Category Archives: Santa Cruz
Hitting the Road with the Blackburn Rangers
This could but us but you...

Bikepacking. It’s one of my favorite ways to travel and for Blackburn, it’s not only a passion for them, it’s a challenge. How can design be intelligent, intuitive, reliable and most important, resilient to constant wear and tear? You can spend all day designing products in an office, but the real test is out on the open road.

One of the ways Blackburn vets their products is through the Ranger Program. Each year, they send out a call for entries before selecting six or seven Rangers to get kitted out with a bike from Niner and full Blackburn product. Their journey begins, oddly enough, at the San Jose Airport… Well, parking lot B at the San Jose Airport. (more…)

Apr 19, 2016 43 comments
Riding the Rally Aysén Patagonia with Santa Cruz Bicycles: Day 01 and 02
Oh, how wonderful, journalists looking at a dead cow in a river!

You can’t throw a press launch in Patagonia without a solid plan and you can’t throw a race in Patagonia without experienced organization. The Rally of Aysén began as an idea, born in the offices of Santa Cruz Bicycles, some 10,446km away from Coyhaique, where the event would take place.

The idea was simple: in a time where enduro is hyped up, bring a rally format, multi-day event to the Aysén region of Chile, where mountain biking is in its infancy. The event would include timed climbs, timed cross-country, timed descents and downhill segments. It’d be a true battle of the most well-rounded riders and was not for anyone afraid of a bit of navigation or pushwacking… (more…)

Feb 3, 2016 21 comments
Tyler Frasca Shreds in Santa Cruz

Kitsbow brings the super chill, super send-it vibes with Tyler Frasca in Santa Cruz, California. I’d say this video captures the riding there quite well!

Jan 26, 2016 1 comment
Bikepacking with BMXers on Cross Bikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains – Brian Barnhart
Bikepacking with BMXers on Cross Bikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Bikepacking with BMXers on Cross Bikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Photos by Brian Barnhart, words by Brian Barnhart, Bill Arlew, and Sam Pederson

Introduction by Brian Barnhart

As much as I love bikepacking, I just don’t do it enough. Living in Santa Cruz, it is so easy to surf, BMX, hike or mountain bike, and then spend the night at home. I can’t complain about the accessibility. But when I got a group text about scheduling a long weekend of bikepacking, I was in! The group got narrowed down to two guys I had never met, but I knew we would bond over the experience.

After some planning and a few bike mods, the morning came to pedal into the mountains. The three of us got acquainted sharing singletrack and fire roads, and discussing our packing setups along the way. Billy and Sam had an exciting route planned, now it was time to put it to the test. Three days of riding and two nights of camping in Castle Rock State Park and Butano State Park respectively.

Our bikes and packs created a bond within our group, and also with folks that we talked to along the way. We shared an enthusiasm for being in the middle of nowhere, pedaling our way in and finding our way out. The recently drenched forest was alive with newts, banana slugs, and vegetation, and at night a campfire gave it warmth. We challenged our bodies and were rewarded with endless views and mysterious fog topped mountains. The descents flew by at exhilarating rates, full attention given to every bump, rock, tree, angle and edge. And the flat terrain provided a time to relax and appreciate it all.

We rode hard, and sometimes walked hard when the grade got too steep. We came out better riders and more prepared for next trip. We found that feeling we all crave when we are off our bikes. It happens when the conditions are just right, and our brains narrow our thoughts down to what is happening right now. For us it was climbing steep hills then bombing down the other side through redwoods, chalky bluffs, open meadows, and coastal roadways. Being cold and wet, then warming up as the time and miles passed. Stimulated by scenic overload, quiet of deep forest, and the scent of untouched wilderness we smiled all the way home. (more…)

Dec 28, 2015 10 comments
Fireball and Pixie Dust at SSCXWC15VIC – Amanda Schaper
Fireball and Pixie Dust at SSCXWC15VIC

Fireball and Pixie Dust at SSCXWC15VIC
Word by Amanda Schaper and photos by David “Dusty Bermshot” Smith

SSCXWC has become a staple in my annual race calendar. Actually, it’s become my favorite event of the year. It’s a great excuse to travel somewhere cool and get rowdy with a bunch of crazy folks. When this debacle headed out of the fine USA for the first time, I had to be there. The Canadians are known for throwing a fun party, and I had high expectations for Victoria.

And let me just say: Victoria delivered a damn good time.

A crew of us from the Santa Cruz area headed north with a bevy of Santa Cruz Stigmatas and Rock Lobsters. I was riding my trusty Stigmata, and while the bike doesn’t come stock as a single speed, just throw on an EBB and you’re ready to rally. Of course, we also had our costumes. We went with a Peter Pan and the Lost Boys theme, with Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, and Peter Pan all making appearances.

But before we even got to the big race, we had to survive what basically felt like a solid 36 hours of partying. There was the Warm Up Party Friday night, the Feats of Strength ride all day Saturday, and the Pre Race Party Saturday night. Whew! Going into the weekend my good buddy asked if I had any tips for SSCXWC, and all I said was “Be ready for anything, prepare your liver, and your costume better be dialed.” I stand by that advice, it’s really all that matters. (more…)

Dec 11, 2015 4 comments
Santa Cruz on a Cross Bike with Jeff

Turns out Jeff Kendall-Weed can make any bike sing – or scream, depending on your outlook. This time he takes to the hills of Santa Cruz with his cross bike. Impressive as always!

Dec 1, 2015 4 comments
Inside / Out at Hunter Cycles
Opened up

Kit builds aren’t Rick Hunter’s thing. You won’t find derailleur hangers ordered from a catalog in drawers, or your every day, run of the mill 44mm head tube waiting en queue for assemblage. Not at Hunter Cycles.

Rick Hunter is one of those builders that makes what I like to call utilitarian art. Utilitarian because each of his bikes are made to tackle one or many jobs efficiently and with a dash of fun. Or the other way around. Art because each bike is unique. Or rather, each run of production frames are unique. Be it a WoodRat, a Cyclo-Cross disc bike or a road frame. Rick will design, fabricate and finish his own cable stops, derailleur hangers and head tubes. There are a lotta hours put into each bike. More recently he’s been working on some feats of engineering and reverse practicality however with his completely insane Bushmaster bikes… (more…)

Oct 20, 2015 17 comments
Santa Cruz Has Been Fun!
Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

There’s no debating that Santa Cruz, California is home to some exceptional mountain, cross and road cycling. The best part: it’s all within a few miles of where ever you’re staying. These past few days I’ve enjoyed hitting the dirt with the ladies of Juliana Bicycles on their home turf. I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time riding trails with women and I gotta say, I’ve had a blast shredding with these total bad asses! Riding their wheels, watching their lines and eating their dust (literally – send rain!)

Thanks to the locals for showing this recent California transplant a good time in the dirt.

Oct 15, 2015 2 comments