Tupac music for the title, it’s appropriate here! On April 12, Jeff, Yuki, and I piled into the sprinter van and drove 21 hours to Santa Cruz, CA
It was actually relaxing to sit in the car after being so busy catching up from Nepal in the weeks to follow the Yak Attack.
One of my favorite things about driving in California are the yellow flowers and the vineyards.
I really wanted to squeeze a visit to Michael David Winery into the schedule, but we were too busy! I had never been to Santa Cruz and had heard that it was pretty amazing for mountain biking. I was not disappointed. Our first stop was the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival. The first day there, we rode the enduro trails at Demo Mountain. I wished I had raced the enduro, but didn’t know what to expect and all I had with me was my 26″ hardtail – not exactly an “enduro” bike. The trails weren’t as techy as I expected. We got in a 12-13 mile climb before shredding all the singletrack. It was fun to ride in soft, loamy, dark dirt. I was also really impressed with the huge redwoods!
We shot tons of video, and not so many photos, unfortunately. The video will be ready sometime in the near future. The next day was the short track. I signed up for it on a whim. I hadn’t raced a short track in a couple years. I also had no idea who I was racing with some really stellar free-ride types. I screwed up at the start and somehow missed getting in my pedal and got to fight my way back up. The course was actually suited to bike handling and less to fitness. There were only 2 short sections where I could get time. The rest was very twisty with jumps, logs to ride over, a drop, and a berm. I’d get away on the faster sections and get reeled back in and I couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, I got away and took the win. One lap was only 2 minutes, so there was lots of riding in circles.
Here is one lap:
It was fun to watch Yuki and Jeff race their short track, and even more fun with the airhorn!
One of my favorite riders was doing the all mountain challenge – oh you know it! Ross Schnell.
After the short track, we headed to the campus trails to meet my friend, Sean Madsen for a ride. Those were soooo much fun. I was blown from the short track, but it was still worth doing a second ride. Sean was shooting the gaps and being his jedi self on the bike. Kei also came to ride!
I wish I was this badass!
The next day, we headed out to do NorCal shop visits. We also stopped in on our pals over at Ritchey for a lunch ride. I was destroyed from the day before and rode as easy as I could. The trails were super fun and I wanted to rip, but I had to save myself for an interval workout up Hwy 1 the next day!
We ended up going back to Santa Cruz after a couple days of shop visits for the night.
We rode by the beach before going up Hwy 1. It’s always kind of weird when I see the ocean. It’s really beautiful, but I only see it maybe once a year!
This was the best damn Ciopinno I’ve ever had!! I’m stil thinking about it. We also ate at this super good Crepe restaurant in Santa Cruz. YUMMY!
The next day, we headed to Monterey to set up and get ready for Sea Otter 4 busy days working the Ergonbooth at Sea Otter.