Scene Report // JP Bevins // Santa Cruz // Part 1

Our good friend, Chris ‘@DirtDrops‘ Corona had his first solo photo show at Caletti Cycles on the 24th, and I decided to make the ride from SF to Santa Cruz to see the show after finding some cheap flights online. I spent the first couple of days in SF with my friend Wilis aka Deluxe Cycles, as he was kind enough to put me up, share some coffee, and show me some parts of the Headlands that I had never seen before.

I was initially planning on staying in Santa Cruz a few days, and riding as much as I could, weather permitting. And if I didn’t get any work bookings, I was hoping to take my bag and continue riding down the 1 to LA, and fly back home from LAX. It’s really hard, and complicated to juggle a freelance career that ebbs and flows, and sometimes leaves you broke, with a huge passion for travel and cycling. I wish I had all the answers, or some help sometimes.

Wilis and I hung out, caught up, ate a bunch of good food, and on the morning of the 23rd, we rolled out together. My New York legs hadn’t climbed that much in a while, and it took me hours to get back in the groove of rollers. We rolled from the Richmond straight to the coast and started steamrolling down Route 1. We hit Daly City, and I immediately hit my wall as my body remembered what climbing was like. I was good once we hit the descent, right up until we hit Old Route 1 to go around the Linda Mar Route 1 tunnel. Damn. A killer climb and such a killer descent to bomb.

I got a gnarly slice and flat on our way into Half Moon Bay, and lost a ton of sealant and ended up booting by tire with some road trash so I didn’t waste a 20 in that goopy mess, then threw a tube in and got back to it. We stopped in Half Moon Bay and I loaded up my frame bag with some Swedish Fish. We were a third of the way to SC, and I was finally feeling decent.

The rest of the ride between Half Moon Bay and Davenport is kind of a blur, but a decent amount of stopping to take photos when I felt like it. Wilis was feeling strong during a portion of that stretch and motored ahead as I kept my steady pace. Eventually I get a text “in Davenport getting tacos”. “Alright, I’m still about 6 miles out”. “No problem, see you in a bit.”

Davenport is the last small little strip town on the 1 before you hit Santa Cruz. The tortillas were bomb, despite slightly lacking veggie options, there was a live band on the patio, and I had a mandarin Jarrito’s. Wasn’t mad at it.

We rolled the last ~10 miles into downtown Santa Cruz to Caletti Cycles, as Chris was hanging up the last of his show. The Caletti Cycles space is beautiful. Well organized, clean, and concise. It’s a real work of art, and his bikes are beautiful and well thought out.

We started to cool down, were burning daylight, and decided to climb the last 10 miles up Route 9 into Felton to the tiny home cabin that we were so incredibly lucky to be put up in. Thank you for the hospitality V!! Thank you for the amazing home to stay in, thank you for the coffee, and the amazing warmth that truly radiated into our trip to Santa Cruz. And a big thank you to the Santa Cruz cycling community for being so welcoming and accommodating. It’s deeply appreciated.

We climbed the last 10 miles up the narrow and shoulder-less Route 9, and actually got some traffic on our way up. The cabin is nestled on the top of a small peak in Felton, and the last mile or so is way steeper than I expected. Landing us right in the pocket of a very chilly little micro-climate where the cabin lived. We got inside, and turned on the electric fireplace and huddled up as we began to cool down. I wrapped myself up in a quilt, sat down on the porch, ate an orange, and listened to the tall trees.

Better get some food and get ready for the group ride Chris organized for the next morning before his photo show!

This trip was a lot of firsts for me. My first time taking my favorite bike, my Rosko cross bike to Santa Cruz. My first time touring down a part of Route 1 along the California Coast. My first time ever seeing Redwood forests or trees that big. My first time literally stopping my bike, and tearing up in utter appreciation. I’d never been so overwhelmed or appreciative by where my bike has taken me before. Nature is really miraculous. Beyond words, photos, or explanation.