View Santa Cruz and Bonny Doon in a larger map
I was planning to get started early, but with one thing and another I left when I normally do, at about 9 AM. I went up Los Gatos Trail in the normal way, but had to walk my bike up the steep dirt ramp when I saw about a dozen people coming down the trail, leaving no path for a wobbly climber. That's what I get for not leaving early, I suppose.
|Grey skies in Santa Cruz don't|
deter the surfers
Capitola and Santa Cruz were grey and chilly when I got there. I rode along East Cliff Drive, as usual, and stopped at my usual place for an unhealthy lunch. I then continued west, past the boardwalk and pier, and picked up West Cliff Drive, a first for me.
|Near the surfing museum, sea lions|
rest on the rocks
I continued along Cliff Drive until it entered Natural Bridges State Beach, at which point I hopped onto Route 1 and continued west. On the beach the wind had been intermittent, but on Route 1 it was strong and consistently in my face. Again I am reminded that, when taking Route 1, you always want to be coming from the north/west. And yet I'm always heading the opposite way....
|Bonny Doon Road|
|Ice Cream Grade|
By this point I was feeling a little spent. I stopped in the Felton covered bridge park and refilled my water while I ate a Clif bar. Then I started up Zayante, which is also largely wooded. After the treeless climbs in France, and with the recent warm weather here, I was feeling lucky to have such a lovely, shaded roads.
At the top of Zayante, now fully spent, I sidled over to Bear Creek Road and descended to Highway 17, then into Los Gatos and home over Kennedy.