On Sunday I rode the 100K Strawberry Fields Forever bike ride. The route cuts a gorgeous swath through Santa Cruz County over roads both urban and rural, through fields of strawberries and lettuce, past sloughs and ocean, redwoods and eucalyptus, with a stop at Gizdich Ranch where pie and a live three-piece band sweetened the day.
Midway through the ride, just before lunch, there are two HARD hills. The grade on the first must be 15%, and it maintains that for longer than I care to think. I nearly broke down and joined the parade of people who were walking their bikes up those hills, but pride kept me mashing the pedals and sucking air like an old horse.
Pride’s a sucker’s game. The effort I expended on those hills sapped me: when I got off the bike at lunchtime, I saw black spots in front of my eyes and felt dizzy, and near the end of the ride, going up Hazel Dell (a moderate climb of several miles duration that I’ve done on shorter rides without problem or stopping), I stopped three times to rest before continuing. Pride be damned.
I didn’t buy a jersey, but here’s an image from the club’s website.