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Old 08-16-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
Hobbes950 OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Nevada City
Oddometer: 4,046
A week in Santa Cruz- Disc Golf World Championships

Disclaimer: More disc golf than riding.

Eight days
1200 miles
Five nights camping
Two nights in a hotel
Four disc golf courses
Six rounds of disc golf
Five nice roads

Loaded up Saturday night for a Sunday morning departure. It was the biggest load I have had on the bike, with two panniers and top case full and a huge tent and cot. The bike was different with the load, but still pretty nimble.

Mandatory disc golf paragraph- if you don't care skip it
I arrived at 1:00 to check in with Tournament Central. I was one of six in the Pro Masters Women division. I had no idea of what my competition was like besides one who I knew I could not beat, but I had no illusions about my lack of training over the last five years. I have been playing disc golf for 15 years, and competing for 14 years, 12 of those in the Pro division. For the last five years, my participation has dwindled to one tournament a year. The World Championships has not occurred on the west coast for 30 years, despite the sports birth in California. I could not resist the chance to play in my home state so I signed up regardless of my competing abilities. I didn't play as well as I could, but still finished each round better than I thought I was playing during the round. I finished in a solid fourth place, and had loads of fun playing awesome courses with some great competitors.

On to the motorcycle roads!

Corralitos Highway

Day two of the competition slotted me into a noon tee time at Pinto Lake disc golf course in Watsonville. That gave me time to sleep in and still get a little ride in before the round. I had a route picked out that would take me to the course using back roads through the redwoods. This road was a little rough midway through, but was a pleasant ride through the sun dappled forest. The lacy needles of coast redwoods break the sunlight like no other trees, and it was a nice break from the fog of the coast.

View summit in a larger map

China Grade

I had another noon tee time on Friday, so I decided to take a little cruise and see how far I could get. First I had to pack up camp because that night I was moving to the luxury of a hotel. That didn't leave much time for a ride and I had to turn back just when the road was getting interesting. Oh well, I will be back when I do not have other priorities um, I mean obligations.

This photo hardly shows how steep this turn is. This is where I turned around, I can only imagine what the rest is like.

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Bonny Doon to Brookdale

I had taken Bonny Doon Road once about ten years ago and remembered it as being a twisty little road to the coast. After my last round of competition on Friday I decided to try it out on the way back to my hotel. I rode up Highway 1 to the end of Bonny Doon Road, plugged in my hotel out of the favorites on my GPS and followed the little arrow. Bonny Doon was as I remembered, another nice curvy coastal road. I reached Empire Grade, which had been recommended, but the section that I rode was pretty straight. The GPS pointed me onto Alba Rd. I thought that this might be a road that I had seen from Highway 9 when I was headed for China Gradw. I had seen it as a small, steep, little road and had wondered where it went thinking that it might be fun. Well, it was the very same road and yes, it was quite fun. I prefer uphill to down, and wished that I was traveling in the other direction because it was quite steep, but it was a delightful surprise and a blast to ride. If you get a chance, check it out.

View Bonny Doon in a larger map

Bear Creek Road

I headed home Sunday morning and opted for this little road to get to Highway 17. I will tell you what, I don't think that I will ever take 17 in or out of Santa Cruz again. What a great road! Right in the middle of it the pavement turned to lovely, smooth fresh blacktop. Traffic was low, a couple of great views at the top, and sweet twisties all the way.

View Bear Creek Rd in a larger map

Hamilton Mt.

Hit this one on the way home. I have to say, as I started up this road, I had a sense of dread. This road would turn a 45 minute section of my ride into 2 hours. It was 11:00am, I was hot, I hadn't eaten anything, and the road was SUPER twisty and slow. Why did I go this way? How long was this going to take? I made it to the top.

Ok. Take a break, eat a power bar. What else was I going to do with my day? I headed down the other side rejuvenated and YEE HAW! The curves opened up and I was zipping along. Screw the freeway, this was FUN! Went cruizing right by a place called "The Junction" and saw all the bikes in the lot. Just about lunchtime, flipped a U turn and pulled up. Harleys, sportbikes, enduros, touring bikes, canyon carvers, a trike, a quad, and an old Triumph. The lot was full and I had a $7 ham sandwich in good company. We all had a good laugh at the guy pulling in and almost ditching it in the lot. He was showing off, scooting through with no hands on the bars- taking off his gloves. Lost his balance and came close to going down. I took him a while to come around the corner after parking, we all mused that he must be checking his shorts. Good times.

I continued on and made it home in good time, despite missing my turn and ending up in Westley. What is a trip up I-5 without hitting Westley anyway?

View Mt. Hamilton in a larger map

Hope you enjoyed the ride, and if you haven't tried it disc golf is loads of fun too!

The World Champion Nate Doss showing 'em how its done.

When in doubt, take it as a compliment.

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 496
Nice ride! Thanks for sharing.

Next time, take Del Puerto Canyon Rd. East towards Patterson (go East instead of North from The Junction). I personally find that to be a far more enjoyable ride than Mines Rd. More open, good sight lines, far more scenic. You can blast on it much like that stretch from the Lick Observatory to The Junction (San Antonio Valley Road).
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:17 AM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Northern Ca.
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Sounds like you had a good time with both sports.

If you don't know where your going don't lead!
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #4
Hobbes950 OP
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Location: Nevada City
Oddometer: 4,046
Thanks Scorpio. I wondered about that way. The GPS takes you on some funny routes sometimes. It couldn't make up its mind on which way to go at that point.
When in doubt, take it as a compliment.

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