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Life's better by bike, Overnight

Fourth of July Ride to Santa Cruz

Since moving to a new house in May, we had spent nearly every weekend packing, unpacking, DIY home improving, and hauling load after load of manure for the garden. In short, cabin fever had set in for good.

Nevermind that I had a deep, chesty cough and Amory was getting over yet another episode of gastric upheavel…the morning of July 4th, we loaded up the bikes and set off to see the fireworks in Santa Cruz.

We grabbed a couple maps from Bill, who’s lately been handing off his map collection. Despite the gaps in his diminishing stockpile, we were able to get a map of South San Francisco and Santa Cruz (but nothing in between). This was lucky in hindsight…no indication of the slog ahead! Crystal Springs Dam

Hopping off the BART at San Bruno, we took the Crystal Springs Rec trail south and connected onto Cañada Rd, whereupon thousands of dollars in road bikes started breezing past.

Happily, we caught up with the spandex crowd at Robert’s Market in Woodside. Amory and I parked our steel steeds with the carbon-titanium fillies, pulled out our U-locks…and put them away. Who’s going to take my old Miyata over those unlocked banknotes?

After tortilla soup and walnut bread from the market, we headed up the hills on Kings Mountain Rd. Amory got King of the Mountain on this one, while I discovered my congested lungs were functioning at about 1/4 capacity. Took a left on Skyline Blvd…and kept on slogging along the ridge. The scenery, weather and topography was beautiful, but it just felt interminable.  Finally, at about 7pm, we got to the junction with Highway 9 for a 26 mile descent into Santa Cruz.

As we finally cruised into the city, worn out and grouchy, 9 o’clock struck and fireworks began going off all around on side streets; rockets and showers and sunbursts and cannons. We rolled over to our roommate’s mom’s place in Capitola where, upon sound motherly advice, we inhaled their leftover Fourth of July hot dogs, potato salad, and watermelon. Her apartment faced the shoreline all the way to Watsonville. From the balcony we could see the illegal fireworks being set off down the length of the sound. After a hot shower, we sank into clean sheets and left consciousness to the dogs.

We spent the next day puttering around Santa Cruz and caught a ride home with our roommate, her dad, and her dad’s pickup truck. Cabin fever no more.

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About Ginger Jui

Ginger is a human-powered adventurer based in Oakland, California.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please credit Ginger Jui and link to The Flaming Bike Blog for all quotes, links and re-shares.
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