Yesterday's moto feast had a cost... a two hour drive back to Seaside to pick up the car left me too tired to head towards Solvang last night. Instead I grabbed a hotel room in Seaside and drove the three and a half hours to Solvang this morning, arriving just 20 minutes before the TT start.
I had no time to check the course or to figure out how to get away from the busiest streets in town where clean backgrounds were in short supply, and where one photographer appeared just as the final five riders were coming through my position, using pocket wizards on the same channel as my flash (hence he fired my flash with his camera). Ordinarily I'd have told him to "jog" back to his original position down the street where he'd been working with no effect on my gear, but rather than have that conversation I just picked up my rig and walked away. I should have stayed, it was just getting dialed and the last few riders was no time to move.
It's funny to contrast the two days. Yesterday I was on the inside and couldn't have been closer to the race. Today I was on the outside, quite literally I never stepped foot inside the barriers. Weird. Normally I enjoy shooting TTs because you can really work on a particular shot given multiple, evenly spaced subjects rocketing by. Not today. All that driving had me a little punchy.
As soon as Horner crossed the line I made for the car and headed towards Claremont. Four hours later, through slinky-like LA traffic I made it to a hotel, my first decent dinner of a fast-food week and the shortest editing session of the Tour so far.
Wish I could say I'll be on a moto tomorrow for what will be the definitive highlight of this year's race, but it's not in the cards. Next year I'm coming credential loaded for bear; you heard it hear first. Instead it's a shuttle to Baldy's crown straight from the start. With some sleep I'll make the best of it. Two stages to go.