I went for a long training ride today to get ready for the Old Cabin Classic on May 19. It’s a cross-country ride throughout Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz. I used to ride here all the time when I lived in Santa Cruz, and still ride Mailboxes often. But it’d been a long time, if not a couple of years, since I rode the Old Cabin Classic route: Old Cabin Trail to Enchanted Loop, to Zane Gray. I started up 17 Turns, my usual climb near Felton, and finished with Deer Antler. This year’s course is yet to be released, and is said to be a surprise. I am excited to race on homedirt again!
My new Santa Cruz Hightower LT has been phenomenal, and I rode about twenty miles and 3,000′ of climbing on it today (my AllTrails app cut out a few miles in the middle). It was fun for the first couple of hours or so, but that last hour and a half dragged on. That’s the longest I’ve been on my bike in awhile, and I am definitely going to feel it tomorrow! But it’s good training, and I saw a ton of wildlife: snakes in the trail, Wild Turkeys, deer, lizards, and birds galore. Wilder Ranch is gorgeous, with its sweeping ocean views and rolling marine terraces. With all the Spring wildflowers, the hillsides are dotted with color. The beautiful scenery was a welcome distraction to my cramping legs by the end of the ride.
Enjoy these wonderful Spring days!
Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the days are getting longer by the minute. The sweet, downward slide to Summer has officially begun! More time for the things we love to do outside; namely, more time on my new magic bike! I’ve had my Santa Cruz Hightower LT for a couple of weeks now, and am madly in love with it. She even had her inaugural race on Thursday at the Sea Otter Classic Enduro, where I shaved 50 seconds off of last year’s time on the old Camber. Here’s to the start of racing season, and all the future trails we’ll be charging!
I had a gorgeous ride today on Flow Trail at Soquel Demonstration Forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I love this trail, and it just gets more fun each time I ride it – especially with my new bike! It’s amazing what upgraded suspension can do for a ride. And a dropper post! It’s all so new and wonderful. I am definitely in the Honeymoon phase.
Enjoy the beautiful weather and Springtime!
Soquel Demonstration State Forest (“Demo”) is a gem within the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Its name is what it is: a demonstration of how logging can be paired with recreation. In the case of Demo, it’s mountain biking mecca for the South Bay and Santa Cruz regions. Though a bit of a drive to get to, it’s always worth it in my opinion.
Where else can you find miles of uninterrupted, well-designed and maintained flow trail within Santa Cruz? Yes, we are spoiled with a plethora of awesome trails in Santa Cruz. But when all six stages of Demo’s Flow Trail were completed a few years ago, it opened up a new standard for how long and “flowy” a downhill could be. It is beautifully crafted and diligently kept up by the stewardship of many mountain bikers, like MBOSC, who lead “Dig Days” for trailwork. Conversely, Demo also sets the bar for how much climbing you have to inure for such a reward. A 3:1 ratio of climbing to downhill feels about right. These rides will keep your endurance and strength up, no doubt.
Today’s weather forecast had snow in it for the Santa Cruz Mountains! Last night a freak cold front passed through, and snow fell above 1,500′ in the region. I didn’t see any today, but it sure felt like snowy weather at 40°F. I think the cold kept some away as I didn’t see that many people. I love the peace, quiet, and solitude of a long ride. It always sets me right.
Here’s some footage from today’s ride. Ride on!
Here’s some footie from today’s gorgeous mountain bike ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Its name remains a topic of contention: Sweetness Or Magic Carpet Ride, depending upon whom you ask. Some OG’s insist this trail is called Sweetness; trail maps online indicate Magic. Whatever it’s called, Ron and I are lucky it’s only a few miles from our house. Sweet!
It’s a four-day weekend for President’s Day, and normally we’d be in the mountains snowboarding. This year? It’s basically Summer, and we’re home in Santa Cruz. We can’t control the weather, so might as well enjoy it, right? I think we’re all thirsty for some more Winter, though.
In the meantime, ride on everyone! May you flow with grace where ever you roam.
I think the third time’s a charm. This is my third edit, and I finally got somewhat decent footage with my new GoPro Hero Session 5 (1080p at 60fps with Superview). This is one of my favorite trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and today was a gorgeous day to enjoy it. With rain (finally!) in the forecast for next week, I’m getting all I can of this trail before it puddles up. As for those gap jumps I’m riding past? I’m working my way up to those, doing smaller jumps in the meantime. You can get as rad as you want (or not) on this trail.
Happy (almost) New Year to all! Here’s to one last ride of 2017 tomorrow.
I love the Holidays. The Winter Solstice, promise of longer days in the forecast, and time spent with loved ones make this time of year especially good for riding. I need all of the sunshine and endorphins I can get on these short, cold days, and there’s nothing like a good bike ride to lift the spirit. With little precipitation thus far this rainy season, the trails are in excellent condition – tacky and grippy, and not muddy.
I had a wonderful Christmas Eve ride today with my husband Ron on one of our favorite trails. I’m still learning how to find the best setting for my new GoPro, as this second edit shows, but here’s a glimpse of today’s “Drop” (that’s the name of the Bro Safari song in the video that’s part of the jukebox of songs I play in my head while riding). It’s such a fun trail, though I’m not sure this helmet-mounted camera angle really captures how awesome it feels to ride it. It’s a blast out here, and these trails are one of the top things I’m grateful for this year.
Happy Holidays to all, and cheers to all of the riding we’ll do in 2018!