Sunday 11 April 2010

(Not) Riding on the Freeway

Today the weather forecast was for rain, and we were surprised to find that it did indeed rain. We had started to become slightly blasé about such a risk after a couple of weeks in Southern California, but it was clear from today’s events that we have reached the central coast!!

Having filled ourselves up with mountains of yummy pastries at our hotel in Carmel this morning, we set off on our 60-mile trip to Santa Cruz just as the rain started. It would only have been about 45 miles, but we decided to take a detour around the Monterey Peninsular and track the coastline…well, it is bike the borderline after all. Within feet of the hotel, we stopped to put on our rain gear…bottoms as well as jackets. Wet, wet, wet.

Despite the rain, we enjoyed the first 25 miles or so of our trip. We were lucky enough to be on a bike path for much of it, which was understandably deserted, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was at around this point that the rain turned from a constant downpour to pelting down mercilessly. After about 5 miles of it, we were overjoyed to see a small town on the horizon with a number of eating possibilities…yay.

Taking shelter in Subway, we squelched our way into the line to place our order, leaving a trail of rainwater as we went, and started to chatting to a guy in front of us called John, who was interested in what on earth we were doing out cycling in this weather…and who had a few good tips for us about Santa Cruz. We were about half way through our “$5 foot longs…any, any, any, 5, 5, 5 dollar foot longs” (for those not in the US, that is the Subway ad), when John came back into the store. He had been thinking about us about to leave the bike path and riding in the torrential rain on the freeway to Santa Cruz and offered us a lift, even though he wasn’t going that way. We were shocked at the short time that it took for us to look at each other and nod vigorously, and then start to justify in our minds that it was better for us not to be riding on the freeway with the heavy rain, low light, dense spray and the speeding traffic and just to get to our warm and dry hotel in Santa Cruz. So, we had a comfortable and warm trip with John in his Volvo (in hindsight the safest option) the final 30 miles. A huge thanks to John…what a star. We continue to be stunned and amazed by the acts of kindness that we have encountered through this trip.

It is still raining as we type this blog, and will apparently continue through until tomorrow, when we have a rest day here in Santa Cruz. Perhaps a good excuse to do nothing?!

Us x


  1. This is the John who gave you the ride from the Castroville Subway Sandwich Shop to Santa Cruz. Who wouldn't have taken pity on you and given you a ride? You looked like two drowned waifs!

  2. John you are an awesome bloke. we really appreciated your kindness and we're sure our parents would thank you for saving their children

    We're glad you're following us on the blog ...Santa Cruz was good fun.