Friday, March 9, 2012

bike | epa to santa cruz

i'm usually up for physical challenges. 
just thinking about them get my wheels spinning. so when my friends and i decided to watch pickwick in santa cruz, i thought, "why not bike there?" i had never done such a thing and it made me wonder if i could. thanks to the east bay bike campers group chiming in on the route, i decided to ride to the coast and take hwy 1 the rest of the way south. this was my exact route and the ride was just under 70 miles, taking me 7 hours to complete it. 

but, it was daunting to think about. up until the night before, i had secretly hoped that it would rain that day so i'd have a legitimate excuse to cancel the ride. i was feeling scared to go at this alone, in case some horrible accident happened and i'd be found splattered down some steep hill. (clearly, my mind likes to make up crazy stories to get out of the unknown!) 

so i woke up on friday, 2/24 and it was a perfectly beautiful day. (damn!) i packed up 2 pb&j's, 3 bars, 2 apples, and electrolyte drinks and set off at 9:30am to spend the next 7 hours in mostly solitude.

the last time i did something solo for 7 hours, i experienced a complete mind shift: from wondering if i could do something, to wondering if there might be an early way out, to believing that i can accomplish what i set out to do. the remnants of that run was so clearly felt during this bike ride. it was a rush to get up to the top of skyline, which meant i'd be going downhill all the way to the coast.
then it'd be up and down the coastal hills for about 35 miles. the first one being a bit of a beast.

at about mile 45, my bottom clearly communicated to me that it was done, but we still had 25 miles to go. when the pain started, i definitely had long moments when i considered contingency plans...."could i flag someone down and load my bike into their car? maybe i can call esther or heather to pick me up. or what if...?"

but i kept going. 
and stopped by pie ranch to rest for a few minutes to enjoy an apple. 
as i approached swanton ranch, i saw a sign that said "pumpkin pie" and without any thought, i pulled a fast left across the hwy and rolled right up for some pie lovin. i devoured the slice within minutes as i gazed at the vast ocean collecting energy and inspiration to keep going.
as with most endings, it was pretty anti-climactic to see the city limit sign. there was, however, a one-person party inside my heart...a little person blowing a small party horn and wearing a sparkly hat. 
i smiled, and road on.


  1. Awesome adventure. Have no fear about doing these things alone (unless you like it that way) because when I return in May you will have an equally adventurous cycling buddy (maybe even two).

    1. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *happiness!

  2. I wonder if it was possible I passed by you on my way to Henry Cowell State Park to get more photos for my blog. lol


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