Sequoia Century 2000, June 4th, Y2K

As usual, the Sequoia Century, run by the local Western Wheelers bicycle club, was one great ride.  This year a bunch of misguided "friends" (later determined to be customers who must have had some sort of grudge and wanted to see me run into the ground) tried to convince me to ride the 200k (120 mile) option, but sanity prevailed and I stayed with the 100 mile course.  The route is almost unchanged from the 1999 course, so the photos shown here basically fill in the holes of the coverage of last years' event.

In particular you'll find quite a few photos here taken on Mt. Charlie road, a beautiful 1.5 lane alternative to Highway 9 from Santa Cruz to the Summit.

This ride starts out with a killer climb up Page Mill Road to Skyline, and for me, it was not a great way to begin the day...just didn't feel too hot.  Fortunately, for reasons I don't really understand, I got increasingly stronger as the day went on, and finished the ride feeling like I could have easily gone on for quite a few miles more!
Some of you will recognize this as the steepest, nastiest section of Page Mill.  Unfortunately, this photo doesn't do it justice. No way not to do justice to the spectacular beauty of the coast range, shrouded in fog, as we admire the view before descending Alpine Road.
The first rest stop (about 28 miles) included cappucino, lattes, and the usual century fare.  Great support from the Western Wheelers! The top of that unexpected (and not fun) climb out of the lunch stop at Delavega Park in Santa Cruz (about 66 miles).  Very steep towards the end 
This guy looks like he's having way too good a time on an early section of Mt Charlie road! Don't think he realizes just how steep this road is up ahead. Ron Dahlin doing his first-ever century. By the time he hits the really steep section, he may be wishing he'd gone to church instead.
Are we having fun yet?  Perfect temps (upper 60s on the climb) and zero cars.  What do you think? But nothing lasts forever.  This is the top of the first of three very steep sections...some will walk up these instead of ride.  Triple cranks come in handy here!
Cresting the final super-steep section. On the left is Sherrie (or Sherry?), who seems to enjoy climbing as much as I do.  Here the road begins to level off a bit as it approaches the top.  Mt Charlie is 5.2 miles long with about half of that being pretty easy.  The other half...
We even spent a small amount of time on Hiway 17 (maybe a couple hundred yards).  This came after a descent on Old Santa Cruz Highway, notable for potholes that could swallow an entire wheel! Did we talk about bad pavement?  You first encounter it on the Old Santa Cruz Highway descent, then suffer the indignity of that awful gravel trail below Lexington Reservoir, and then grooves on Foothill.
I've been told they're going to be fixing the pavement soon...I hope so...riding those chopped-up grooves is great training for Paris Roubaix (a classic road race over cobblestones), but not fun for mere mortals. And here we are back at the start, about 104 miles later. More food, a live band, and even better than food, Its Its Ice Cream!  Oh yeah, the ride patch too.  Aside from a few questionable roads, this was a great ride.
This guy, whose name I don't recall, is 81 years old and has just finished the 100k (62 mile) version of the ride...well ahead of an awful lot of riders!  

(05/30/01, just got an email from Steve Prothero of the Western Wheelers telling us that this guy's name is Emam Shahi)

One noteworthy event on the last year, we hit Santa Cruz at the same time as their Gay Pride Parade.  Unlike last year, the local cops rudely informed us that we couldn't share the street with them, and detoured us a couple of streets to the west.  One problem.  There is no detour a couple streets to the west, aside from the Freeway!  I had a group of four or five cyclists I'd accumulated at this time, and after exploring a bit to confirm there were no alternatives, had to lead them onto and off of Highway 1.  Next year, I'll bring along a pink helmet cover that I can slip on when needed, and inscribe an appropriate slogan onto it...and just merge into the parade.  With any luck I'll probably end up with my photo on the cover of a magazine, and have a bit of explaining to do to my wife & kids!

For more coverage of the Sequoia Century, check out the 1999 ride, which we have here as well.

Last updated 09/09/07


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