Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Madonna Inn

One of the few highlights (at least for me) of the Tour of California is my 10-hour stay at the Madonna Inn. In case you didn't read last year's ATOC blog, Madonna Inn is a Motel-6 quality hotel in San Luis Obispo which has transformed itself into a tourist attraction by decorating every single room in a different theme, most of which look like they were rigged out by Liberace or Elvis in 1965. It's a hoot.

Last night my room was #151 "Sugar And Spice", and it looked like it was decorated by a teenage Marcia Brady. Pink walls, baby-blue bathroom tile, and a brown velour couch. And of course, the room next door was "Everything Nice". Gawd knows what the hell THAT one looks like.

Actually you can see precisely what "Everything Nice" looks like right here:

Yesterday it was supposed to be raining, but the finish in San Jose was brilliantly sunny and gorgeous. Today we're in SLO, and the weather is supposed to suck. I wore my Spyder soft shell ski gear, which is totally waterproof, yet breatheable. Warm enough to wear on the slopes, but breathable enough to wear on a plane. Great stuff, I recommend it.

Tomorrow is the Time Trial in Solvang, so the TV show is very dependent on me. Timing graphics are everything in a TT. Our timing graphics during the Prologue in Stanford were 100% spot-on. If I can do that again tomorrow, there will be a lot of smiles around here.

The satellite guys here are trying to rig up an experiment; they're going to try to extend our VPN out to the mid-way time check (about 10 km away) via satellite so that I can do live timing graphics from the INT as well as from the finish. These satellite guys (Strategic Television) are very, very bright and technically adept, so I think they just might pull that off, and it will be way cool if they do.

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