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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

March 30th: Lexington Reservoir to Aptos

I considered riding from our home, but I'd already done much of that ride with Bowen during the 2018 winter tour, and with the triplet I expected that the dirt climb would exceed our traction limit and wear us out too early to enjoy the best part of the route, which was the easy climb up Old Santa Cruz Highway.

In addition, you should always make sure that everything fits into the van before you go, so I packed everything into the van which we had rented from Turo. The procedure for the triplet is to remove the rear pedals, the front and middle seat posts/handlebars, and the front wheel. The center console on the new models of the Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town and Country are annoyingly not-removable, but by draping the console with a space blanket, we could roll the rear wheel onto the console without leaving any marks. We also managed to get Xiaoqin's Cheviot into one side of the leftover space, leaving the other side available for luggage.

We parked the van at the Lexington school, and then got out and assembled the triplet and then we were off! The climb as expected was great, never exceeding 5-6%, but of course we were in our granny the entire way despite the easy grade. Cyclists would ride past us but despite the constant disclaimer of  "Cool bike!" nobody ever took me up on the offer to trade.

At the intersection with summit road, we turned left, and the rolling terrain to the summit store was much easier than I expected. At the summit store, we bought lunch and ate it on the porch.
The descent from the summit road via Soquel San Jose was my biggest concern. While I'd done many descents on the triplet, this was by far the longest descent with the highest potential speed. The bike was long enough that it flexed sufficiently at speeds above 35mph I would drag the brake a bit just to bring it back down. It never felt dangerous, but any kind of misbehavior from the boys on the back of the bike would wriggle the bike, always a disconcerting feeling.

Near the bottom, we stopped at a poppy field, where Bowen, being a far better older brother than I ever was, would pick flowers and give them to Boen.
At Soquel, we turned a left onto Soquel drive. The climbing here is at times actually steeper than Old Santa Cruz Highway, and felt harder, coming at the end of the ride when we were no longer fresh. Fortunately, it was only a few miles to the Best Western Inn where we checked in, rested a bit, and then proceeded to Seacliff Beach, where the boys proceeded to spend the afternoon playing in the sand and surf.

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