My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ride The West - Day 15 - San Francisco, CA to Santa Cruz, CA

Following a nice day off from the road, we left San Francisco in typical cool, foggy weather.  The day was the longest of our trip at 92 miles (see  It had it's share of ups and downs and a few solid climbs.  I started out pretty slow, but got consistently stronger as the day progressed.  The early climbs brought us back to Cliff House and Lands End, right by by my aunt and uncle's house.  The views were not like yesterday.  Along Great Highway the sandy beaches emerged.

Quiet Foggy Beaches South Of The City
I rode most of the day with Gary.  He got a front flat near Daly City, but he made quick work of that.  We spent almost 10 miles on a nice bike path along the Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir. It offered nice views, although it was busy with local riders, runners, and families.  Gary and I rode with Leticia for awhile.  She joined the ride for the final leg and runs a non profit out of Sacramento.

Leticia and Gary on Bike Path

Reservoir Bike Path Views
Our first SAG was at mile 30 part way up a series of two of the longer climbs of the day. We headed due west toward the coast and Half Moon Bay via Route 92.  The road surface was good, but it had little to no shoulder, and was pretty busy with cars.  Jeff, Gary, and Mike played golf here yesterday on a very nice coastal course.  When I rolled through town, the big happenings were at Lemos Farm.

Pumpkin Fun at Lemos Farm
In Half Moon Bay we moved onto to Route 1 and followed the coast all the way to Santa Cruz. The sun was now shining brightly and the California beaches revealed themselves.  We passed through a couple of nice state parks that offered good views.  Our second SAG stop was just after the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse was built in 1871 and is the tallest (at 115 feet) one on the west coast.

I Was There
The Sun Came Out ... Great Weather

Classic Lighthouse View

We picked up a little help from the wind as we cruised big rollers following the shoreline.  Not much development in this stretch.  There were pumpkin patches and lots of strawberry fields overlooking the water.  A nasty railroad track crossing near Daveport had us walking our bikes.  Unfortunately, Leticia would fall on these later in the day ... she is ok.  It reminded me of my 2010 trip when I did the same thing.  Since then, I always walk the ones that are not perpendicular to the road.

Interesting Use of Ocean Side Real Estate
 After a long day in the saddle, Santa Cruz appeared.  Nice homes and pretty shoreline greeted us as we biked past the Mark Abbot Memorial Lighthouse and the Santa Cruz Surf Museum.  I even saw a few surfers in the water by the pier.  The town has a schmaltzy amusement park right on the beach along with numerous volleyball areas.  Jeff and Joe had arrived a bit before me.  They flagged me down and we grabbed a quick lunch and sat overlooking the beach.

Approaching Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Lighthouse and Surfer Museum

Hang Ten Dude
Dinner was at a local diner that had been featured on Food TV's Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It proved unworthy.  The Geldings and Susan ventured out for a quick walk on the boardwalk.  Not much was open except the arcade ... Leah would have loved that. I think I saw pig hanging ten. Tomorrow should be a great day as we ride to Monterey and Carmel including the 17 mile drive.

I Think Pig Has Better Waves
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Surfers ... Good Night Lighthouses ... Good Night All

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