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

Santa Cruz Open Streets

Epicenter Cycling is a proud sponsor of Open Streets Santa Cruz. Stay tuned for information about this year's celebration of community health and coastal access.

Open Streets Goals

Create new public spaces and opportunities for safe, free, outdoor active recreation in urban settingsImprove community health through active livingPromote environmental connection and stewardshipFoster community and civic prideSpark ideas for creative use of public space that promote quality of lifePromote local businesses and eco-tourismProvide a memorable, fun and unique experience to participants

scopenstreets.org

Epicenter Crew Takes Tahoe

A few weeks ago, owner Shawn Wilson called me over and asked “Do you want to ride Tahoe next Thursday?”. So there I was at 5:30am on a Thursday morning, scrambling in my garage to find and extra tube and the match to my glove. I put my day pack on my back and swung my Camelbak around my belly, hopped on my saddle and pedaled in the dark over to the Mission Street shop. To my own surprise I was the first to arrive, questioning whether I should run over to the 24 hour Ferrells, but concluded that I didn’t want to keep riding around on a mountain bike in the dark with packs on my backside and frontside. Soon enough everyone arrived and we all gathered in excitement, as we were about to drive to Lake Tahoe, ride Mr.Toads Wild Ride, a trail only the boss-man had ridden before, and return to Santa Cruz all in one day. It was sure to be an adventure. We barely hit any traffic and arrived to the trailhead some time past 10am.

First we shuttled Armstrong and Corral. It was incredible! Armstrong was a glimpse into the rocky loose terrain we would later encounter on Toads, while Corral was full of berms and tabletops. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship built Corral a few years ago and you can tell it was built by professionals- it is the perfect example of a sustainable, fun, and accessible trail. Bravo, SBTS!

After our second lap on Armstrong and Corral, we drove to the top of Armstrong and scrambled up the climb to Toads. The climb was about 8 miles long, and I think I dismounted more on the climb than I did on the descent due to lack of momentum. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire climb. It was flowy- no steep pitches. It was mostly in the shade, too!

Once at the top we were all excited and a bit antsy for the descent. I had heard so much about Toads beforehand- that it was difficult, that I might have to walk sections. It was like sailing through a gorgeous alpine paradise, with changes in terrain and habitat with every drop in elevation. I think I laughed and cheered the entire 6 miles down. I could not stop smiling. My teeth were caked in brown, high elevation dust. It was non-stop fun, and one of the best trails I’ve ever ridden. The first half was mostly rocky sections that never seemed to end. Nothing was extremely steep, just technical. We crossed through several meadows and breathtaking vistas. Unexpectedly, near the bottom it became very flowy and loose with long, wide turns, and a few staircases. I can’t express enough just how fun it was to ride such a long descent with so much variation in discipline.

We finished riding around 6pm and headed to the lake to jump in. Magically, a reggae concert was just starting on the beach. We sat in the water, letting the waves wash over us, and looked around at each other grinning. Without saying anything at all, we knew we had just shared a day in paradise.

Bikes Change Lives

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Epicenter Cycling loves sharing inspirational cycling stories on our website and on social media.

Follow us on Facebook or read the posts below.

Have a story that you'd like to share? 
We'd love to read it! Check out the info below the "Stories" section on this page, and find out how you can inspire others for the New Year!

 


Stories


Let's Hear Your Story...

Share your story and inspire others to take up cycling and turn their lives around! If you don't have time to write your story, we can write it for you. All you have to do is schedule an interview with us via email. Please send your info. to ccovello@epicentercycling.com.

Here are some questions that could be good starting points:
 
- Was there a moment in your life when you experienced the switch from a "person who owns a bike" to a "cyclist or bike" person'?
- Is there a rad person in your life who you never would have met without bikes? 
- What's your favorite only-accessible-by-bike place in the world and why?
- Or, more generally, why bikes?

Those are just suggestions, feel free to branch off as you please. Also, if you have pictures of you and your bike, those will be useful.