Skip to main content

Let's go places and eat things!

One of the bike clubs I belong to, the Grizzly Peak Cyclists, is made up of many riders that simply enjoy food and will plan routes that include, not one, not even just two but sometimes three bakeries. On these rides, I'm reminded of a snippet of a scene from a Three Stooges short subject, called 'False Alarms', where the title of this entry is spoken by one of the characters.

Twenty+ riders attended the TM and M paced versions of the "Santa Cruz Mountains" ride on Sunday, Aug. 23. The route begins at the Park and Ride on Page Mill just off of I-280 with an 8+ mile climb of Page Mill up to Skyline, followed by a twisty descent down Alpine Road. A stop in Pescadero at mile 28 might seem too early on a 100+ mile ride, but the lure of fresh baked artichoke bread at Arcangeli Grocery proves too great to overcome. From Pescadero we rode past Butano State Park on the way to Gazos Creek and Highway One. The next stop is in Davenport at mile 50, where we paused briefly before attempting the climb up Bonny Doon and Ice Cream Grade (the TM route took the coastal route into Santa Cruz). Pescadero and the coast along CA 1 always seem to be living life under the marine layer of fog, but climbing up through the canyon on lower Bonny Doon (a pivotal spot for Levi on this year's Tour of California) the sun always reappears right there on these rides, just in time to add more heat to riders as they clear the trees.

Ice Cream Grade (how can you not like riding a road with this name)isn't all work but does include some climbing, as does Empire Grade until the long fast run into Santa Cruz. Traffic in Downtown Santa Cruz was heavy as usual at that early afternoon hour, however travel through the town was not hectic. Following a climb up Granite Creek and an all too short downhill, we crossed over CA 17 and arrived at Cafe Carlos finding the TM group, which started an hour ahead of the M paced group, finishing up their lunch. Cafe Carlos was a bit understaffed for 15+ hungry riders at 2:45pm but the one waiter rushed to provide us all with food while cashing out the TM group as they left. Cafe Carlos is not to Mexican food as the Arcangeli is to baked bread, but fresh artichoke bread still warm upon purchase is a very high standard. However, the patio setting at Cafe Carlos was perfect with lots of space for our bikes to be kept in sight as we dug into our meals. Despite the food not being spectacular (NB: I was the first one finished and the portion was not tiny), I'd still be perfectly happy to stop there for lunch on a bike ride any time. Post lunch, we began with a modest climb on our way to Mt. Charlie, with it's driveway sized road width, pothole research and development style pavement and twisty, turny meandering path up the mountain, alternatingly punctuated with steep and less steep sections. On the final stretch along Skyline the M group began to overtake some of the TM group. The run down Page Mill was a blast as always, with the 8 mile descent over in a blink.

112 miles, 10,600' of elevation gain, 10 hours 34 minutes, Food breaks: 2, regroups: 5 or more depending on who is counting.


Jim G said…
Rob, clearly I need to join the GPCC. Yum!

Popular posts from this blog

The fourth time is a charm? PBP 2019 part 1

"I'm cured!". This was a posting I made within hours of having finished Paris, Brest, Paris 2015, hinting that it would be my last PBP. BS was officially called within seconds of that post hitting the interwebs, and this was not the first time that I was wrong (nor I suspect the last time I will be wrong). It is impossible to separate my experiences of riding PBP 2019 from any of those of past editions and the reader will have to forgive those moments of personal context that will follow below.

For the number of roadblocks I faced during the four year run-up to PBP 2019, as things transpired I led a somewhat charmed life once landing in France this past August. On the day before my flight, I received an email from Ed Felker inviting me to join Mary and him on a shake down ride out to Chartres. I had heard Craig Robertson describe the sight of the cathedral up on it's hill as he and Lori Cherry approached by bike from the west on a pre-PBP ride in 2015, and it immedi…

The fourth time is a charm?, PBP 2019 part 4

Unlike the fog that descended on the landscape overnight on Monday, the fog forming on Thursday morning was mental. But the chill was real. One downside to leaving Mortagne is that so much of the early terrain is down hill, and the coldest part of night was taking hold on that terrain for both the 84 hour riders and many if not most of the 90 hour riders. In the dark, it seemed that so few riders had gotten on the road, but as the kilometers clicked off the frequency of passing riders increased and packs were again forming, and as the sky lightened there was again a steady stream of red tail lights ahead. Foggy headed and chilled by early morning air that was nudging 40F, many riders reacted with indecision when navigational decisions were to be made and a simple left turn on the route that wasn't within a village caught 95% of the riders and large groups would have to navigate a u-turn amid the chaotic scene.

At long last, the undulating landscape smoothed out on this segment an…

The fourth time is a charm? PBP 2019 part 2

For riders that take PBP in three parts, Loudeac is often the control that cleaves the route into those three parts: Part 1, start to Loudeac: ~275 miles; Part 2, Loudeac-Brest-Loudeac: ~210 miles; Part 3, Loudeac to the finish: ~275 miles. On paper Part 2 looks to be a cake walk with it being a big chunk shorter. Well. No. It isn't a cake walk. One reason is that this section just feels hillier. Way more hilly, and in fact just getting away from Loudeac requires climbing a series of big rollers. Ironically, Roc'h Trevezel, the major climb on the ride, the highest point on the ride, and the location that provides the greatest unobstructed vista is much easier than so many other, shorter climbs. But it is in Part 2 and a focal point of that part.

The band (Mary and Ed on the tandem, Jerry, Anson, Roy and Brian K.) are all together as we leave and negotiate those first big rollers. Overnight, fog and appeared and settled in the lower laying areas and the early hours after sunup…