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As the Pedal Turns: Pictures from the 2009 Surf City AIDS Ride


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  • [Pictures] As the Pedal Turns: Pictures from the 2009 Surf City AIDS Ride

    In the bicycling world, a ride of 100 miles completed in a single day is called a "century." A typical century will be hosted by a cycling club or charitable organization and usually includes routes with shorter distances. Riders pay a registration fee (much like a race), and the host organization provides route maps, directions, course markings and monitors, rest stops with food and comfort facilities, and a post-ride meal. Often there is entertainment.

    The Santa Cruz AIDS Project hosts the Surf City AIDS Ride as a fund raiser for their organization. The most recent ride was on October 4, and I decided to attempt it, though it had been three years since I had ridden that distance in a single day. (Most of my rides are in the 30-60 mile range.)

    The 100-mile course opened at 7 am. Here is a map and elevation profile of the route:

    I started at 7:20, and the sun had yet to come up. The first few miles were very cold, so I neglected to take pictures until I was well past the first rest stop. As the first rays of the sun warmed me up around 8, I was treated to this view of the ocean:

    My frozen fingers thawed, and I headed for the second rest stop, arriving shortly after 8:30:

    I grabbed a few bites and continued south along Elkhorn Slough:

    Sometime after 9:00 I approached Castroville and picked up a tailwind to Salinas. The Salinas stop was on the approach to San Juan Grade. I arrived there around 10:00. It was finally warm enough to take off my wind vest, though you can't really see the warmth in the picture:

    In less than an hour, I had arrived at our lunch stop at the Native Daughters of the Golden West in San Juan Bautista, where we had a catered lunch of penne pasta, salad, and focaccia bread. As I rolled out of town, I realized I had forgotten to take pictures. Oh well.

    On to Aromas. Here lunch was also being served, but for those on the 60-mile route. (This is the point where the two routes merged.) This was indoors at the Grange Hall, but I'm sure the volunteers there were not the usual Grange members:

    The next stop was only a half hour down the road at the Gizdich Ranch:

    I was making good time (with less than 30 miles to go), so I rested and took a look around:

    Too full to eat pie!

    Twenty minutes later, I was back on the road, headed for the last rest stop at about 10 miles to go. This was the "Rock Stop":

    The last 10 miles went pretty quickly, and I arrived at 3:15, just under eight hours from the time I departed. My bike computer had died in the early morning cold, so I had no stats other than the total distance from the map. While waiting for the post-ride meal to arrive, I listened to the band and took a few pictures:

    After I had my fill, I got in my car to head home and found this car parked across from mine:

    Gotta love Santa Cruz. I'll probably do it again next year, but I think I'll wait about an hour after the course opens.

    The Santa Cruz AIDS Project is still accepting donations. I was not required to raise money, only to ask friends to consider donating at the web site. Check the link in the second paragraph for more info.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
    2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
    2014 so far: 7846 miles, 451,000 feet

  • #2
    Re: As the Pedal Turns: Pictures from the 2009 Surf City AIDS Ride

    Your first picture is very near where I'm staying right now. I was out and about Friday and Sunday and remember seeing on one or both days what looked like set-up for a road event and what looked like some support vehicles for bikers. So this is what it was.

    Sounds like fun.


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