Wide smiles and tasty single track—that's a can't miss combo, and both were on offer at the Santa Cruz Old Cabin Classic. The first cross-country mountain bike race at Wilder Ranch State Park in more than 20 years, the weekend event brought competitors from all over California, including just about everyone from our Factory Racing team.
From accounting to production, Santa Cruz Bicycle employees were out representing on the course May 21, as they dodged poison oak, climbed some of the steepest single track in Santa Cruz, and tore up a number of rutted, technical descents.
The pros faced three laps of the course and 33 miles of riding, with the beginner, sport, expert, vintage, and single-speed racers doing one to three laps.
“It was a killer time and really awesome environment,” commented first time racer Rory Cox. Although Rory is usually found on the Santa Cruz production floor making sure bikes get out the door to happy customers, he hit the trails this weekend and placed fifth in Beginner Men 19-39, making him think about trading in his Doc Martens for a pair of SPDs.
“The event was really cool and I’m just happy to be out here and to have the opportunity to do this,” said Rory. “Overall, I just need to keep working on my riding and endurance.”
Whether it was the shale and sandstone on Zane Grey or the pitch of Old Cabin, the event gave athletes the opportunity to sample some of Santa Cruz’s much loved trails. For many employees, the park holds a special place in their hearts. Not only is the trail network a quick pedal from the Santa Cruz Bicycles’ headquarters on the west side of Santa Cruz, but through the advocacy of the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, employees have helped shape and maintain some of the park’s trails, including the Enchanted Loop.
“It’s so great to race on local trails, especially ones you’ve helped build,” said Scott Chapin, captain of Santa Cruz Factory Racing, who took fourth in Pro Men. “It was just so cool to have all your friends and family cheering for you!”
Chapin also had plenty to say about the intensity of the course.
“It was a tough one for sure,” Chapin added. “It was brutal out there. My motto was: float like a butterfly and try not to flat.”
Although the race was over in just a few hours, it couldn’t have happened without the support of sponsors, local advocates, and the riders who trade in their bikes for shovels and picks to ensure the local trails are in tip-top shape.
Thanks to Santa Cruz Bicycles, the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, We Are Californian Grown, El Salchichero, Farmhouse Cultures, Uncommon Brewers, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery and all the groups that helped make the event.