Category Archives: Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Views

Northern California has some gems for sure, but without a doubt, Santa Cruz is my favorite place. With dirt for days and ocean views like this to end a ride, who can complain. It’s been a blast once again. We’ll see ya again soon. Thanks to everyone that made this weekend so memorable.

Oct 23, 2016 1 comment
The Rock Lobster Cup Strikes Back

Usually the sequel doesn’t stack up to the original, yet the consensus I gathered at the Rock Lobster Cup II was that this year’s event was way harder and way more fun. Or maybe just way harder. Having only raced the sequel, I can’t say for sure, but having not raced ‘cross for two years, It was all I could have asked for and more. (more…)

Oct 23, 2016 13 comments
Heading to Santa Cruz for the Rock Lobster Cup!

When I was in Santa Cruz after Grinduro, I swung by to see Paul Sadoff, the man behind Rock Lobster Cycles. Paul’s always pretty busy and this trip was no exception. He was in the throes of planning the Rock Lobster Cup Two, which is being held at the lighthouse park in Santa Cruz. After talking about the course, why it was moved from Bonny Doon and how he’s planning on making a relatively flat course exciting, I decided I’d skip town yet again and come up to photograph the race. Hell, I might even jump in it.

Because you can’t swing by Rock Lobster and not take a few photos, I documented the shop’s current condition, which I might add, is the best I’ve seen it so far. Check out a few more photos below. (more…)

Oct 20, 2016 4 comments
Tobin Ortenblad is a Cyclocross Privateer – Garrett Kautz

Tobin Ortenblad is a Cyclocross Privateer
Words by Garrett Kautz and photos by Brett Rothmeyer

Tobin Ortenblad isn’t your typical 22-year-old, nor does he fit the mold of most professional bicycle racers. Sure, he has a coach and a training plan, but that’s where the path begins to blur. Tobin was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California and spent most of his formative years riding BMX bikes, building jumps and eating burritos. Fast forward a decade and he’s fresh off winning the Under 23 Cyclocross National Championship in Asheville. This year, racing in the Elite category, his results have proven that the off-season wasn’t squandered at the beach. He’s finished consistently in the top ten (or top five) at UCI C1 races and a top thirty at both World Cups. Most impressive is that he’s currently doing all this, without a pro contract. We wanted to catch up with the privateer and see what he’s been up to since his big win in January. (more…)

Oct 19, 2016 14 comments
Inside / Out at Black Cat Bicycles

Todd Ingermansen has been working in the cycling industry for a long time. Too long if you ask him. Since the age of 13 he’s had a presence in bike shops. What began as sweeping the shop floors eventually culminated into being a mechanic, riding bikes and living bikes. Yet, Todd wanted something more. Running parallel to his bike shop jobs was his art school education, where he realized his 2D and 3-dimension eye for details. In his early 20’s he chased his love of singlespeed MTB riding and racing to Oakland, California where cycling completely enveloped his life.

Back then, there weren’t any US manufacturers of singlespeed MTB frames. Or at least none that piqued Todd’s interest, so he began building his own. A few friends helped him out, some frames worked, some didn’t, yet every frame taught Todd something. Eventually he moved back down the California coast, to San Luis Obispo and began fillet brazing. He had built a dozen or so frames before landing a job with Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles. Under Rick’s torch, Todd began to realize the importance of actually making a bicycle frame, something that stands true even today.

For the past 14 years, Todd’s been building a brand, and a modus operandi to how he believes bicycles should be made. Black Cat Bicycles are unique, arguably unlike anything else I’ve witnessed in my years of documenting framebuilders. Much like his mentor, Rick Hunter, Todd doesn’t just weld a mail order kit of parts together and paint it. He engineers his own dropouts, builds stems, machines metal into whatever he pleases, carves his own lugs and bends his tubing in very unique shapes. For instance, how do you make chainstays that are bent, yet have an ever-so-slight arc to them? (more…)

Oct 17, 2016 28 comments
Hitting the Road with the Blackburn Rangers

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

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