Amgen excitement takes hold of Auburn

Business owners remind spectators to be careful and have fun on race day
By: Bridget Jones Journal staff writer
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The streets will be filled with cyclists Sunday. The Amgen race is finally here, and the enthusiasm is building for local business owners. “(It’s) just pure excitement,” said Bill Marengo, owner of Bicycle Emporium. “I’m overwhelmed with all the tasks I’ve done to be on the back end of it.” Marengo said cyclists who come into his store want the day to be as positive as possible. “Everybody’s got this nervous calm where they just hope it goes off smooth,” he said. There is one basic thing spectators should try to remember on Sunday, Marengo said. “There really isn’t a spectator etiquette,” he said. “Please just anticipate. If you’re going to cross the street, please anticipate, because a street that’s clear now might not be clear a millisecond from now.” Marengo said everyone needs to remember that cyclists as well as their team cars and motorcycles will be riding down the streets Sunday. Lisa Kodl, owner of Auburn Bike Works, said this race is different than another famous cycling race where spectators purposefully get in cyclists’ space. “If anyone watches the Tour de France, it’s nothing like that,” Kodl said. “They need to stay up, out of the road.” While some sporting events require spectators to be as quiet as possible, Dan Tebbs, owner of Victory Velo Bike Shop, said noise is essential to this experience. “We should be as loud and boisterous as possible,” Tebbs said. “They thrive on that. The louder the better, and hopefully Auburn comes out in force, too.” Tebbs said he is most excited to see who is going to cross the intermediate sprint line right in front of his store on Lincoln Way. Kodl said there are a couple of elements she is looking forward to on race day. “The race itself, just watching the race,” she said. “Secondary would probably be just to see how big of a crowd we get.” Reach Bridget Jones at ---------------------------------------------- Where to watch the race Downtown: Central Square This venue will include vendors, food, a climbing wall, bounce house and a Jumbotron giant TV featuring live race footage. Cost: free, excluding food Victory Velo Bike Shop, 835 Lincoln Way This venue will include a front-row view of the intermediate sprint line. Old Town: Sun River Clothing Company, Tsuda’s Old Town Eatery, Gypsy Wind Beads, Old Town Pizza These venues will include access to bleacher seating as well as television screens with live race coverage. Old Town Pizza will host a food court with six local restaurants in its parking lot. Cost: free, excluding food Cool: “A Cool View” event in Cool Village Center, 5020 Ellinghouse Dr., Cool This venue will include the world’s largest grill — a 54,000 pound Johnsonville Brat grill, beer garden with beer from Auburn Alehouse, kettle corn, and live music from members of Stoneground and Pablo Cruise. Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost: free, excluding food ----------------------------------------------- Where to park All public parking will be open the day of the race, except for City Hall parking. All street parking will also be open, except for the parking along the race route. Get there early! Parking is expected to fill up fast. The Foresthill Bridge will be closed to pedestrian and foot traffic from about 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday when racers are expected to cycle through that portion of the Amgen Tour of California course. ----------------------------------------------- When to expect cyclists Cyclists are expected to enter Auburn around 12:55 p.m. and make their way to the Foresthill Bridge by about 1:18 p.m.