April 28, 2018

Three Bikin' Babes

Looming gray clouds must have convinced my fellow cyclists to stay home this morning. There were no showers on the local weather radar map.

Two women joined me, both excited to share “This is one of my favorite routes!” (Mine, too.)

As I had hoped, the cool (and gloomy) weather meant that we would contend with little traffic; on a hot summer day there will be a steady stream of impatient drivers diverting off the freeway onto the original Santa Cruz Highway. Today, we had the redwoods to ourselves.

A male turkey fanned out his tail feathers for his hen (but not for my camera).

Male wild turkey in a field along Skyland Road, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Some of these back roads, I believe, were originally logging roads. They've been paved since then, but ... not regularly. Every rainy winter breaks up more of the pavement, or worse—last winter a car was trapped in a hole (where the road had given way). I couldn't be sure which stretch of smooth, fresh pavement corresponded to that repair. But I can say that no section of road gets repaired before its time. [Which, in some cases, may be a century. Or more.]

Young bug in a field along Skyland Road, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
A young buck eyed me warily.

Sculpture garden, including a T Rex mother defending her hatchling from a diving pterodactyl, and other dinosaurs, Skyland Road, Santa Cruz Mountains
Mama T Rex is still defending her hatchling from a diving pterodactyl.

A few drops of rain fell from the sky, barely noticeable. Which was good, because it was much chillier than I expected; I regretted not donning wool socks this morning.

Wild iris flowering in shades of cream, yellow, and purple, along Highland Way, Santa Cruz Mountains, California
The hillsides were dotted with wild iris, purple vetch, and some very tiny flowers unfamiliar to me.

The patio at the Summit Store was overrun by cyclists—another club's ride overlapped with a bit of ours. Three or four people emptied out of a car, bundled in puffy insulated jackets, and stared at us as if we were a herd of exotic creatures.

Yes, this is what we do on the weekend. 38 miles, 3,370 feet of climbing—even when it's gray and gloomy.

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