posted on Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Santa Cruz

First day of cycling and the start could not have been better. I cycled through busy El Camino Real to Palo Alto, bought some cycling gloves at Mike's Bikes and turned right up Page Mill Road.
This starts off as a four lanes road but soon the climbs begins and it gets narrower and narrower full of interesting switchbacks and green lush vegetation all around.
Half way up on my climb I met a girl cycling called Nicole. She stopped to chat and said she wouldn't mind slowing down and climbing with me. I found out that she was working in Palo Alto and this ride was her half day break from work! She told me how she has been doing a lot of bike touring herself and knew how nice it is to be able to talk to people you meet on the road.
After about one hour of riding together she went back downhill not before exchanging our emails, giving me lots of good advice on the route and her phone number just in case!
Leaving Nicole with the increased confidence of knowing someone to call in case of emergency I headed downhill on Highway 35 and turned right on Hwy 9 along the San Lorenzo valley. A stunning descent between forests of towering redwood trees almost hiding the sky.
I reached S. Cruz covering 113 Km; not bad considering that at Felton 8 km before I even had time for an haircut!
The hostel was full so I checked into a Motel and I have just had a huge dinner of clam chowder and Ceasar Salad on the town Pier.