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(Copied from www.santacruz-road-dudes.com)

WINTER SOLSTICE? QUIEN SABE?

More orthodox druids would have insisted that celebrating the solstice on January 4th is all wrong. Team Bikeaholics shared no such compunction. Weíre a reformed druish group

Weather conditions precluded the conduction of the annual Winter Solstice Double Century for all but a few hardy souls. The organizers, Craig R. in particular, sympathetically rescheduled the ride for January 4th. Meteorological conditions were much improved by this time. Some regulars were missing due to a variety of circumstances, and several new riders joined in. As this would be our first double century of the year, Eric N. and I decided to ride together in the spirit of photography and caffeine addiction.

We hung on to the lead group for the first few miles. Eric stopped for lighting adjustments and I dropped off along Uvas Road prior to the turn on Oak Glen. Somehow in the dark I missed the turn and spent some time riding back and forth along Uvas trying to find it. Finally I just continued along Uvas until the junction with Watsonville Road where I rejoined the route.

At the first rest stop in Gilroy I was quickly joined by Eric. As the lead group prepared to depart Eric asked if we should ride with the tandem or go look for coffee. This was not a difficult decision to make. Pleasant company and one of the five essential nutrients in the couch potato diet were an overwhelming draw. We had to deviate slightly from the route in order to stop at the Dunville Cafť, but the coffee was well worth it. We took pictures in front of this lovely spot to demonstrate our dedication.


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The slight headwind and gentle upslope of the road kept our speed in check, despite the invigorating effects of the black elixir of life. As it was, we reached the lunch stop at the Pinnacles within about an hour of the lead group. We relaxed there for a bit, then turned our wheels toward Kenís house. This was indeed marvelous. While the wind wasnít great, it was clearly shifting to be a headwind for our return as well. Being Central Valley refugees, we are very sensitive to wind. It is our version of hills, without summits. It is a great day when we are treated to the BiDirectional Opposing Headwind (or BDOH).

We celebrated with poor jokes (mine), and slaughtered show tunes (Ericís). Climbing along Cienega Road we practiced our Mike Myerís imitations, and caught a rider from Santa Rosa. Carl had set off at a good pace, and now was paying the price for working so hard. As we say in my business, he was out of airspeed and ideas. We invited him to join us and be pulled to the finish, only some seventy miles or more distant. He was concerned about being able to hang on, and we assured him we were in no rush. Along Highway 25, between the traffic and the headwind, we were hardly going to leave him to struggle alone. He showed great dedication at riding through his low spot. He also demonstrated questionable taste by putting up with our humor and song. Itís not every day one rides behind a pair trying to perfect the line "Do you think Iím a sexy beast?"

It was a grateful trio that reached the Gilroy rest stop one more time. Eric obtained his lighting and made the necessary adjustments. In typical fashion I carry everything from start to finish. This is not out of any sense of propriety. Iím just paranoid. Years of therapy would probably help, but that would detract from my riding time. Besides, the more weight I carry the slower I go and that means I get to ride my bike more.

Fate had obviously conspired to grace us. The elementary school on McKeon was open. Imagine, legal restroom facilities along a ride! We stopped and set ourselves up for the ride through city traffic. Somehow Shannon was not as steep as we recalled. Tom L. came by as we made our way up and over, and helped ensure that we remained on the route. At least he did his best. We showed him by missing a turn in San Jose and ending up on Saratoga. We remembered the Long Thinh restaurant from the previous night, and agreed that once we found that culinary establishment all would be well. While we were not brave enough to eat there, we knew we could find Kenís house.

A potluck dinner and cycling confab followed, and then we piled into the car and headed back to the valley. It was a wonderful ride, a beautiful day, and another typical Bikeaholic success.