Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 4: Carmel to Mountain View and a look ahead to Day 5

Wow, what a day. We started the day with rain. No really, some pretty heavy wet stuff as we left the motel to 'warm up' on the 17 mile drive. It was more like the 17 miles of driving rain and wind. It was stunning even with the weather, but it was not good for morale when we had 120 some miles to go with ninety percent of the climbing in the last half of the stage.

Climbing up Empire with our Dodge Journey CAF service car

heading through the redwoods

Luck was somewhat on our side as the rain subsided and wind changed direction as left Carmel and the Monterey Bay behind us and we made our way up toward Santa Cruz. But the wind was a constant companion and so was traffic. We had to dodge the regions worst traffic along the highway 1 and it sucked the life out of both Cody and I. Nothing like getting passed by a big rig doing 75 in a 45 with a trailer that is half way in the bike lane. Add to that more Garmin trouble, this time the unit just died for no reason.

With the gray skies, and two grumpy cyclists heading toward Santa Cruz and a dash through the middle of town, poor Mark whipped up some lunch that definitely changed our attitude as we were also about to change our altitude. We started climbing right out of town and kept climbing for what seemed an eternity. About 60 miles of mostly climbing, or wind in your face pressure. It was a hard day for sure. Cody did some serious duty on the front keeping me out of the wind.

Team Holland Cycles today

Cody, Mark and I are pretty sure the name for this ride should be the Tour de Carne Asada. Nothing like mexican food to quench the appetite, and California has a fair share of restaurants everywhere. We had a great meal tonight and toasted the two hardest days (130 miles yesterday and a 121 miles today). It was hard work, but the carne asada, guacamole and margaritas just tasted that much better.

Looking forward to tomorrow. It's not a victory lap, we have some real work to do. About 70 miles back to the coast over the top of the coastal range, and then into the city. 7,000 feet of climbing is on tap. We get to cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge and head to our hotel in Marin.

Here's a link to Day 5:

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