Saturday, July 31, 2010

Out for a Climb

Ah, The Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge. Not for the faint hearted. The Boyfriend started before the stars faded. Me, I slept in, arrived in Scotts Valley, drove around convinced that the high school had been deliberately moved, but eventually I found my way to the start. A volunteer had me park right next to the school entrance and another volunteer took photos of me and my bike. What a way to start the day!

The start was a bit cold but as you see from the photo above taken on Mtn. Charlie, blue skies arrived quickly. I later learned from the tour director that about 680 of us participated.

So many men, so little time to discuss. What can I say. I don't even try anymore. Ah, the highway patrol man at Rest Stop #1 with his aviator glasses, the beige uniform, the motorcycle. My tongue fell out. I was tongue tied. I could not think of one reason to persuade him to handcuff me. Me, at the top of Jamison Creek, which I managed to climb for the most part. At one point on Jamison, it was just a bunch of us chicks and we let out a mighty roar together.

Lots of cheering from strangers during the ride. A little boy not even 4 on his balcony shouting, "Go rider babe." Made my day. A group sitting in their camper clapping as cyclists rode by. Oh, a bobcat darted across Bonny Doon as I was descending. I also ran into club friends, too. Well, not literally.

After climbing and descending the redwoods, coming into Santa Cruz on W. Cliff Drive was just stunning. I'm sorry not to have shot a pic of Santa Cruz and the boardwalk but, get this, I was in a peleton, oh alrighty, I was in the back, but, I just didn't want to stop.

Ah, yes, the spot, you know, the one that eludes many men. But I digress.

What a ride. Perfect weather. Climbs for the 100K included Mtn. Charlie, Empire Grade, Riva Ridge, Smith Grade among others. Bear Creek was fabulous to descend.

Just as I was coming back to the start, I saw The BF leaving. I waved to him. He did the 100 mile in 7 hours! I don't think he noticed the two men (they were a hoot) escorting me back to the school. Back at the school, I ran into AC! Great way to end the day.

Thanks to the volunteers and club members who put on this great tour.

Just the Stats:

62 miles
6,470 elevation gain
10 mph avg
32 mph max
6 hours biking time

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