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

Epicenter Cycling, with bike shops in Santa Cruz and in Aptos, is your home for Trek bicycles, electric bicycles, bicycle rentals, bicycle repairs, bicycle fitting, and bicycle service. We carry electric bikes, pedal-assist bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, urban bikes, comfort bikes, dirt jumpers, women's bikes, kids' bikes and beach cruisers from Trek Bicycles, Electra Bicycle Co., Vintage Electric, Blix Bicycles, Fit Bike Co., Wallerang, and Haro. Our friendly and knowledgeable crew is here to assist you seven days a week. Locally owned and operated by family and friends.

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.

Trail Dog's First Trail Experience

After many a mornings cruising in De La Veaga park, it was time to go on a real trail experience together. Meet Iva Belle, my 6-month old trail-dog-in-training. We loaded up the car, picked up our buddy Lawrence, and headed down to Cuesta Ridge in San Louis Obispo. With only a 2.8 mile climb up a paved fire road, we were ready to descend and boy was my dog fast! She totally outran my bike for a good 2 miles. It was impressive watching her take the outside line on berms and running from side to side of the trail. The last part of the trail was called "The Eucs," which had amazing wood-berm features and small jumps, which we lapped two...okay three, maybe four times because we couldn't get enough! On the way out, we got to descend back down the 2-mile paved road. Iva Belle was lagging behind, wiped out from her day of adventuring. She found herself a nice comfortable spot on my lap, resting her face on the handlebars enjoying a nice breeze of cool air hitting her face all the way back to the car. From there we exchanged high-fives and headed to SLO Brew to share some beers.

-Courtney Short

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.

Adventure Sports Journal : Fat Tire Freedom

We're excited to report that our lead mechanic, Sarah Hansing, is writing the Fat Tire Tuesday blog for Adventure Sports Journal. Be inspired, read on!

First, the good news: I can still fit in my cycling kit. I know it may seem like a small victory, but I was skeptical at best, and very very grateful for elastic and lycra’s stretchy qualities.

Prior to today, it had been over a month (33 days, to be exact. 792 hours, if you want to translate it into how it felt) since I had gotten to pedal my mountain bike on some real live honest to goodness singletrack. Because life happened. The same way it happens to us all: First, the holidays and the family time and expectations and over-commitments I make. every. single. year. Maybe I help “celebrate” this most joyous of seasons with an extra drink, or a cookie or three more than I would usually have. And maybe there is also cake involved.
…. “Um. I think we’re lost.” The utterance of this sentence probably would not come as a huge surprise to many people who know me; I think it is safe to say that very few people would gasp in shock.

But for a moment, it felt very, very uncomfortable to acknowledge that we didn’t quite know where we were. Or how far it was back to the car (and by extension, the food and beer that was in the post-ride plans). As humans, we like our familiarity. We embrace our routines, and find comfort in consistency. And being lost in what felt like the middle of nowhere, with the day waning, a questionable amount of water left, and no functioning GPS felt like the OPPOSITE of comfortable.