San Francisco > Santa Cruz (90 miles*)
*Daily trip mileage includes espresso excursions, restaurant visits, grocery runs, and wrong turns (yes, even with the Maps app, Map My Ride maps, Google Maps, and an actual map, I do make an occasional wrong turn**).
**I'm not entirely convinced there are such things as "wrong turns". Something interesting always comes out if them. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. I think Ghandi said that, or maybe it was Lance Armstong. Anyway, I know that Desmund Tutu said, "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring."
This morning started with a 6:00am wake up. It felt nice to sleep in, yet it was also a comfort to find that it was still dark out. With 85 or more miles ahead, I wanted to get a jump on the day. Especially after I learned the importance of having a little cushion for unplanned events.
I made a quick trip across Powell Street to Wallgreens for a fruit salad breakfast. It was good enough—although, I now doubt that my body is organic or non GMO. I ate breakfast in my room at the Union Square Hotel—a boutiquified hotel with modern rooms. On this occasion, my room turned out to be the size of a postage stamp.
Breakfast done and Aeropress Blue Bottle coffee absorbed, I loaded up and hit the quiet San Francisco streets at 7:30am. Clear sky's allowed the light to spill through the urban canyons and bath exposed parts with a warm glow. City Hall looked rather majestic at this early hour.
I made my way down McAllister Street before winding my way to Fell. It would take me right to Golden Gate park. I appreciated that my route had designated lanes for cyclists.
When I passed through it, Golden Gate Park was also waking up. It was pretty in the early light, and it hosted runners, cyclists and groups of Asians moving slowly in the Thai Chi expressions.
Once I emerged from the park, I traveled roads that contoured the coast until I was eventually turning over a rhythm on Highway 1. Dispute the rolling ups and downs and a steady headwind, I made relatively good time.
When I arrived in Santa Cruz at 2:30, I had an amazingly fresh and wholesome lunch at Cafe Gratitude. I chased the "I Am Accepting" bowl with an "I Am Strong" protein smoothie and an "I Am Playful" energy ball.
After lunch, I made a pilgramage to Verve coffee where I sipped on liquid gold and waited until 5:00pm (check-in time at my Hostel). And, the hostel is sweet. It's in a historic district right downtown. The people are cool, the rooms are nice, and the price is right. Sam, you'd be so proud of me!
After a shower and a change of clothes, I pedaled to another Favorite spot—La Posta on Seabright Avenue. All ingredients are fresh, local and organic, and they make magical wood fired thin crust pizzas. I ordered mine topped with greens and without cheese or oil. Paired with a light Italian beer, the meal did not disappoint. The best part of all was that friend Dennis joined me from Palo Alto. Thanks Dennis!