Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Behind the Scenes of Karen's TV Debut - Shots from filming preview of Amgen Tour of California

In less than a week, superstar cyclist Lance Armstrong and 135 world-class racers will race through Santa Cruz, California, during Stage 2 of the Tour of California, an 800-mile bike race with 9 stages. The biggest bike race in the U.S. starts Feb. 14 in Sacramento and ends Feb. 22 in Escondido in Southern California. The Tour stops in Santa Cruz (Monday, Feb. 16) for the first time in the event's 3-year history.

As a journalist who often reports on cycling, I have been involved in multiple media projects, including writing a cover story on the event for Good Times (where I worked 1994-96 as an editor); running a Facebook page on Stage 2 and most thrilling, participating in a TV show for Comcast cable, a 30-minute preview of the race.


Here I am at The Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz with a Comcast cable cameraman (called a "shooter") talking about the Tour of California. I was nervous and needed more than one "take" to get it right. The show's producer, Paula Mahoney, reminded me to hold the microphone lower, at chest level, rather than up to my mouth, which is what felt more natural.

Maybe you have seen the Comcast Cable show I worked on - or heard me talk about it - because I have been excited to have my first TV project airing. I have posted the viewing schedule of the remaining week below the last photo on this page. (The show airs on regional cable on Monterey, Santa Cruz and Bay Area stations.)

Santa Cruz County is home to three racers who will compete in the prestigious Amgen Tour of California. Twins Andy and Ben Jacques-Maynes, pictured above on Bonny Doon Road, will race for Team Bissell. They frequently train together - five hours a day in the saddle! Brooke Miller, also of Santa Cruz, will defend her title as champion of the TOC's Women's Criterium. I interviewed Andy and Brooke for the TV show.

I also interviewed bike maker Paul Sadoff, of Rock Lobster, who has been in the cycling industry for 30 years. He designs and builds custom bike frames and is known especially for his cyclocross bikes. (I am lucky to own a gorgeous purple cross bike from him). Paul is pictured in his shop on the West Side of Santa Cruz.

It was a pleasure to work with veteran TV producer Paula Mahoney, who invited me to participate in this show. Paula provided excellent coaching for my broadcast debut (for example, NEVER surrender the microphone to your guest!)

A rare moment: Andy, left and twin brother, Ben, are standing still instead of riding their bikes! Won't see any of this leisure during the Tour of California!

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TOC Stage 2 on Comcast Cable TV - Show Schedule
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Live in Monterey, Santa Cruz or Bay Area?
Tune into Tour of CA sneak preview TV show on COMCAST CABLE and get stoked! Hear from pro cyclists and industry insiders from Giro, Fox Racing Shox and others. I got to interview some of these amazing cycling folks for the show.

CHANNEL 17:
(seen by Comcast viewers in all of Santa Cruz County, except Capitola and Watsonville):
Wednesday 2/11 at 6:00 and 10:00pm, Thursday 2/12 at 10:00pm, Friday 2/13 at 6:00 and 11:00pm, no Saturday airings, Sunday 2/15 at 4:00 and 10:00pm.

CHANNEL 34:
(seen by Comcast viewers in all of Santa Cruz County, including Capitola and Watsonville, as well as all of Salinas and Monterey)
beginning 2/2, 8pm, every night and running
until 2/15.

CHANNEL 104:
(seen by Comcast viewers in most of Northern California, including San Jose, Marin, San
Francisco, Santa Rosa, but excluding Santa Cruz and Stockton. Wednesday 2/11 at 7:00pm,
and Saturdays 2/14 at 12:30pm.