MAH Race Through Time – Santa Cruz Scavenger Hunt | 2016

In the spirit of Geocaching, The Riverside Bicycle Club suited up for the 2016 “Race Through Time” sponsored by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. We did pretty well, considering it was a last minute team & we didn’t study, nor did the team really want to ride very fast. Even still!, we pulled into several stops before any other team and got to half the stops… we’ll do better next year. Now that we have a cheat sheet!

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Caves & Trees

Hi PoppaBob,

Last week Kira and I had a fun weekend in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.

With our friends Kate and Lee, we headed up to the UCSC campus-wonderland for some adventure… I am amazed that anyone graduates from this school…

2015 John in Hell Hole Cave Santa Cruz

Right off the highway were two caves and a number of tree houses.
As a warm up we scouted out a cave. It was spacious and would be fun for any visitors to explore. There was another cave across the road that was far more ‘intricate’ with tiny passages about the width of me with my arms folded up to my shoulders and turns and boulders. In about 15′ I looked back and had to concentrate to remember where I had come from. Though Kira and I have trained within the realm of cave rescue, we are fairly confident that some caves are not meat to get hurt in. Fortunately, all was safe with us.

2015 Empire Cave

After our warm up underground, we skipped up the path to the tree-houses that someone engineered 80′ in the red woods. I have not yet pulled the plans from the County to see who stamped the drawings, but will follow up as soon as I find out.

Because Kira and I are enthusiastic with rescue systems and Kate and Lee are avid sport climbers, we rigged a fancy fall-protection system so we could climb freely, mostly without trepidation. However, after we arrived at the platform, we were greeted by a 15 y/o gromit-climber who got up the tree in about two minutes without any ropes. Intimidated by the massive risk, we were quite impressed by their hobbit feet and climbing prowess. Because they had no ropes, however, they had to climb back down while WE enjoyed the privilege of rappelling.

2015 Tree Climbing John Rappels

Home safe and sound, we’re confident we could take any visitors up with us, so come on out to Santa Cruz!

Check out our Caves & Trees Video!

SAR: The Forrest of Nicene Marks, Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz One Design Santana 22 Win

Howdy Popabob.

I thought I’d share my recent race here in Santa Cruz.

This Autumn, I left the team I have been racing with this last year and volunteered to work with the regatta organizers, helping them with timing, signaling and recording. A few weeks ago I got connected with a Schock Santana 22 and have been taking Kira and other new sailors out on it to causally sail on Friday evenings as we enjoy the sunset and look out for whales.

This last weekend, the owner let me know he wasn’t able to race his boat, but that I could race if was interested. The Santana 22 fleet is not as large as the fleet I was sailing in with the Santa Cruz 27, but is constant and has some very seasoned and competitive boats.  So Saturday I put it in the water and rigged it up. This was my first time at the helm for a regatta and the first time sailing with my last minute crew (fortunately he’s a 20-something year veteran of the class, so he knew plainly well, what he was doing)

Our first race we were still working out the kinks of sailing together and placed third only a few seconds after the leader, but after a short pre-start pow-wow and a better idea of the wind and competition, we came across the line the second time with aptitude. We led the pack around the course for a comfortable first place finish. My official first keel-boat sailing career first place finish at the helm. Huzzah!

More About The Race @

Laser Nationals

Howdy PoppaBob,
Saturday was my third day (of four) working with the regatta committee of the 2013 Laser National Sailing Championship, hosted by chance, here in Santa Cruz this year.
As you may know and remember, lasers are a cat rigged dinghy, measuring almost 14′, sailed by youths and Olympians alike, and remembered fondly as a boat that is quite impossible to keep upright for a Mizell. The regatta has more than 100 entrants, split into full a full rig fleet (~36 racers) and two radial rig fleets (a smaller sail for women and scrawny men).
The races started Thursday and of the dozen already run, several have been held in bay winds reaching almost 30 knots. That particular race included 25 retired boats, two demasted rigs and plenty of capsizes and exhausted sailors.
I serve as the diligent on water radio log man and note taker. After three days I’ve finally found my groove and have learned my job consists less of oogling the boats and more of listening and frantic legible writing. Today I learned that my notes are the linchpin of race management success, of the “if its not documented, it never happened” mantra. And several disputes have come down to my notes and interpretation thereof. It’s quite the weight, but easy enough.
I’ll settle atop the club signal boat for the final races tomorrow and look forward to perfecting my note taking strategies before the event concludes; after which I’ll be headed up to San Francisco to begin helping the Americas Cup television crew.
The summer of sailing is well along up here!