I was looking forward to Strawberry Fields Forever again this year, an organized ride in Santa Cruz & Monterey counties with themed rest stops! Western, Turkish and so on; last year the Italian theme stop had an expresso cart at in a strawberry field! So I was looking forward to doing it again.
Mother nature, and Accuweather, both insisted that it was going to rain, off and on, in that area. But at 7am, it was only cloudy, no rain yet. So Bill B. and Jeff P. and I met and decided to go to the first rest stop at 15 miles, going up Soquel-San Jose Road to Summit Road and the fire station. A bad mud slide this year meant that this rest stop was a turn around point coming back right past the starting point (instead of continuing on Highland and down Eureka Canyon Road to Corralitos.) So it made the first leg and out and back. Good thing, it started raining about 4 miles into it and did not stop till we got to the rest stop (2300 feet in 15 miles.)
You can imagine the downhill from there, wet and very cold, as we began the long descent. Fortunately, it is a road (one of the few, after this winter’s storms?) that is in good shape. Of course, it started raining again. And then I lost the bite valve on my Camelback and promptly filled my right shoe with water (not that the rain wasn’t doing a good job of that on it’s own.)
When we got back to the start point we all opted to bail. A fellow cyclist took this photo, she was headed off to find a bike shop to buy a rain suit, just because.
On my drive home, headed south the direction we were to go, it poured! Tom B. also reported that he and his friend doing the 100k got rained on out in the southern section of Santa Cruz county, where we would have headed to next, and they also bailed at 30 miles. Oh well, there is always next year.