My first climb up a mountain! Wet wet wet wet conditions and mystical clouds filled the hilltops. There was lots of mud, a little getting lost and beautiful music from the frogs, swaying of redwoods and smells of eucalyptus. This ride was transformative as I learned how to interact with my body in a whole new way. I was learning how to ride this new bike and how to make it up long climbs, something I have never done before.
It was incredible, blissful, almost journey like and magical. The mountains were incredibly difficult to ride up not to mention the 30-40 pounds we carry on our bicycles. I also found out my gears were not as good as anticipated making the climb harder. Going tomorrow to get my bike looked at.
Climbing the mountain took me places I never imagined I could go. Being so physically dependent on my body, almost as a machine was transforming in how I think about the way I treat and take care of it. The quality of food, drink, and love that I put into it is all amplified while riding because it depends on these things to run well. My body wants to be stretched and massaged and given power foods that give me strength and nutrients. I also found I snack more contrasted to eating large meals in one sitting as my body needs time to break food down.
Once at the top of the 7 mile climb of Mt. Charlie on the old Santa Cruz highway we were faced with an 11 mile downhill one way road 40mph speed limit for cars. Going that fast (not 40mph but breaking a lot) was exhilarating and terrifying in the same moment because you don’t know the road conditions. As well, I wasn’t sure how my weight in the back of the bike impacted the turns and speed. I learned quickly and am constantly being challenged.
We arrived at mystery spot road in the hills of Santa Cruz where we were greeted with eucalyptus trees, more rain, a nice man named Alan with his dog Ronnie and a cave! Yes a cave which was our next venue for the band to play. Acoustic this time.
The cave was built by hand in 1900 by two brothers who only used picks. You can see the marks upon the wall. They used the space after two years of building for a wine seller as it was cool and dark and well insulated. When prohibition hit the cave was confiscated in terms of the wine production. How tragic! Since then the cave has been through many transformations including a speak-easy and a place for elected solitary confinement. Quite a history!
Playing in the cave was magical and it was so beautiful to hear music from our friend Emily and hear the band Bicicletas por la Paz acoustically. What a magical group of friends I have with me!
So far we have been staying with friends. First night a mansion in Cambell complete with pool and delicious meals and warm showers.
The second night we slept in a palapa a round structure complete with wood burning stove and romantic rain music playing on the roof. We had a rest day in Santa Cruz as our friends Tim and Emily took wonderful care of us. Chickens, forest, barking dogs, magical fog and rain, and much needed rest it was a wonderful trip to Santa Cruz.
Incredible how wonderful all the people that we meet are in helping us in anyway. People love cyclists here in California and the roads are so wonderful for cyclists! So many signs and lanes for us