Thursday, April 21, 2005

Santa Cruz

I've survived my first Sea Otter. It was great. My skin got a little too baked, but I know what will happen if I say anything more that even hints at being a negative comment about the sun.

Now I'm chillin' at Chez Bontrager in the lovely Santa Cruz, California. I spent the last few days relaxing in the sun with either a magazine or a laptop at hand. The mornings and evenings are cool enough for a fleece, and the afternoons are warm enough for shorts and no shoes. It's really hard to find a negative thing to say about this place.

I've also done some riding, which is a must here for any self-respecting rider. Road or mountain, take your pick...there's an abundance of both.

The only bad part about the riding I've done here has been the fact that I've been out with a legend of the sport, and not one but TWO world champions. Some would probably say that this isn't a bad thing. To be fair, these three are terribly nice people, one a long time friend, one a new friend that has the makings of a long term friendship, and the other a young buck who's taking a break from racing for some introspection. I knew I was slow, and not very good. Riding with my usual clique (see what I did there?) reminds me of that all the time. This is a whole other world though, riding with these people. What was I thinking!? The three of them were happily skipping along up these trails, no matter how steep the climbs or technical the downhills. And then there was me. Feeling behind a distance that felt like miles. What's worse is that we were in this amazing, picturesque spot that would have produced some awesome photos, if only I'd had my camera and the ability to not be so far behind everyone.

Since I couldn't maintain any sort of pace, I wasn't involved in their chatting, and when they had to wait for me there was no pausing once I arrived. All in all, it was a very lonely ride for me. I was overwhelmingly tired from the hard work at Sea Otter, and not having some decent sleep since Chipps left. Add to that my amazing ability to assume snail-like attributes on a bike, and you have the makings of a very pokey ride for people who are used to the bike version of light speed. I stopped at one point to admire the view, which included downtown Santa Cruz, and the ocean. I should have been having a good time and enjoying the setting, but I kept wishing that I was with the Thursday night ride crowd, or any of the usual suspects. I wonder if racer types mix well with social riders. Maybe if I were faster, I'd be able to appreciate things more, or in a different way. I'd love to ask them if they saw that view, but I can't catch them to do so.

6 comments:

steve said...

hmmm... nice of them !

Simon said...

I don't understand people who haven't got time to stop and enjoy the views. Madness :)

I took a photo of a lamb this morning for you Chris...

http://www.simonbarnes.net/gallery/gallery/Breakfast/8_G

steve said...

especially views like that

davkatreb said...

No worries, 'Naut. If you ever make it to Western Maryland I'll show you our choicest trails. Just don't leave this old man too far behind.

Nick said...

Slow is good. Being quick is no excuse not to stop and enjoy the views sometimes.

Fat lad said...

Leaving someone behind like that is just not cricket.