories during the ride. You don’t really see much on T.V. about the “Feed Zones” so we decided to look at it up close today!

 

We took off down the highway in search of the smaller roads they would be riding. We knew about what mile marker the Feed Zone would be. South of Fresno is very wide open land, with many large dairy farms…we drove for miles in this open space before finally coming upon the road signs. No one was there at all since it was 8:30 am and the racers were not excepted through this area for another 4 hours!!!

 

So, we opened the tailgate, boiled some water and make coffee and hot mochas J

 

In case you have never seen this at all, the riders slow down just a bit from the 25+ MPH they are traveling to swing over to the side of the road, while still riding, and grab a bag of food and drinks that is being held out for them…quite a tricky process. They quickly go through the bag and discard any thing they do not want or need…the balance gets tossed on the road (that’s where we come in)!

 

 

As cars started to arrive, and a few spectators like ourselves, curious as to this process, we positioned ourselves along the road where we hoped the riders would be going through their food bags. Now, if you have ever stood in line for hours for something good you will understand. The competition was not much, but I was really determined to get a few ‘goodies’. We were pretty certain we were positioned just about right in the grand scheme of things!

 

Here they came up the road. I saw a few water bottle fly over the road on the opposite side of the road, darn it. No worries they were just about in front of me when one rider tried to fling the bag in my direction, but it was caught by one of the photo motorbikes, darn it missed that one too!

 

Then, as the main Peleton whizzed by the stuff started flying up the road everywhere. I was across the street at a dead run, grabbing bags, water bottles, etc

 

Now, keep in mind that:

1)       there are still support cars on the road

2)       there is an older gentleman who is now also caught up in the moment and running stride for stride with me (wasn’t counting on that)!

3)       I have promised a girl who parked next to us that I would trade her something if I got a Rock Racing souvenir

It was a chaotic mess for about 5 minutes and I found myself about ½ mile down the road as the Feed Zone sweepers showed up. They dashed out of their vehicles, grabbed all the swag and drove away…the nerve!

 

Anyway, here’s a look; (notice the 3 Astana bags? Yes, one of those IS Lance Armstongs!!!

img_4078 

That’s all for today…stayed tuned for Solvang results tomorrow.

 

PS Jeff Louder rocked again today in the breakaway!!!!

 


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