Mountains Challenge looms for the daring
by Peter Burke
Jul 17, 2009 | 1391 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
what’s new: Cyclists in the 100-mile Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge bike ride will trace a portion of the route the professional cyclists rode during Stage 2 of the Tour of California in February, shown here in Bonny Doon. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
what’s new: Cyclists in the 100-mile Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge bike ride will trace a portion of the route the professional cyclists rode during Stage 2 of the Tour of California in February, shown here in Bonny Doon. Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
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Reading this right now, it might be too late to start training for the annual Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge bike tour. But for cyclists who regularly spend time in the saddle, there’s still time to register for the strenuous century ride.

There are two options, a 100-mile ride that climbs more than 10,000 feet during an exploration of the Santa Cruz mountains and a similar 65-mile (100 kilometer) ride.

“At the end of the day, if you’ve done 100 feet of climbing on average for 100 miles, you’ve been on a very hilly ride,” said route designer Leo Moll. “That’s kind of the standard.”

Organizers expect more than 500 riders for the 11th annual Mountains Challenge — it’s not a race, but it’s a day-long ride, nonetheless.

The ride starts at Scotts Valley High School and takes on Mt. Charlie Road before winding its way to Boulder Creek, where the famed three-mile, 1,500-foot elevation gain Jamison Creek Road time trial with cash prizes will take place.

The course then takes a new turn to incorporate part of the route through Bonny Doon that Lance Armstrong and the rest of the Tour of California riders took when the tour passed through Santa Cruz County in February.

“We’re incorporating what we feel is a total view of the best that Santa Cruz has to offer for cyclists,” Moll said. “Mainly the redwood-straddled mountains and a feeling of the ocean, which you get on a stretch of Highway 1.”

After Bonny Doon, riders will make their way along Highway 1 and use the new pedestrian bridge that crosses the San Lorenzo River at Highway 1 to make their way through town and up Glen Canyon Road back to the finish at the high school.

The ride includes scheduled rest stops with food and beverages, as well as lunch in Bonny Doon, 43 miles into the ride.

At a glance

WHAT: Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge

WHEN: Saturday, July 25

INFO: www.santacruz

cycling.org/scmc

DETAILS: Pre-registration required by July 22.
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