Sandy Santa Cruz Riding

The Santa Cruz Mountains in California are known for their tacky dirt, rife with redwood duff. The loaminess varies from place to place, and some trails hold up better than others during the rainy season. We had our first rain of the season yesterday, and today Ron and I went for a ride at a place that holds up quite well after rain: the Sandhills. These are ancient seafloors, uplifted by the San Andreas Fault over millions of years. It’s like going to the beach in the middle of the mountains, and it’s one of the few places that are rideable during the rainy season.

Sandy soils drain quickly, and firm up nicely during Winter. As a general rule, it’s best not to ride about a day for each inch of rain, depending mostly upon the soil type and slope. I try to minimize my erosion by staying off muddy trails during the Winter until they dry out. The Sandhills, however, provide a constant playground all season long. Sand is also a fun medium to ride in; it’s all about controlled sliding, friction, and counterbalancing. It’s a great place to work on flowing with grace.

I just got some new tires – the Maxxis Assegai (29″ x 2.5″) in the front, and Aggressor (29″ x 2.5″) in back. They are killing it – floating over the sand with a wide footprint, and a noticeable increase in surface area than my previous Minion DHR II 2.4’s. I feel way more in control, and solid in my roll. Thanks to Kyle at Scotts Valley Cycle Sport for the recommendation and set up of these tires! I absolutely love them.

Here’s a video of today’s Sunset ride at our favorite sandy spot, Bear Mountain, only five minutes from our house. With my groin still healing, we shuttled and skipped the climbing. We have done this trail many times, and our love for it just keeps on growing.

Enjoy the beautiful Autumn!

Christmas Eve Ride

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!

 

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First Edit

I finally did it: I got a GoPro!  A Hero Session 5, to be precise.  This weekend, I put it to the test on two local trails that my husband Ron and I ride regularly.  They’re a source of true joy, and we’re grateful to share them together.  While certainly no Red Bull Rampage footage, here’s a glimpse into mountain biking in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California; my first official “edit”.  The funniest part starts at about 2:20 when it gets dark and I ask Ron how we get back to a place where the trail is “wider” (riding narrow singletrack in the dark always adds an element of adventure!).

I’m looking forward to sharing future adventures from land, water, and snow!