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Strawberry Fields Century - Let me take you down(5 posts)

Strawberry Fields Century - Let me take you downMe Dot Org
May 20, 2002 8:08 AM
The ride starts cool and overcast, actually quite pleasant for a long distance ride. Up a beautifully forested long grade for the first 18 miles or so, then a long bumpy descent with a couple of frightening hairpins.

Rest stops are nothing much over obligatory muffins, PB&J, oranges, bananas...except for an FREE expresso cart around mile 50. Outstanding!

Near mile 80, a nice stop at Gizdich, with some of the best fresh apple juice I've ever tasted. Just outside the stop, the wind begins to pick up, and on a long climb, it begins to rain...steady. It's not cold, but I'm soaked.

Strangely, I feel great. In the last 20 miles I'm passing lots of people. (Well okay, I'm passed once on a downhill section by 2 guys who are willing to take more chances in the rain than I am). But my legs feel great. Maybe I'm learning how to pace myself and eat on Centuries, but I feel better at the end than I did at the beginning.

Nice post ride meal, topped off by strawberries with whipped cream, chocolate, and brown sugar. Guilt-free enjoyment!

First Century in new Sidi Energy Shoes. Nice, especially being able to adjust fit on the fly. But unless I was rich or a pro, I don't think I'd pay retail for them. I think they'll be dry in another day or two!

When I took off my black trek gloves, I discovered the dye had turned my hands black.

I wore a short-sleeved Swobo jersey, defeet arm warmers and no wind breaker. I was soaked, but today the Swobo is nearly hang-up clean and stink-free today (gotta love wool). BTW, stopped by Spokesman Cycles in Santa Cruz on Saturday, and they STILL have some Swobo jerseys left, albeit only Small and Medium :-(

http://spokesmanbicycles.com/site/index.cfm
Wet, windy, wetmr_spin
May 20, 2002 8:35 AM
I was also thoroughly soaked at the end. Shoes full of water are the worst! Squish, squish, squish. Luckily I was riding with six fast and strong friends and seventh guy who latched on, because the wind was nasty on the way to Gizdich. It always is there, but yesterday was something else.

I have Hazel Dell practically memorized because I do it so often, but I still took it easy. I couldn't even see because it was so dark and my glasses were filthy. Some guy came whipping by who I was sure I'd see later impaled on a redwood tree.

This year it seemed like they had half the riders of years past. We left just before 8am and didn't see another rider until halfway up the first climb. Maybe that's why the rest stops were just ordinary.

I'll do it again next year...
Fair WX Cyclinggrzy
May 20, 2002 8:44 AM
We were thinking of doing it until we saw the storm rolling in. Already got my "Storm Riding" merit badge for the year at the DMD. Wifey refuses to ride in the rain anymore.
Wet, windy, wet...But BEAUTIFULMe Dot Org
May 20, 2002 9:07 AM
Soquel and Hazel Dell were wonderful stretches to ride. I can see why Grzy and others say Santa Cruz environs are among the best cycling places in the country. Beautiful.

BTW, the start (Aptos High School) has to be one of the prettiest settings for a High School I've ever seen.
Opted for the ocean rather than the mountains-rideslikeagirl
May 20, 2002 9:44 AM
At Gizdich, we did a sanity check. We could see relatively clear skies toward the beach and dark, gloomy clouds waiting at the top of Mt Madonna.

We did the same amount of miles, just stayed a bit dryer.

We'll have to start praying for sun earlier next year!

Great route-