Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Strawberry fields forever.. on to Santa Cruz

This morning we left at 7:35 am and rode a brisk 47 miles to Santa Cruz. Bike time: 3 hours 20 minutes. The air was nice and still so our average speeds were much higher than recent days. No serious hills either. At first we had a nice layer of fog which burned off about an hour into the ride as we traversed a belt of artichoke and strawberry fields on back roads. Then, as we veered closer to the water, our route dove back into a marine layer. All in all a comfortable and enjoyable time on the bike today.

Here we followed a beautiful stretch of bike path for several miles as we left Monterey. You can see a traffic jam stretching to the horizon on the freeway next to us. ha!

Abby scoots down the path ahead of me.

We weaved on and off highway 1 for a bit, then launched into farmland. This dusty road was flanked on both sides by strawberries that seemed to go to the horizon

Abby consults her map as Amanda handles some business around the upcoming San Francisco show.

While we had to make lots of turns and follow intricate directions all morning, it was cool to fly down back roads that I know I'd never explore if not for doing the ride.

I've been seeing lots of field laborers along the way. When you're not whizzing by in a car, it's striking to see these crews out working, and makes you think about their way of life and some of the things we might take for granted.

I grabbed a shot of these large smoke stacks, and didn't notice until looking at the picture later that we passed right by the "Elkhorn Slough Reserve" WTF?

I stopped to reconnect with the girls at a bagel-internet cafe in the town of Soquel. Abby arrived a few minutes later. Next came Amanda, who pulled right up to the curb and proceeded to crash her bike onto the sidewalk. After verifying that she was uninjured, I took this picture.
It was actually pretty funny. Wipe-outs... Ian:1 Amanda:1 Abby:0

As we rolled into Santa Cruz proper, I stopped quickly at a bike store on Soquel Ave. Bicycle Trip took care of me. Here's Nate in his shop. He got my ancient Campagnolo front brakes working like they should. I am loving my bike so much now.

These guys were great. Thanks!

Lunch at the Walnut Cafe included some of Amanda's favorite pancakes. I ate eggs florentine and a pancake in record time.

Part of the Ditty Bops' stage decor waiting to be assembled.

Tomorrow we will try to make it to San Francisco. It will be a long ride up hwy 1 including a detour around a mudslide. Hopefully winds won't present a problem, and we can enjoy some extra time off in the city. I know I'm ready for a rest day. Wish us luck.


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