Epicenter Cycling - Santa Cruz Bike Shops

Santa Cruz Locals Making a Difference

1730 Mission St, Santa Cruz 831.423.9000 - 8035 Soquel Dr, Aptos 831.662.8100

Bikes Change Lives : Sarah Hansing

I think it goes mostly without saying that I rely on riding bikes in order to stay sane and happy. Here is a story that I shared in Dirt Rag magazine a few years ago – the story of how I started mountain biking, mostly by accident:

You see, I had this great idea of mountain biking through Europe (yet another in the series of Brilliant Plans Designed to Help Me Avoid College). So, I went into the closest bike shop I knew of, and promptly fell in love with a shiny mountain bike. Which I bought. You know, to ride through Europe. Even though I had never mountain biked before. Or been to Europe.

I hucked that bike off of some sweet curbs, thank you very much. And of course, I always rode through people’s lawns, instead of on the sidewalks. Sometimes, I was so brazen as to ride into the picnic table area at the local city park, and ride down the pavilion’s two cement stairs (three, if you count that dirt lip just before the first stair).

As my trip to Europe drew closer, I was pretty sure that I was a badass mountain biker. Pretty sure, that is, until about a month before I left on my adventure. I began working at the very shop where I had purchased my shiny bike. And I was taken to something my “friends” at the shop called “singletrack”.

Where I promptly crashed.


And continued to crash.


And I hated my friends for trying to kill me. And I couldn’t wait to go again. And I couldn’t wait to make all of my unsuspecting, non-biking friends try it, too.