Santa Cruz riding - need advice (xpost: passion)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz riding - need advice (xpost: passion)

    Hey Folks,

    I'm going to be in SC for a three day weekend with my gf and thought we'd check out the local riding. After searching the board, it seems like http://www.familycycling.com is a good bet for renting bikes (can't be bothered with bringing our own), and Wilder Ranch, Fort Ord and Soquel Demo Forest are good bets for riding.

    One day in each sound like a good idea?
    How technical does the riding get? - as a baseline, she's comfortable on intermediate level trails on the shore (we're coming down from n.van, but we're into all types of riding, from the shore to whistler to fruita to moab or anywhere else that is groovy, just wanna know what to expect )
    Do we need to cart down our armor for any of those places (I might anyway since flat pedal to shin injuries suck a$$)
    Any standout trails that we should make sure to hit - you know, the "omg you were in SC and didn't hit xyz trail? you fool!"

    Any other rental store suggestions or trail suggestions are appreciated - have found a bunch of online resources and maps already, but the more the merrier.

    cheers
    t

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couch_Surfer
    Hey Folks,

    I'm going to be in SC for a three day weekend with my gf and thought we'd check out the local riding. After searching the board, it seems like http://www.familycycling.com is a good bet for renting bikes (can't be bothered with bringing our own), and Wilder Ranch, Fort Ord and Soquel Demo Forest are good bets for riding.

    One day in each sound like a good idea?
    How technical does the riding get? - as a baseline, she's comfortable on intermediate level trails on the shore (we're coming down from n.van, but we're into all types of riding, from the shore to whistler to fruita to moab or anywhere else that is groovy, just wanna know what to expect )
    Do we need to cart down our armor for any of those places (I might anyway since flat pedal to shin injuries suck a$$)
    Any standout trails that we should make sure to hit - you know, the "omg you were in SC and didn't hit xyz trail? you fool!"

    Any other rental store suggestions or trail suggestions are appreciated - have found a bunch of online resources and maps already, but the more the merrier.

    cheers
    t
    I can't speak for Wilder or Ford Ord...but Demo can get pretty technical. Depending on the route you take, the climbs are just fine, but the downs are quite demanding.
    The MTBR trail reviews will give you a pretty good idea of what you're getting into.
    I only speak of Demo because I'm familiar with it.
    Never rented an mtb either...There are a lot of shops in SC though!

    Not sure how much that helps.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  3. #3
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    SC trails

    SC trails are pretty good but not as technical as you may be accustomed to. The riding up behind UCSC is a good bet. THere are lots of trails and they link up quite nicley. Bring leg armor if you wish, but no need for anything else.

    Soquel Demo Forest (Braille Trail) is also a good one but I have not been there for about a year. The climbing can be a bit of a b**ch but the trail itself is fun.

    Skip fort ord unless you just want to put in a bunch of cross country miles. It is pretty beat up right now and quite sandy.

    Family Cycling has nice bikes to rent as you said. I would ride UCSC for 2 days and then go explore the Braille trail. If you like the UCSC riding, then I might sugest skiping Braille and exploring the area more...

  4. #4
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    heya, welcome to my back yard!

    -no body armor needed
    -skip ft ord
    -the aptos creek trail (nisene marks) has some good climbing if u ride up to sand point
    -dare i mention the umm...shh...west ridge trail (illegal) if u do it, do it early, before hikers get on it
    -there are some secret trails in n outta nisene, but im not gonna tell...nooo way,,,cant make me,. heheheh
    -there is also w very little known trail off of...geez i dunno if i should let this out...its off..Flume road, if ur able to find the road, good luck finding the trail entrance, hehehe
    -anyway at should keep u busy

    i know i sound like the naughty gnome but, hey its late.

    Troy

  5. #5
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    I might wear body armor at Demo if I owned any. But I don't. I would be more inclined to try some of the man made stunts on Braille trail if I was in armor, but last time I was there it was easy enough to find a line around some of the more intimidating stuff. No need for body armor at Wilder Ranch. I've never been to Fort Ord, and never heard any reason to go. If I'm going to be in Monterey, I'd rather be scuba diving or just chilling with a honey and enjoying the scenery/weather.
    Enjoy your visit!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies folks - looks like we'll check out both bikes shops for rental prices and if they are steep (someone suggested 80$/day on passion forum), then we may limit to 1 day of riding. Although, that was for blurs and hecklers - someone in that town must rent hardtails, doesn't sound like i necessarily need a duallie in the area (that is not a slag on the area, i'm just a> cheap and b> enjoying HT pride - in that order)

    Appreciate the suggestions, sounds like Demo forest (specifically Braille trail) is worth a go and that Wilder is fun not so tech riding and also worth some laps. Someone mentioned the UCSC trails as more technical - do they border on Wilder - and are they legal? Being a visitor, I don't wanna poach anything.

    thanks again
    t

    ps: i brought my leg armor down - figured if i wanna jump off anything, it's worth it

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couch_Surfer
    Appreciate the suggestions, sounds like Demo forest (specifically Braille trail) is worth a go and that Wilder is fun not so tech riding and also worth some laps. Someone mentioned the UCSC trails as more technical - do they border on Wilder - and are they legal? Being a visitor, I don't wanna poach anything.

    thanks again
    t

    ps: i brought my leg armor down - figured if i wanna jump off anything, it's worth it
    The technical UCSC trails are not legal and they do border on Wilder/Grey Whale. Wilder has a trail called Enchanted Loop. It's mildly technical at the top. It's a good technical climb if you turn around at the bottom and climb back up. Sawpit and Braille at Soquel Demo are good technical trails. There are also some technical drops and stunts at Delaveaga Park.

    Have Fun!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    There are also some technical drops and stunts at Delaveaga Park.
    Just watch out for flying discs!!!
    I've never ridden DeLa, but I've played disc golf there hundreds of times. How far are these technical drops from the course?

  9. #9
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    I am heading up this weekend also

    And wanted to get in some riding saturday and sunday. I was also thinking Wilder Ranch would be a hit for saturday. I saw there was a group ride at 10am there and I thought my waif and I would tag on. Can someone give me an idea if a intermediate rider and ride through Soquel or should I go another time when I am alone.

    SSped

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boognish
    Just watch out for flying discs!!!
    I've never ridden DeLa, but I've played disc golf there hundreds of times. How far are these technical drops from the course?
    They're all around the course. I was there by myself a long time ago and barely found any trails. Last month, I joined some friends and we had a great time on the singletrack. Shoot me a pm and I'll try to get directions for you

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSped
    And wanted to get in some riding saturday and sunday. I was also thinking Wilder Ranch would be a hit for saturday. I saw there was a group ride at 10am there and I thought my waif and I would tag on. Can someone give me an idea if a intermediate rider and ride through Soquel or should I go another time when I am alone.

    SSped
    MBOSC (Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz) have a weekly ride (probably the one you refer to) that starts at the cattle grate just past the Hiway 1 underpass. It begins at 10:00 (actually...the ride begins at 10:15) with a 15 minute grace period. They're a great group of people. You should join them.

    There are also great intermediate rides at SDF. The fire road climb is not technical at all. The singletracks range from beginner / intermediate (Ridge and Tractor) to technical intermediate (sawpit and braille). You can choose the ride that you like.

    Shoot me a pm if you want any details.

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