Making The Connection




Most people will agree that Santa Cruz has some of the best and most diverse outdoor recreation options in the west and on September 16 you’ll have the opportunity to show your gratitude for all that the outdoors provides us. You’ll also have the chance to connect your mountain bike ride to the ocean on International Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest annual one day volunteer effort on the planet.

As you hike the bluffs with trash bag in hand you’ll notice that there is something to be gained by the slower pace and the stillness you find there. You’ll feel compelled to pick up the trash and cigarette butts you come across on the trail and beach to express your love for this breathtaking stretch of coast. Recording the types of trash you pick up will help guide non-profit and legislative efforts for better controls of the most common litter types found. California’s groundbreaking shopping bag ban was supported by this work so you’ll definitely be making a difference.


Bring along your riding crew and join us at the 3 Mile Beach turnout alongside hwy 1 for an hour or two between 9 and noon or at any of the other 31 sites hosted by Save Our Shores in Santa Cruz County. The Ride Guides will be staffing the event and will keep an eye on your bike so after the cleanup you can head across the road and into one of the least traveled parts of the park. Please join us and make the connection between your passion for riding and the care that our environment needs now more than ever.

Sign up now!

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Our Thanks and a Promise

I’d  like to take a moment to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who has supported the healthy growth of mountain biking here in Santa Cruz County over the last few years. Cheers to each one of you who picked up a shovel last year to the trail crew leaders and the past and present board members of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. From the City of Santa Cruz’s Parks and Recreation department to the rangers in our state parks who understand why we ride and maintain some of our best trails. To the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and their vision to develop more sustainable singletrack in Santa Cruz. To Hilltromper and Adventure Sports Journal for giving a face and a voice to our sport online and in print. From the bosses who promote the long lunch loop to the spouses who understand the regenerative value of a night ride. Here’s to everyone who has dug, donated, or advocated for more sustainable singletrack and riding opportunities here in Santa Cruz.


Inspired by the community, The Ride Guides promise to redouble our efforts to spur the continued growth of mountain biking here in Santa Cruz County in 2016. We promise to provide pumptrack classes for youth that build bike handling and social skills. We promise to guide visitors on the most appropriate trails for their skills to stimulate the growth of the tourism and the bike business to prove that mountain biking is beneficial to the community. We promise to provide coaching for those who wish to improve their skill and in turn become safer riders. We promise to provide wilderness first aid classes for mountain bikers so riders better understand injury and can care for themselves and others when accidents happen far from medical facilities. We promise to remain vocal in our support to develop more sustainable singletrack and the underlying infrastructure to support more riders in Santa Cruz County. Because we firmly believe that mountain biking makes better people and a healthier planet. And a special thanks to everyone who has supported The Ride Guides programs over the last few years, your patronage fuels our ongoing support of the sport that we are all so passionate about. Now lets get out there and have some fun!

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A Look at Your Lid

In an age when custom skis are approaching $2,000 and mountain bikes can cost over $10,000, it can be easy to forget the value of your helmet. But if you take a moment to think about it, this $50 investment in your kit could save you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, not to mention your life.

This one saved my life!

The bottom line is that you can’t enjoy your gear in the great outdoors if you’re broken. To encourage you to protect yourself we have put together this primer to help you find the right helmet for your needs.

Read more here at Adventure Sport Journal!

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Excellence in Mountain Biking


First you hear a hoot echoing through the forest. Next the mechanical buzz of a free-wheeling rear hub. Then you spot the bright flash of a jersey through the trees as a rider bursts from the grove in front of you. Their bike is laid down at a 30 degree angle with the rider slung low, inside foot extended hovering inches above the ground as their suspension compresses in the apex of the turn. They pedal out of the corner with the front wheel lifting under the torque of their power as they blast past you. Moments later all that’s left is the dust hanging in the air around you. Was that the best rider on the hill?

More at Adventure Sports Journal

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10 Reasons to Start Mountain Biking

You’ve seen your neighbor roll out early on Saturday morning with a posse of friends for years now. You regularly bump into a boisterous group of fit and dusty folks with huge grins quaffing beers at the local brewery. Does it ever make you wonder if you’re missing out on something?

Trust us, if you aren’t riding a mountain bike, you are missing out. Here are the top 10 reasons to remedy that situation, stat.

It’s the most fun way you’ll find for getting fit.
If you struggle to find the motivation to go to the gym to sit on a stationary bike and watch TV, just imagine a workout that you can’t wait to start, without a monthly membership, surrounded by ever-changing scenery.

You are at the center of the mountain biking universe.
Some of the top manufacturers in the bike industry have grown here, or moved to Santa Cruz because those in the know want to live and work here. People from all around the world travel here to experience the trails that are out your backdoor. Discover why!

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Pump Track Generation

Santa Cruz pump tracks are breeding a bunch of skilled and friendly young riders.

by Dave Robinson
Santa Cruz is famous in the surfing community not only for it’s quality surf and talented pros but also for its fierce localism. Our surf spots seem to spawn not only talent but, too often, also hostility.


Santa Cruz is also breeding a new generation of stars, those that thrive on the world-class trails and bike parks around the county. In stark contrast to our surf spots, this is an environment where you will be embraced as a newbie and welcomed into the fold. And our youthful ambassadors and future stars of the sport are turning laps right now on a small dirt oval alongside Highway 1 on the Westside.

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Pumped at the Pump Track

It’s at that point when you’ve focused on a project for a while, invested a bunch of effort and received mixed reviews on the value of the endeavor. It could go either way.

Four of the guys were sitting on their saddles looking down the slight incline of the entry into Wilder Ranch State Park, as the other seven students weaved their way unsteadily up the hill.

Reveling in the heady combination of bikes and ocean air

Reveling in the heady combination of bikes and ocean air

A minute later we regroup and talk ride dynamics. (“Announce when you’re slowing. Give way to other trail users. Stop at all crossings and trail junctions so we can re-group.”) The girls voices are wavering a bit and they are winded; it’s pretty apparent that this is more exercise than they are accustomed to. But the boys are raring to go, chomping at the bit, bouncing their front tires on the dirt road alongside a beautiful rosemary field that borders the park. We give the group the go-ahead and the guys are off like a shot.

Tawn Kennedy of Greenways to School has organized a group of eleven students from Pajaro Valley High School to ride the City of Santa Cruz’s pump track on the Westside. The logistics behind this are somewhat more challenging than you might expect: Borrow and fit bikes for everyone, secure permission slips, arrange chaperones, and of course transport all the kids and their bikes in this day of hyper-liability. The goal is obvious though: We all want the kids in South County to have more riding opportunities.

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