Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Road: Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge

Just a short report on my participation in the 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge.

There were a few reasons I signed up for the ride:

  • Erik would be on call, so I had to “play by myself” (as in typical Ch-English),
  • Erik had done this ride and even had a T-shirt to show for it, so I want one too.
  • It would be two weeks after my Death Ride, so I should be in shape.

It turned out to be a so-so ride for me. The reasons were:

  • I was spoiled by the Death Ride. At the DR, the route was extremely simple and clear (with three out and back’s). At SCMC, I was handed a route description printed on a piece of paper that itself seems a mile long. Having never done other organized ride than the DR, I thought for sure there would be signs and ride organizers at every turn so I almost left the handout at the car. I missed the turn within the first mile or so and ended up riding out about two miles before back tracking. After that, I tried to pay attention to the small arrows on the road, but it took the relaxing aspect out of the ride.
  • I was also spoiled by the scenery at the DR. I’ve heard some people say SCMC was the most scenic ride they had done. I definitely don’t want to argue against their personal experience, but for me, the ride is not much different from my rides from home, so it almost seemed too familiar. (I know, I’m rotten spoiled just like my two little kitties.)
  • And then, I was feeling sluggish. I didn’t touch my bike the week after the DR, but on the couple of short rides I did after that, my butt still hurt. Bummer. In the morning, I almost fell asleep while driving to the start. Bummer. I was still yawning left and right a couple of hours into the ride. Unbelievable!
  • I had lunch at the lunch stop, and had upset stomach for almost an hour after that.

But, I should look at the bright side.

  • I ran into my friend Alison, and had a nice chat with her and other women during lunch.
  • Despite feeling extremely un-motivated and sluggish, my time at the Jamison Creek Time Trial was better than I expected (at 25’36”) — actually it plain surprised me.
  • Because I blew past almost all the stops during the DR, I made a point of stopping at every single one of them on this ride. The lunch was relaxing. I had some post-ride food too although not too much because I was in a rush to leave.  The ice cream cone was definitely my favorite.
  • After lunch, I decided to cut my ride short so I could try to make it to a Santa Cruz (that’s a brand) mountain bike demo in Santa Cruz (only 9 miles away). I did make it and rode a newly out Blur LTc at Wilder Ranch. I was impressed with how well it climbed. That was a great discovery.

I found one photo of mine from the event.

2 Responses

  1. Alison Chaikenon 10 Aug 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Mei, the SCMC is in your home territory. I intentionally avoid the Sequoia Century and Tierra Bella since they are on roads that I ride without support all the time. To me the point of supported rides is to visit beautiful places a little further from home without having to consider logistics. Thus I did register for the Sea Otter Century, Strawberry Fields Forever and Mt. Tam Century plus the upcoming Levi’s Gran Fondo. I’m considering the Condor Classic as well. There’s going to be an informal group ride up Tam on 9/12 in case you’re interested.

  2. mudwormon 10 Aug 2009 at 9:25 pm

    You are smart. But I got the T-shirt too. So, all is good. 😉