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I got started relatively early, leaving the house at 8:30 in the morning. It was foggy and cool. The mountains south of my house were completely hidden.
Today's ride would be a very familiar route, but one that I hadn't ridden in about 10 months; a ride last May was similar. In fact, the only new part of today's ride was accidental. But more on that in a minute.
|Fog covers El Sombroso; taken from|
As I headed up Old Santa Cruz Highway it still hadn't really got warm. It was still overcast and damp, but I wasn't riding through fog. I was feeling a little cold, but it was still early.
After passing the Summit Store I plunged down into Capitola. The Soquel/San Jose Road was paved last year, and it was dry and traffic was light. There wasn't a lot to slow me down, and without really trying I hit 38 miles per hour. When I noticed that I did start trying, hoping to hit 40 mph by getting my nose down by my stem, pulling my knees and elbows in, and otherwise looking ridiculous as possible. I only slowed down. Maybe that was the grade moderating, or maybe I have absurdly poor descending skills. More research is necessary.
|View from Capitola. There are surfers in there,|
I rolled up to Betty Burger right at noon, and had a tasty but huge burger. I really have to find a more appropriate place to eat lunch in Santa Cruz, or at least find something more appropriate on their menu. Or maybe just not eat the whole thing.
|The train bridge over the San Lorenzo,|
A little way up the road I peeled off onto Glen Canyon Road, which I thought I surely must have done before. But I hadn't; I was probably thinking of Granite Creek Road, which peels off toward Scotts Valley much later.
Glen Canyon Road is perfect. It's pretty, it climbs toward Scotts Valley with a gentle, even grade, and it enters Scotts Valley at Mount Hermon Road so you can connect up to Bean Creek Road. Granite Creek Road is also great, but it enters Scotts Valley farther north, at the junction of Scotts Valley Drive and Glenwood. Nothing wrong with that, but I like Bean Creek Road. In any case, Glen Canyon Road was today's discovery; I'm always the last to know.
|One of the ramps on Mountain Charlie Road.|
The last half of the Mountain Charlie climb was just about surviving, which I suppose I did. That was followed by the long descent toward Los Gatos, one last climb across Kennedy, and home.
Today's ride was about 68 miles, with 5300 feet of climbing. The most difficult kilometer was the last section of Bean Creek Road, which seems horrible but only registered at 7.8%.
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