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
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
One noteworthy event on the ride...like 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!
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