Day 17: San Francisco - Aptos
Friday, September 23, 2005

82.45 @ 16.0 = 5:07'57, max: 48.8, trip total: 1265.7

cool morning with sun and no fog, warm afternoon - warmest day yet.

oreos, sausage biscuit, hashbrowns, bacon egg and cheese biscuit, OJ, crunch bar, PB&J, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, cookies, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, pizza, Anchor Steam

New Brighton State Beach, $4.17 p/p

Starting out after a rest day is always a little slow. But we motivated quickly and actually made it across town to the start point by 8:10 - one of our earliest starts. The wind of the ocean was cold as hell even thought it was all sun. I kept thinking that once we start we would warm up but part of me kept thinking I could be still sleeping in a warm home.

That's the danger of having such a nice place to stay- it's hard to leave. So many thanks to Matt and Kate for there generosity- a great place, awesome meal, clean clothes, nice shower, etc. Like being at home.

Anyway, it was still a cold start but the great thing about it was that as soon as we got going it was warmer- well, it was the lack of wind really. We had a nice tailwind which was with us for much of the day. And as soon as we got moving there was less chill and that was the important part.

There were some serious climbs to get out through the neighborhoods. And as we started it seemed that this was going to be the pace for the day- up and down. It felt like we would be on the road a long time.

But soon after leaving the burbs we got into some nice rolling coastal lands. All relatively low - maybe 100 feet above the ocean on the slopping grass lands. It was filled with cattle and farming. And while the rolling hills were sizeable the tailwind really made them roll by. We were cruising and it seemed every time we looked down at the mileage we were at least another 10 miles down the road.

There was a high energy in the group and we were all cruising through the day. I had a beer and PB&J for lunch with no worries of pushing forward. More miles like these are welcome anytime. We were cranking away - much of the time at speeds upwards of 23mph with little effort- or I should say, without pushing hard. And it was sunny all around. Plus we were getting to our destination in record time. Smiles all around.

video clip: zooming down with a tailwind »

Coming into Santa Cruz was pretty cool -- one of the larger towns we've come across and yet it still had a nice feel to it. Easy to get around, with some really nice places- or so it seemed. We went through the heart of the town and got a good preview of the whole place.

We were able to finish the day early. All of us rolled in together with plenty of time to spare. There were grand plans of bon fires and special dinners. We had plenty of daylight and time to relax.

We got the last spot in the campground - it was Friday night and we were on the beach. It was packed with families and weekend getaways. So we got lucky and got a great spot. Those hot showers were some of the best around. One I won't forget.


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