Santa Cruz to Monterey
Santa Cruz Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
November 6th, 2006 – by: cja17
From Santa Cruz my route cut inland, through Steinbeck country - fruit fields and latino workers happy to exchange a wave as I rolled through. Occasionally passed by Sunday cyclists on club rides, I was gently scolded for not wearing a helmet - a strange contradiction in a land thought of as libertarian. Mid-afternoon, having completely misread the distance to Monterey (it's 50 miles, not 30), I was slumped at the side of a bike path, pushing calories into the system as fast as they would go, when Half Moon Bay campsite buddy Ray swung by and stopped for a chat.
And, as ever, there was the warm welcome. At Seaside, just outside Monterey, I was stopped at an intersection waiting for the lights to change when a young woman on a nice carbon road bike caught my eye from the other side and rolled over for a chat. Like the couple at the bagel shop in Soquel, Rebecca was a touring cyclist and, after saying hello, promptly offered me a place to stay for the night, which I stupidly (but politely) declined. Looking back, I'm annoyed at myself for turning the offer down - my excuse is British reserve - we're just not equipped to deal with complete strangers offering free accommodation thirty seconds after meeting us.
A real touring cyclist might have one day off a week, but heck, I'm on holiday so after just three days in the saddle, Monday in Monterey was to be a rest day. After getting a motel room, I cycled down to the famous aquarium to check on tickets for the following day and to grab directions to a local mall from a friendly young woman at the information desk. Sunday night dinner was a steak in one of the tourist bars on the waterfront with a Sacramento couple next to me at the bar, buzzing from a tandem skydive earlier that day and on their way to a great hangover.
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