Am I the only one here that cringes every time I hear the word gravel? It’s been a common word in my world for a few years now, and believe me, I hear the word a lot… but I just can’t embrace it. The word gravel still brings to mind all-day slogs across flat/windblown prairies on the type of surface that’s devoid of traction yet still slowly and steadily saps your spirit. In other words: somehow, somewhere it firmly lodged in my brain that “gravel” is the antithesis of “fun.”
Out of the Ashes is BACK! You can support @santacruztrails as they raise funds to help repair charred California State Parks trails. For just a $5 contribution, you could win your choice of bike from Caletti (outfitted with components from Fox / Easton Cycling / Race Face) or a hand-crafted walnut coffee table from @joeykochlacs_furnituremaker.
The trails throughout parks like Big Basin, Butano, and Fall Creek State Parks are a constant source of exercise and inspiration for me. It’s been nearly a year since the CZU wildfires, and there’s still a tremendous amount of work needed to restore these areas back to their former glory.
Head over to Santa Cruz Trails to get your entries! This giveaway is only live through August 9.
Drop bars have always had a special place in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love mountain bikes. That feeling of flying down swoopy singletrack and rowdy trails on a mountain bike is truly hard to beat. But there is one thing that can beat it… Flying down flowy singletrack and rowdy trails on a drop-bar bike. Now that can get exciting!
A project in which a poem is disguised as a bicycle video, that you read with your ears…
I love to ride my bike. I also love to write poetry. The only problem is, people pay more attention to the riding than the writing.
Maybe that’s because folks are perplexed by a sweaty, 32-year-old man in tights grunting around in circles on the beach. Maybe it’s because I only write limericks that will get me in trouble if anyone sees them besides my dog…
Regardless, in an attempt to bring some joy to these most topsy turvey of times, and to bring some purpose to my own disrupted life, I wanted to share my love of sandy cyclocross rides and poetry.
The sandy cyclocross ride is inspired by the hallowed dunes of the Koksijde World Cup in Belgium. Even though the event was canceled this year, I can still chase a similar feeling closer to home. And those rides close to home inspire the words you are about to absorb. And hopefully, those words inspire you to go find your own bicycle happy place wherever that may be. And from there, we can all enjoy what we have right in front of us. And be inspired for something anew. And so the cycle will roll, on and on and on…..
Or for a more traditional poetry consumptive experience, the full text is below:
Of distant lands,
Where lore dug deep
‘Cross windswept dunes
We have all been on rides that, at some point, require us to dig deep. But we still find a way to get that last bit of energy out of our bodies. We fight, we endure. And on the other side of these rides, we emerge stronger. We need to make the same commitment to anti-racism that we do to become stronger on the bike.
Just before Covid hit the US and races were canceled indefinitely, I had a conversation on a ride with good friend Brendan Lehman (who is sometimes, more often than not, known as the official unofficial mis-manager of the Rock Lobster race team) about joining the risk of Lobsters and racing on a custom frame built by Paul Sadoff himself. I’d been riding with the Rock Lobster crew here in Santa Cruz for several years and we all seemed to share a common bond in doing remarkably stupid endurance rides, putting mental and physical limits to the test for fun and adventure. Since I first laid eyes on one, there has always been something alluring to me about a classic, team issue, seafoam green Rock Lobster. Not only will I get to ride and race on this custom bike built for my body dimensions, but I also get the pleasure to ride it with the builder himself. As a photographer, I figured it would be great to capture the build of my custom frame from start to finish and get to know Paul a little better in the process.
The CZU Complex Fire has done irreparable damage to many’s homes and decimated the small community of Bonny Doon. So far 82,000+ acres have burnt, 799 structures have been destroyed, and the fire is only at 26% containment.
Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz member Emma Ussat created a merch fundraiser directly supporting Community Foundation’s Bonny Doon Fund. The Community Foundation Santa Cruz County (CFSCC) is a trusted nonprofit that actually formed in 1982 to meet the needs of such disasters as this (at the time a major flood had just hit Santa Cruz). MBOSC have worked in partnership with CFSCC on other campaigns and they are a great partner. The Bonny Doon Fund will go directly to those in need. @cfsantacruzco
For now, you can help out by buying one of these two shirt designs.
We’d like to add a note sending our love and support to all those affected by the fires in the Santa Cruz region. You’re in our thoughts…
Back in February, before the whole world was turned upside down, Jimmy Rosas and I took a quick trip up to Santa Cruz. We wanted to ride mountain bikes and eat deep fried zucchini burritos, but most importantly we wanted to visit the Whitney Ford-Terry curated show at the MAH, Trailblazers: Uncovering the Roots of Mountain Biking in Santa Cruz. The show had just opened, and originally this piece was going to be all about driving traffic to the show, but now it’s turned into more of a closing statement. A fare thee well to one of the best mountain bike exhibitions that no one will ever see. A true comprehensive look at the history of mountain biking in Santa Cruz, a place that has now become a mountain bike mecca for hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, a place where residents who don’t mountain bike are the weird ones.
