Category Archives: California
Santa Cruz is a city that never disappoints. No matter what the occasion, I have a blast riding my bike. So when Giro invited me along to their Santa Cruz Effect media event, I gladly accepted.
Even though we were on a pretty tight schedule, we had two days of riding bikes in the woods and coastal roads of NorCal to look forward to. That meant we were to expect a lot of temperature fluctuations throughout the day, the perfect climate for merino wool.
The group included men and women, from all over the world, all of which were related to the cycling industry in some way. We had some locals with us, including Todd from Black Cat, Jeff Traugott, Jake from Steel Wül, along with a few Giro employees. Those dudes put on one hell of a ride, taking us through some great roads and down some incredibly fun (i.e. sketchy) descents.
Here’s our Strava from Day 1 and Day 2 for those interested in a route. I highly suggest doing this as a one-day loop. We were taking it chill…
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Porta 160
Jeff Traugott is an artist and his palette is wood. He makes absolutely stunning handmade acoustic guitars in Santa Cruz. These pieces sell for tens of thousands of dollars and are a hot commodity.
It just so happens that Jeff’s shop is right next door to Rock Lobster. Both he and Paul are inspirational individuals who have made a living doing what they love. The word entrepreneur gets thrown around a lot these days, but these two are fuckin’ living the dream.
When Jeff isn’t building geetars, he’s out on one of three Rock Lobsters, this being one of them, an “all road” bike with long-reach calipers and Campy 11 speed. My favorite detail, aside from the frame, is the Calfee-wrapped carbon Easton stem to ENVE bar combo. Perfect solution for the inevitable slipped bars when blasting down rutted, gnarly descents.
I spent two days riding alongside this machine, which happens to be my size. After the first day’s ride from Santa Cruz out to the coast, I snatched up this bike and took it for a quick photo shoot as the marine layer rolled in over the redwoods… #NatureIsMetal
Steel Wül is a club in Santa Cruz, founded by Jake Hess, a local fire chief. He started the club to give people a super chill platform to explore the many roads in the area. I got to ride with Jake during the Giro #SantaCruzEffect event and his Caletti steel road bike looked so damn good the whole time.
Some of my favorite details are the custom-painted Ritchey stem, his family’s names on the stem cap, his battalion number on the NDS top tube, Steel Wül branding and the paint. When we rolled out of the Giro offices, the morning light made the frame just pop.
Granted, it looked even better after descending down that gnar gnar gravel on Gazos Creek…
I finally had the chance to actually ride bikes with Todd from Black Cat this week, rather than just talk about them at a trade show. There’s something to be said about a frame builder who makes time to ride his own bikes and Todd definitely does that.
Two of my favorite bikes that I’ve featured on the site came from Todd’s workshop at Black Cat Bicycles – and they just so happen to be owned by two great people. There’s something about Brian Vernor’s Hardtail MTB and Eric’s MAX disc road that just do it for me.
Watching a frame builder rip on his own bike is something else and midway through our ride yesterday, I had to take the time to shoot his bike.
Funny side story: Todd was inspired to build this bike by the titanium Campagnolo seat post he came across after seeing what they fetch on eBay… He couldn’t just sell it, he needed a new bike for it!
It’s the week leading up to Sea Otter and each year, Giro invites a group of media heads to come out to Santa Cruz, ride bikes, talk product and soak in the #SantaCruzEffect. That means it’ll be slow for the next few days while we’re out riding, exploring the local roads and sleeping in cabins.
After our intro ride this afternoon, I scooped up this special Rock Lobster for some very quick photos – I literally had a few minutes with this awesome machine. Eli is the lead visual designer at Giro and he’s got a thing for punk rock, prompting him to add a few custom logos to his Rock Lobster. Many of which you should recognize.
The thing I like about this bike is its no-nonsense build, the simple color palette with matching stem and one of a kind graphics. Those Rock Lobster logo treatments look so good!
Ever since I started following Ryan Wilson on Instagram, I knew he had an incredible eye for roadscapes. Landscapes are one thing, but roads speak to us as cyclists. We look at the bend, the bank and the angle differently than other travelers. Being able to capture those traits isn’t easy, especially while being completely overwhelmed in a place like the Sierras. I’ve never ridden there, yet suddenly I really want to, in the Summer of course…
Ty is just one of those guys. One minute, he’s posting photos of his dog, or his fiancé on Instagram and the next, he’s in the middle of the Mojave Desert on his trusty Pugsley, doing what many would consider a really, really, really tough ride – except most people do this ride in a Jeep or an ATV. To say that he’s spontaneous isn’t entirely accurate however, because he always plans out what to bring, how to bring it and how he’ll use it. What happens once he’s there is a whole different story. One that only Ty can tell in his own words…
Photos by Nick Kova
Last weekend, Kelli from Ritte put on a ride in Calabasas, California with the help of Pedalers Fork. The ride took a group of ladies (and a few men) through the surrounding sweeping hills and mountains before returning to Pedalers Fork for food and drinks. Photographer Nick Kova was in attendance, shooting photos from the back of a moto, driven by Moi Medena. See more photos here!
I love seeing people organizing rides in their local scenes! Kudos Kelli!
Chris Kelly of Topanga Creek Cycles – aka the best MTB shop in America – lays it all out. LISTEN TO HIM PEOPLE. Support your local bike shop!
“I don’t know the answers”… so good!
Matt from Leader shot a video of Josh Hayes on a training ride in the Southern California mountains. I love how fit Josh is these days. We’ve both been shedding pounds… oh and SLEEP!