Pick a spot and enjoy the Tour

Hold debate for another day — tomorrow, just appreciate the pro cyclists competing in the nation’s most prestigious bike race

letters@thetribunenews.comMay 16, 2013 

Fans line Nacimiento Lake Drive to cheer on the cyclists as the Tour of California rolls through Paso Robles in 2011.

NICK LUCERO — The Tribune Buy Photo

Tomorrow, we can debate whether Avila Beach was the proper venue for a Tour of California finish; whether the event was good or bad for local merchants; whether it makes sense to try to lure the tour back to SLO County in 2014.

Today, let’s concentrate on welcoming all 128 professional cyclists and their crews, and wishing them well as they make their way along Highway 1, Highway 227 and Ontario Road, finishing in Avila.

Some advice: If you don’t want to get caught up in tour-related traffic, then do what you can to avoid the tour route this afternoon. (Cyclists are expected to arrive in Guadalupe as early as 2 p.m., and to reach Avila approximately between 3 and 4 p.m.)

If you want to cheer the racers on at the finish line, good for you, but be forewarned: Avila Beach will be congested and parking will be limited, so plan on arriving early.

There are, however, plenty of other spots where you can watch the racers speed by, including Guadalupe, the Nipomo Mesa and Arroyo Grande Village.

There will be parking restrictions along the route — for example, there will be no parking along Branch Street in the Village, starting at 7 a.m. — so if you don’t live within walking or biking distance of your preferred viewing spot, allow time to find a parking place away from the action.

It may take some planning and effort, but consider, we have to travel hours and pay hundreds of dollars to catch a pro basketball or football game.

Here’s a chance to see some of the top cyclists in the world compete in the nation’s most prestigious pro cycling race — for free — in our own backyard.

Tomorrow, we can nitpick the logistics.

Today, let’s enjoy it.

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