San Francisco, CA to Santa Cruz, CA
Staying at Vintage Faith Church
79.6 miles today, average pace 12.4 mph
Total ascent 4,193 feet (grades 4%-6% one short 13%)
Adventure ... today a mountain bike would have been a lot more fun to be riding on for about 6 miles of our 79-mile day. At the bike shop yesterday some of us were talking with the bike store owner, who advised us to take a shortcut over San Pedro Mountain. He said it’s no problem riding the route with a road bike, although a mountain bike would be better. He suggested the shortcut because Hwy CA-1 has a very narrow shoulder and sharp curves on the portion we would miss using the shortcut, a dangerous portion of the road to be riding on. Once we got back on CA-1 we still had a short distance to ride on the dangerous section, so we appreciated his shortcut advice.
The shortcut was a good idea. It’s called "The Devils Slide Detour," and I just loved it. Three miles up through a thick jungle-like trail (actually I’ve never been on a jungle trail to really know that, but that’s what it seemed to me), and three miles down over the roughest terrain I have ever ridden my road bike. Riding on broken pavement, gravel, dirt, sand, rocks, along the edge of cliffs -- a typical dirt bike trail. JUST what I needed to break out of the mental struggles I had on the last ride. I was doing ok for the first 15 miles before this detour, but for the rest of the ride I felt renewed and refreshed, even with the bit of climbing that we did. The hills were my friends again!
Once we arrived we took a walk downtown to CVA, enjoyed a pizza slice, and went to Trader Joe's for some snacks.
For dinner we met with a large group of young religion students, participated in their church program that consisted of prayer, testimony from individuals, a singalong, acknowledgements of individuals, a short presentation by Allen, a sermon, and then break-out groups. Because of the hour we skipped the break-out groups and headed back to the gym to get ready for bed.