After finishing up with all the Grinduro antics this year, Adeline from Mercredi Bikes and I decided to head down to Santa Cruz to see friends and ride mountain bikes for a few days. Amanda Schaper and Scott Chapin said we were more than welcome to stay with them, but they wouldn’t be able to ride with us because they would both be working. Adeline and I were pretty disappointed, but Scott told us that Santa Cruz Bicycles does a factory tour every day at 2:30PM, and we were more than welcome to come by for a visit. Then it clicked, I remembered seeing that Santa Cruz was doing a raffle with Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC), a trail advocacy group in Santa Cruz! And guess what’s special about MBOSC…that’s where Amanda works! Well…that’s not the only thing that is special about them, but that’s what got me thinking there should a be a story on The Radavist about this bike brand that supports trail advocacy and the people behind building and maintaining the mountain bike trails of Santa Cruz!
Scott wasn’t able to get out of work in the morning for a ride, but Amanda called in and said she’d be coming in a little late because she was going to take Adeline and I on a stroll around Santa Cruz showcasing the MBOSC built Emma McCrary and U-Conn trails in Pogonip Park, which connect Santa Cruz to upper UCSC and Wilder Ranch. I personally was amazed at how easy it was to access these trails from anyone’s front door in town! And we’re talking world-class mountain bike trails, trails built with purpose in mind. Trails that flow as much while climbing as they do while descending—that’s when you know they’re good! It quickly became obvious that MBOSC knows a thing or two about building great trails. After riding around for a few hours, Amanda realized she was going to be late to work, so we took a photo at the world-famous UC Santa Cruz Water Tanks and headed back into town.
get to it!
We had been running from winter… riding from winter… actually hike-a-biking away from winter in the Swiss Alps for nearly 2 weeks now. Snow, wind, rain, and low UV indexes had driven us out of the most verdant and bucolic panoramas I’ve ever eyeballed. Away from the abrupt mountaintops that rise from the undulating valleys like the jagged teeth of a gnashing puma eagle. My hair was damp and lifeless, and our bodies were craving the sunlight and ACTUAL early September weather (fair and pleasant for those of you who live in the Swiss tundra). In a split second decision, while climbing out of a cold and empty valley after hiking down a roots rock reggae slip n’ slide, we hopped a train south to Europe’s fashion capital, Milano. It just felt natural.