We’re big fans of rigid bikes over here at the Radavist, especially made with titanium. Chris Corona, aka Dirt Drops, has one slick custom Caletti titanium MTB frame, best served neat with Chris King Bourbon.
At a time when every voice counts, it’s important to stand up and use yours to support those in, and outside your community. As an athlete with a platform, professional CX racer Tobin Ortenblad, and his good friend and fellow racer Dillon Hollinger, wanted to use their own voice to bring the cycling community together by raising awareness for social injustice. To do this, Tobin and Dillon developed a fundraising campaign around an Everesting attempt, but with a little twist…
The Cruiser Classic is an event that’s like an old friend – an old friend with a quick wit, who moves slowly in the morning. The Cruiser Classic and I first met in 2010 thanks to our mutual friend Ken Baker, who helped put the first Cruiser Classic together in Chico, CA. It’s safe to say the Cruiser Classic makes friends easily, and it became one of those forever bonds of friendship between us because the Cruiser Classic is about FUN for everyone.
This just in from the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz:
“Big things are happening with Surf City CX this year. With MBOSC coming on to manage the race, the 2019 event is shaping up to be one nobody will soon forget. The race will be held at a brand new venue right here on the Westside of Santa Cruz at Antonelli Pond! The best part about this venue is that it’s easy access from anywhere in Santa Cruz, so we expect this to be a great community event. With a FREE Kids Race, Costume Race, food trucks, live music, and a beer garden, there is a lot of fun to be had for the whole family. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclocross pro or racing for the first time, this will be a race to remember. Claim your spot to race at this brand new venue and register NOW!”
Surf City Cyclocross Race
Sunday, October 27
Antonelli Pond, Westside of Santa Cruz
The redwoods hit me with that kind of awe those quixotic transcendentalists describe as, well, awe. It was like this – the trance state incurred by the tree-lined road was jostled by the excitement of entering an amalgam of friends, acquaintances, and randos held together by the common love for the physical-meets-mental journey of a bike race.
Santa Cruz has no shortage of bike shops. This sleepy little beach town might be known for its surfing and pesky vampires, but the road and mountain riding is exceptional. With a myriad of dirt and paved roads snaking their way through coastal redwoods, and dusty, steep mountain bike trails, any cyclist can spend days upon days exploring the terrain. Spokesman Bicycles is one of the powerhouse shops in Santa Cruz and just recently opened up what they’re calling Outpost on the West Side of town, right next to their friends Sawyer and Co, a surfing lifestyle shop.
Three years ago, at the start of the 2016 ‘cross season, Santa Cruz and MASH SF teamed up to create what is, in my opinion, the most recognizable Stigmata frameset of all time. There have been other team builds, other rad bikes, but this is the one everyone remembers. And yet, there were only 12 of these frames available to the public and less than 20 including the team frames!
Everything Trevor does seems to be dripping in story and lore as he comes from the homeland of mountain biking, Marin. He is the kind of person you just find stumbling out of the woods, shoeless, with the biggest grin on his face. In fact, recently he finally gained the attention of the owner of Black Mountain Cycles, after years of visiting the shop, because Ted King ran into Trevor out on the trails and regaled the shop owner about his encounter with the barefoot forest nymph.
The Old Growth Classic is coming back to Big Basin Redwoods State Park once again on September 14, 2019! Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) is proud to partner with Ibis Cycles to present the second annual Old Growth Classic. This event is a full weekend experience featuring a 55-mile mixed terrain race, two nights of camping, live music, delicious catered meals, and more summer camp fun. A significant portion of the proceeds will go directly to State Parks.
This year there are two event packages available: Full Weekend Package and Race Day Only Package. The total participation has also increased to 500 racers. Registration opens on Wednesday, July 10, at 7:00pm Pacific, so mark your calendars because this event will sell out quick. Click here to register!
Learn more about Old Growth Classic here: http://oldgrowthclassic.
Register here: https://timeyourrace.
Last week, we looked at the new Juliana Quincy, through the eyes and words of Amy Jurries and today, I’ll be taking you through the new Stigmata, as someone who rallied and loved the last model. How does it compare? Read on below.
The Santa Cruz Stigmata was truly one of the first disc all-road bikes that opened my eyes to not only what an off-road bike could be, but what it should be. I loved it so much that it influenced the geometry of my Firefly, yet that initial Stigmata review was over four years ago. A lot has changed in that time and the Stiggy was long overdue for an overhaul, mainly in one specific area, the tire clearance!