Santa Cruz: The town that time forgot

August 9, 2008 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

I’m in Santa Cruz for a sprint triathlon which will be taking place tomorrow morning.  The weather figures to be a bit chilly, but I’m just hoping that the wind dies down a bit.  

The town of Santa Cruz has surprised me.  It’s a town where tourists and wanna-be hippies coexist.  The closer you get to the university, the more of the latter you see.  The funny thing is that although Berkeley holds a national reputation for being a hippy school, I’d say that UC Santa Cruz probably has a stronger claim to that title.  School isn’t even in session yet and these kids looking like they just stepped out of a peace rally are lining the streets playing guitars.  Berkeley maintains some of this feel, but the school has gotten so hard to get into that I think Berkeley’s hippy days are more a function of the city’s reputation and the stragglers drawn to it than a true existing movement.

Walking around Santa Cruz got me thinking: Are the kids who come here already like this before they came to the school or is it something about the school/town that transforms otherwise normal kids into grungy, non-showering hippies that play guitar and smoke weed all day?  If I had to guess, I’d lean towards the latter.  I know I was pretty impressionable during my early years in college so I can see how kids would adapt to the culture of the school/town in order to fit in with everyone.

The beach area in the town is beautiful.  The drive down the coast I did yesterday from San Francisco was quite possibly the most gorgeous drive I’ve ever done.  I’m guessing that most people that live here do so for the beauty of the beaches and the laid back lifestyle and simply commute to either San Jose or Palo Alto for work.  Other than the University, there really isn’t any industry here outside of the services (food, auto, etc.) that serve the local community so I can’t imagine anyone is affording a house overlooking the water on local salaries.  

I’m looking forward to my first race.  I feel good and my new position on the bike feels great.  I took a ride on the course today and I felt great on the bike and was easily producing the wattage to match my feeling.  My main goal for the race tomorrow is to do well on the swim and the bike, especially on the bike.  If I can put up good times here I’ll have a chance of finishing fairly well, but I know my run isn’t quite where I’d like it to be right now (but who knows…competition does tend to bring out the best in me).  

I’ll post an update after the race….I know you’ll be waiting with bated breath….ha ha.


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