Day 7: Cowbell, Brussel Sprouts and Friends

October 16
Mileage 37
Pigeon Point Lighthouse to New Brighton State Beach

A full dorm. 6 ladies. Silent sleepers. How nice. I sleep so damn hard which feels so damn good. My mind says I need a rest day but miles make I must. I head down the highway and almost immediately a truck coming from the opposite direction has its window down and is ringing a cowbell and cheering for me. That calls for an automatic fist pump. And smiles. A continuation from yesterday, brussel sprouts litter the road side. I could have made a meal of them if I was into that sorta thing. Well, more like 3 meals. You get my drift.

Swanton Berry Farm honors cyclists with parking spaces and a discount. I gobble down jam samples and then settle on blackberry cobbler and coffee. It’s all organic of course. And yummy as hell. The perfect snack. The perfect stop. And to add to the coolness factor, there’s the slow movement van out front selling all things local and handmade.

I roll into Santa Cruz about 1:30pm. I’m already off of the adventure cycle route which I don’t know how it happened but it’s just as well. I find a better way. First, bicycle shop to put air in my back tire. Just around the block is Santa Cruz Mountain Brewey where there’s organic brew and pretzels.


And then down the street is New Leaf grocery where I pick up some food. I stop to take a picture of a garage that has printed on its front “it’s all good” and I’m reminded of my uncle that died from cancer. I wait to merge back into the bicycle lane because there’s a cyclist coming. An older man with a checkered beret, who says to me “nice helmet.” I pass him the next block.

“But you’ve got the cool beret.”

“Where are you headed?” he asks.

So I tell him. And then he signals for me to stop. He’s a bit of a talker. He wrote a book about cycle touring in China that I can get for 1 cent on Amazon and he’s a restaurant owner just around the block.

“No, you don’t want to camp at Sunset State Beach. It’s not as nice as New Brighton by Capitola. And don’t take the adventure cycle route. You want to stick by the ocean, go by the boardwalk,” he rattles off. “Oh and do you want some eggs?” He admits to having more chickens than they city allowes but who’s counting anyway?

I stand on the corner, checking his route on my tablet. He comes back and asks if everything is o.k. and if I want some eggs. Super nice guy.

I make my way to New Brighton with epic ocean views thanks to my illegal egg friend. I stand at its entrance contemplating. To go or to stay? And then Kirk rolls up. Says a bunch of cool peeps are staying here tonight. That makes it easy. There’s a whole campsite of cycle tourists and they’re fucking awesome. Friendly as get out. One even remembers passing me because of my cool helmet. They’re on a cycle/beer tour. And then they share their beer with me.


I’m ‘watching’ the Giants game over dinner. Hungriness translates into a long dinner. The game is epic suspensful. Pins and needles rolling into the bottom of the 9th. And then I hear screaming across the campground. Either they’ve seen a raccoon or hopefully they’re Giants fans. I wait in suspense. Finally, my screen updates. Ishikawa hits a 3 run homer. Giants are going to the world series. I let out a woop!


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