I was particularly excited about this team camp, for a couple reasons. It was going to be in Santa Cruz, my hometown and best city for cycling (in the world?!), our team roster boasted 11 of my favorite cycling friends, and the weather was going to be perfect.
Friday night we all showed up at the host house with bikes spilling out of cars and hugs and chatter all around. Amy opened up the Equator box and handed around our Equator beanies and bags of fresh coffee. I handed out the team t-shirts and broke open the box of Gu product for the weekend. It was the ultimate cyclist partay. Even the two host house kittens made friends and cautiously investigated the noisy living room.
Saturday dawned clear and COLD. After a huge breakfast by our own Melanie (oatmeal, and bacon and scrambled eggs, and baked cinnamon apples!!!) complete with the requisite Equator French presses, we went through the typical layers on and layers off and finally rolled down the hill into the redwood trees and backroads.
Today’s ride was an iconic 55 mile Santa Cruz classic; Eureka Canyon. The loop did not disappoint. After warming up through the trees, and meandering out through town, we hit Corralitos and the base of Eureka with smiles and miles of snacks to go. Some people smashed up the hill, and some rode casually to take in the views, but by the time we rounded up at the top of Soquel-San Jose Rd, everyone had logged a decent leg beating at some point or another. Lunch was equally epic and dinner soon followed. We tried to go mini-golfing but the Boardwalk had rented the golf course out to a “private event”.
Day 2 was intended to be a team day, with a flat route to facilitate rotating and team work. After our team picture in our beanies and tees, we took the scenic route past East Cliff, to take in the ocean breeze and views of Monterey, before heading to the flatlands of South County. Along San Andreas, we hammered out a team time trial, staggering two teams to add an element of racing. At the turn around point, it was time to head home, as the miles of smiles was taking a toll. Rolling back smoothly, we climbed the brutal 4 minute, 15% hill to the host house, and collapsed around the table for a late lunch.