Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2009 Strawberry Fields Forever Tour, Aptos California

My son Matt lives nearby. To beat the inland heat, we got an early start on the 100K ride.
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You'd like the food on this ride: assorted cold cuts, good breads, fresh fruits and nuts, cold drinks and apple pie appeared 3 times on the 100k. At the end they fed us dinner: mixed grill with fresh strawberries and cream + chocolat. The temperature crept into the high 80s before lunch, but while we ate, a cool breeze and a bit of fog blew in from the ocean.
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Matt's first tour. He's an enthusiastic surfer. Now he's discovered bikes.
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At the next food stop we caught up with the Unicycles. (What do you call a GROUP of Unicycles?) This character appeared to be in charge. He and his small group rode the whole 100K at a fast clip.

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Aptos is on the coast, between Santa Cruz and Monterey. In the first part of the 19th century it had been part of Mexico. However, one drunken night the patron of Monterey lost the whole county in a poker game. Then came the Gold Rush and people got truly creative. I like to think we're still in that phase.

John Steinbeck lived and wrote in nearby Salinas and in Monterey itself. If you're looking for a truly great book pick up "East of Eden," his masterpiece. Steinbeck loved the people and the land around here. In return the townspeople heaped scorn on "the Communist." Today, thanks to another Steinbeck book, Monterey's Cannery Row is a money making machine and The National Steinbeck Center in Salinas pulls in visitors from all over the world. However, the Salinas town library went belly up a few years ago. Can't make money on a room full of books...

If you're a Steinbeck fan, don't miss Mark Arax's stunning new book "West of the West," a "Grapes of Wrath" for the twenty first century. I dare you to put this book down once you begin it.

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Calfee Design: one of the food stops.

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The view to the west of the Calfee office/shop: private airstrip, artichoke fields, Pacific Ocean. No wonder he makes such an inspirational bicycle.

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We rode 64 miles, loaded up the bikes in my Chevy and were on the road well before dark.

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