I'm biking really really far this summer

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day 37 (Santa Cruz - Monterey 81km)

Hey! Today was pretty fun! The skies were clear, the winds generally favourable and I was feeling pretty good. The guidebook said the ride was boring but it was written by a pair of landscape photographers who only care about quaint lighthouses and picture postcard views.
I had a hearty breakfast at a busy café in town and started the circumnavigation of the broad bay separating Santa Cruz and Monterey.
After riding on decent bike lanes out of the city and suburbs I entered a large flat valley blanketed in farmland. Yet again I passed signs for fresh organic strawberries and was going to ignore it, but I passed a strawberry field and caught scent of them and couldn't resist. I bought a pound of them, eating most of the box on the spot. These were serious strawberries. One was the size of a peach and so sweet and flavourful I pretty much ascended to another plane of existence.
During the next 15 miles or so I passed through endless fields of strawberries, right in the middle of being harvested and the air was heavy with their aroma. It was like riding through a dream and I relished every breath with a smile on my face.
Later I passed through fields of anise and had more delicious aromatherapy before pulling over at a produce market for some shade and a snack. While resting there a gigantic pickup truck with the double rear wheels pulled up and was left idling for over 10 minutes while the driver was inside shopping. He came outside just as I was taking a picture of it for my records and he looked like he was about to come over to me, but got in and drove off instead. I wonder how many miles per gallon that monster gets idling... Oh yeah: zero!
From here was a very long separated bike path that took me right into the core of Monterey and passed the US Army graduate school. I passed literally hundreds of bright eyed young officers jogging up and down the path in matching grey T-shirts, short shorts and safety green reflective belts. I guess all that advertising really pays off!
I luckily managed to stake the last available spot at the hostel, did some routine bike maintenance including rewrapping my bar tape which had been coming somewhat unravelled over the past few days (due to my hand injury I can only hold the bar tops, and in an awkward fashion, which is what I think caused the unravelling) and had a nice refreshing shower. I had a big fat leaky Monterey burger for dinner and wrote blog entries in the hostel until late while a large tour group of young teenagers entertained themselves.
I took my last antibiotics pill as well so hopefully I will be feeling 100% by the time I get back on the road.


Caroline said...

You write so evocatively my darling Charlie
all my love

Caroline said...

Thoby had a great birthday in Turkey sailing but I know he missed you very much.
We all do so so much
all my love
Mum xxxxx

Caroline said...

We just returned from Addis Ababa, you would have really found a lot to interest and inspire you there, they need so much help but are enthusiastic and resourceful.
I miss you , all my love Mum xxxx