9.22.2013

48 Hours to Live :: Santa Cruz Edition

My adventuring streak has been bursting at the seams lately. A part of me wants to own something like Mighty (Eurovan) and just go ride bikes & ski where ever I want. My world, my rules - right? The other more responsible half of me knows that I need to have a career. So, I have made a compromise - 48-hours to live stints. No, don't worry I am not dying, but, I am taking advantage of my youth - kicking ass, and doing rad stuff. I guess you could say I am converting into a true weekend warrior (insert YIKES!) but to be frank, you have to do this stuff while you can. I guess I have been doing 48-hour adventures for a quite some time now - but - now I am going to try and consciously document it.

I have been to Santa Cruz a handful of time. Every single time I go, I always leave a small piece of my heart there. I love the culture, the people, the riding - literally everything. Normally, every single time that I go to this land of granola lovers it is on a whim. That was the case with this trip. Friday 3:00 pm Me to Ella "You still want to take a random trip to Santa Cruz for the weekend?" "Yep, I will leave work at 4:30". After a quick stop to Trader Joe's and some nasty flavored hummus and expensive string cheese, we hit the road.

1 van, 2 bikes, 3 bottles of wine.
Our Digs

We laughed so hard. We drove, and drove, and drove. 8-hours is a pretty big commitment for a Friday night. We drove through fields of Artichokes (which smell horrendous), joked around, told secrets that we had never shared with anyone else, shared our life gripes, sang some rihanna and flew down some dirt roads convinces we were going the right way towards the beach. When it is pitch black out your eyes see funny things. It doesn't help that I always associate Texas Chainsaw Massacre with everything after 9 pm and with farm equipment around.

At 2 am we found a lot to camp in. Contorted ourselves into sleeping positions (I was between both of the bikes), and crashed hard. When we awoke at 8 am we found that we were overlooking the ocean and it was pretty damn beautiful. So, when you are a bike fanatic I must admit it is pretty damn awesome waking up between two bikes knowing that all you have planned for the day is to go ride. Seriously, that is rad.

Sleeping arrangement. 
Adventure vagabonds can never leave home without some source of technology and a sense of direction towards the nearest coffee shop (thank you Siri). We ended up at some podunk coffee shop, which luckily had free wi-fi so we could figure out the riding situation. After aimlessly sitting around we filled up our solar shower got back in the van and headed towards Demo Forest. Highlight of this, Ella says: can you pay attention for road bikers. Sure, so I stop instagramming. The joke quickly became yell "ROAD BIKER!" as loud as possible when we saw one. ha! After rallying on some twisty roads covered in pot holes we quickly found a parking lot with other people who clearly had the same intentions as us...to get rad!

We changed. Our bikes were ready to go. The only issue was finding the trail head. After batting our eyelashes a few times we had everything under control.

Believe it or not there is a sign there that says "Are you ready for fun?" You can see it because I couldn't stand up. 

So, after slowly climbing to the top of the trail head (soooo it may have taken extra long because we waited for other riders to go by us to make sure we were heading in the right direction) we reached the top of the climb, which the climb up was a cinch. We enjoyed the view of the Pacific Lake which is really the Pacific Ocean, but, we were really enjoying messing with people up at the top. Sooo two chicks roll up to a trail head...just kidding...bad joke. Well, there were a lot of dudes standing around - one happened to be obsessing over Ella's bike (which is typical) - we gave them some sassy, then ended up riding with them and then even hanging out with them later on that day.

Signature jump photo. Duh. 
So...the trails? EPIC. Especially after only having access to SoCal crap for the last couple of months. You could literally just lay it over and go. I was grinning ear to ear the entire time. None of these moon dust trails we have - when you pedaled you didn't scrub. We were super fortunate to jump in with a group of locs and they showed us our way - not like the SoCal locs that we have down here. So, maybe my little baby 3 inch bike was not the best for some of the technical sections and I did have to get back in touch with my old cross country roots and toss my bike on my shoulder and run. I can't wait until I have a bigger bike - oy vey. Of course like every awesome downhill there has to be a climb out, which mind you I was super into. There was a group of boys I decided to chase - that was fun. Surprise, little B coming through! I just wanted to keep going - rallying. I finally found my stoke on bikes again. It has been a while since I felt like that...

Demo you treated us well. 

We got back to the van and showered with the solar shower. Let me tell you, all those dudebros that were enjoying their after ride brewski's were not upset seeing two girls camping in a van. After a after riding glass of wine (okay, so we forgot to buy beer - this seems like the next most logical thing to do) we headed down the canyon - only to be distracted by a wine tasting sign. Being the adventurous people we are we stopped - got fancy with some $10 wine tasting and cheese noshing and then jetted to Capitola. Art festivals, wine tasting, eclectic people - it was amazing. I didn't want to leave.

House on Wheels. 

Semi-Fancy

We ended up linking up with the fella's we had met on the trail - parked our van. Hoped on some sick cruisers - got food from the local hippie grocery store (right up my alley). Through together a rad pasta and salad dinner - drank some wine, laughed a bunch. Then, instead of stopping there we decided to check out the local dive bar scene. Totally grimey; thus for totally awesome. $1 PBR's?! Yes PUUUHLEASE. We rallied through the night and crashed hard once we got back to our house on wheels. I woke up with some KILLER lion hair -- that will happen with no shower, biking and a jump in the ocean.
Rat's nest doesn't even describe what was going on... 
Our plans changed pretty quick in the morning from enjoying some mashing on bikes to taking the long way home and enjoying the California scenery by trucking down the PCH. This was probably one of the best decisions of my live - plus it was another check off the good ole' bucket list (which is about to get revamped again). We stopped and some some seals, and checked out the Hearst Castle from a distance.
48 hours to live. 
It's been a while since I have seen beauty like this. 
I thought they were all dead, but, Ella told me different. 
We got home, I was exhausted - but - after such a rad time how can you let tiredness get in your way of rallying? Work the next day...I only have 48 hours to live...My level of bike stoke is out of this world, all from a weekend trip up the coast and some good dirt, laughs, and friends.

Sending Love from SoCal.

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