Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 14 (of 22) riding

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.
Peace ...

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