You saw it here first! A video of the route for this May’s Amgen bike race is supposed to be officially announced on Tuesday, but surfing the web from Austria on Monday (in the Grass Valley timezone), my son and I *already* found it online with a YouTube search. As I reported previously, the race will go through Grass Valley and Auburn, not just Nevada City, on its way to the front of the state capital in Sacramento. It winds through 100 miles of country roads, including Dogbar, Rattlesnake and the Foresthill bridge, the tallest in California. “Don’t look down,” Amgen competitor and Auburn resident Chris Jones warns. The cool AMGEN video and all the details are below. The route map is here.
You see, the recession is making it dirt cheap to ski abroad – less than $200 a night, including board, for a sweet hotel is Bezau, on the Austrian-Swiss border. As luck would have it, the dollar is stronger than it has been since last May, too.
I negotiated a travelogue of our trip with our son’s grade-school teacher in exchange for pulling him out of school, so it’s a working vacation.
We used United Airlines miles, and the route was supposed to be Sacramento-Washington Dulles-Zurich, but the big snowstorm that slammed the East Coast changed all that. Dubbed “Snowmageddon” it forced us to reroute from Sacramento-Denver-New York LaGuardia.
I lived in D.C. once, and they really don’t know how to handle copious amounts of snowfall very well.
Instead of touring the White House and Air and Space Museum, we spent the day in New York, showing our son the Statue of Liberty, “Ground Zero,” Central Park and other sites.
I never miss a trip to Katz’s Deli (shown here) when I’m in New York, because it’s such a classic New York deli. We also swung by FAO Schwartz, the only remaining store of the famous toy retailer.
Once in Zurich, we hopped a train for western Austria and are settled comfortably in the town of Bezau, about the same elevation and size of Nevada City.
The skiing here is “old school,” kind of like Alta outside of Salt Lake City if you are familiar with that ski resort. There is no glitz or glamour – just a German-speaking town where Weiner Schnitzel, spatzle and German beer are commonplace. (Salads are fresh, too, with vegetables grown in hot-houses visible throughout the countryside).
We’ll be home in a week, and I’ll be blogging as always. This is the era of “anytime, anywhere” communications, and the happenings back home are only an email and web page away.
We’re headed out to dinner know while many of you are waking up. We wish you an enjoyable week.
A Facebook page is growing in popularity with some of my former news colleagues at The Chronicle, CNET and other newsrooms called “newspaper ledes that have nothing to do with their stories.”
It’s a hoot. “Here we honor hard-working but desperate newspaper reporters who try to spice up boring stories with a culture-saavy lede that then transitions into the actual, yet barely tangentially related, subject of the article.”
One reader writes: “My boss says a friend of his once wrote this lede on a profile of Jim Abbott, the one-armed ex-major league pitcher: ‘Jim Abbott is a southpaw because he was born without a northpaw …’”
On the page journalists and others from all over the country are offering their suggestions.
AtPac contributed $1,500 to clerk-recorder candidate Barry Pruett’s campaign, making it the largest donor so far, according to Jack Foster, who works on incumbent Greg Diaz’ campaign.
The information is a matter of public record, Foster said.
Pruett represented AtPac – the same recording software company that is suing clerk-recorder Greg Diaz and the county – as was first reported on this blog over this weekend.
“I am proud to be supported by our local businesses,” Pruett responded here. “Linda Maclam, the owner of AtPac and one of my proud supporters, lives right here in Grass Valley, and provides a wonderful recording software to clerk-recorder’s in counties across this nation and to a multitude of counties in California, including San Francisco and Contra Costa counties.”
The Union caught up to my scoop in Monday’s newspaper, but it still hasn’t reported AtPac’s campaign contributions.