Monday, May 19, 2008

Memorial Day weekend - reflections on Santa Cruz and plans for Great Western Bike Rally 2008

Memorial Day weekend 2008 marks my 15-year anniversary living in Santa Cruz, California. I never expected to make this my long-term home: as a native of Washington, D.C., I always imagined I would migrate to a bigger city, like San Francisco.

After a solo tour of the Pacific coast from San Deigo in southern California to Skagway, Alaska, the northern-most ferry stop in the Southwest Passage, I arrived in Santa Cruz in May 1993. I stayed at the local youth hostel, located a few blocks from the beach. During my stay, I walked along scenic West Cliff Drive and watched the surfers and seagulls play in the Monterey Bay. I fell in love with the independent bookstore called Bookshop Santa Cruz and had also had a fun night on the town at a live music club called the Catalyst. After one week at the youth hostel, I took my sleeping bag and backpack and signed a lease for a room in a 6-bedroom house on Grant Street. I did not know a soul in Santa Cruz, but I was an optimistic 23-year-old and had a good feeling about the town.

Through the years here, most of my 20s and 30s, I have established deep roots in my community personally and profesionally and treasure my enduring frienships. I love the size of this coastal city with its majestic redwoods and university atop the hill (UC Santa Cruz).

For this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, my plans are to attend the Great Western Bike Rally in Paso Robles! Should be fun. It will be road riding!

And in June, I will go on an organized bike tour in Montana with the Adventure Cycling Assocation - more road riding!

I have plans for mountain biking in Peru in the fall.