The last Saturday in September....it's officially Autumn and the weather should be cooler but this past week has been warm....Right now, early on Saturday, it's nice and cool, but I can tell it's going to be warm later. The "experts" call this Indian Summer ...perfect weather for a ride is what I call it.
We started at the dam at Lexington Reservoir and headed out. Diane, yes, I have my very own tour guide, knows the route and although I've ridden some of the roads before, I have only a general idea of where we're headed and how we'll get there.....which is perfect, I have no place to be and all day to get there.
We start out riding around the reservoir and up Old Santa Cruz Hwy which is a great, low traffic road up through the redwoods...it's a perfect way for my legs to wake up and the morning coffee to kick in and do it's magic.
The next segment is down Summit Rd to Soquel San Jose Rd which is a little slice of bicycle nirvana. It's approximately 10 miles of smooth, fast downhill which at this time of the day has very little traffic. I'm sure as the day goes on, the traffic will increase, but for now it's bicycle heaven that is only interrupted by our decision to stop and regroup at Casalegno's Market. This is a cool old country market that is always good for fresh coffee and a cookie. Today though, we decided to pass on the treats and continue the downhill goodness in to Soquel.
From Soquel, we headed south through Aptos before heading back inland through Day Valley and in to Corralitos where we stopped for lunch. Day Valley is a nice, lightly traveled road. (although it's actually a climb and not a valley) It was at this point that I became officially lost and thankful for someone who actually knew where we were supposed to be headed.
Corralitos is a little 4 way intersection that is anchored on one side by the Corralitos Market and Sausage Company and on the other by a great little park with a covered picnic area. Evidently, the market is known for their fresh made smoked sausage which are served on Gayles Bakery hot dog rolls. I had the venison sausage and a side of fresh berry pie from the nearby Gizdich Ranch (if you've never been, this too should be on your must-visit list) Both the sausage and the pie pretty much rocked my world.
Once we had devoured our lunch, we remounted the bikes and began to make our way up Eureka Canyon for what was to be about a 12 mile climb. This eventually turns into Highland Rd and brings you back up to Summit Rd where we once again stopped, this time for drinks, at the Summit Grocery Store another cool little market.
The last section back to the truck was probably the least fun. It's a rolling up and down (mostly up) with some short steep sections in the full sun. As we were coming up on 60 miles for the day, these really did a number on my legs...there may even have been some whining involved. Eventually though, we made it back to the truck, piled in and headed out in search of cold, adult beverages...
Total for the day, 60 miles, 5900ft of climbing - mapmyride route