Team Epicenter Cycling rides for international peace, understanding and friendship in this popular event presented by Cyclists for Cultural Exchange

By Theresa Liu

Strawberry Fields report

I’D NEVER VISITED THE WATSONVILLE AREA BEFORE so the Strawberry Fields Forever ride was an adventure! Proudly sporting an Epicenter Cycling jersey, I met my teammates Eve Davidson and and Lindsay Overton at registration. We took a quick “BEFORE” photo at the photo booth, and then set out for a 100K journey!

This event was the 29th Strawberry Fields Forever ride, organized by Cyclists for Cultural Exchange. Cyclists for Cultural Exchange was established in 2004 with the express purpose of of furthering peace and international understanding through exchanges with people with a common interest in cycling. There were several international participants at the ride.

The ride sure lived up to its Strawberry Fields Forever name as it started off along quiet farmland roads. The course showcased the heart of the Watsonville community, winding through acre upon acre of beautiful, carefully tended farmland.

The first rest stop was off the hook with sandwiches, plentiful snacks, and coffee drinks-to-order stations, complete with views of the ocean. Eve enjoyed a cappuccino while Lindsay warned me to save room for the upcoming rest stops.

The ride continued through Ellicot and Elkhorn Slough. The second rest/lunch stop boasted a Bluegrass band — wow, this ride pulled out all the stops to entertain the riders! The joke of the day was that we were taking in more calories than expending.

The third rest stop proved that true as it was the “Apple Pie Stop.” Say no more …

After pie, we had chance to stand right on the San Andreas fault (at Hazel Dell and Mount Madonna). After that, it was a crazy fun downhill through shady redwoods on Browns Valley Road. WHOO HOOO! From there, we were back at the start to enjoy a full hot meal including, of course, chocolate covered strawberries for dessert.

Team Epicenter had a fabulous time!