2012 was an another amazing year for mountain biking in Santa Cruz County and MBoSC. In fact, this was probably a breakout year in which mountain biking changed from being an underground sport to one which had entered the community consciousness and is rapidly becoming a part of the Santa Cruz identity – much like surfing. The local bike industry like Fox, Bell, Ibis, Santa Cruz Bikes, X-Fusion, Caletti Cycles and the local bike shops like Epicenter Cycling and Scotts Valley Cycle Sport had a really healthy year of growth.
Our donors and volunteers really stepped up their game for 2012 and we have accomplished some incredible things. The 2012 focus was to present the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival in Aptos – which included California’s first Super Enduro race in Soquel Demonstration Forest (another first) and the approval and implementation of the Emma McCrary trail in the Pogonip.
Starting the year, MBoSC President Mark Davidson was recognized by Santa Cruz NEXT as a community thought leader. This recognition created more visibility of local mountain biking among the broader (non-mtb) community.
The Pogonip multi-use trial (now called the Emma McCrary Trail) project was approved by the Santa Cruz City Council by a 6-1 margin. The story of the transformation of the East side of the Pogonip from a drug haven to recreational trail was documented in a Dec 2012 Bike Magazine article.
The 1.7 mile Castle Rock Trail officially opened April 6, 2012. This trail represents the first mountain bike legal single track opened in the county since the U-con trail in 1999.
MBoSC presented the 2012 Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival. This year was huge! The festival grew 50% in both activities and attendance over 2011. We had 70 sponsors, 200 athletes, 200 kids’ rodeo participants, 150 volunteers, estimated 6,000 attendees (from as far as France) and perfect weather for making the Fox 3rd Annual Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival an incredible success!
As part of the SCMBF, we successfully ran the Bell Super Enduro at Demo – the first sanctioned competitive event in Soquel Demonstration State Forest. The Bell Super Enduro had 50 elite riders doing 3 special downhill stages and 3 transfer stages.
However big the SCMBF and the Super Enduro were our largest and proudest accomplishment this year has been the design and implementation of the Emma McCrary Trail (a.ka Pogonip multi-use trail). This project really brought the community together. Over 2200+ volunteer hours and $30K had been raised since May and we hope to complete and open this trail for spring 2013.
There were lots of smaller events and initiatives that MBOSC volunteers were involved in. We strengthened our relationship with the local bike industry, we attended meetings and formed partnerships with local land managers. We sent folks to the IMBA Summit in Santa Fe and we had a IMBA Club Care Crew visit soon after. We participated in the annual Turning Wheels for Kids Holiday bike build and we built over 40 new bikes.
We aren’t slowing for 2013. Some of the projects we are planning include:
- Completing the Emma McCrary trail with a celebration in March
- MBoSC will be driving the Tractor Trail rebuild at Soquel Demo State Forest (SDSF)
- Presenting the 4th Annual Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival in Aptos April 13-14
- Santa Cruz Super Enduro (tentative date June 8-9) at SDSF
- Working with the City of Santa Cruz to rebuild the trail network at DeLaveaga park
- We will be watching Coast Dairies and CEMEX properties for mountain biking opportunities as they unfold
Finally, we must give a huge, HUGE thank you to the volunteers, attendees and donors who have made MBoSC and our events so successful this year! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s so rewarding to see the community come together for some monumental achievements. Specifically, we have to call out and recognize MBoSC officers Mark and Eve Davidson, Steven and Megan Gemelos, Michele Lamelin, Daryl Breuninger and Sebastien Praly for their hard work and commitment to the club. A huge thank you to Shannon Armstrong – the SCMBF Festival Director for her uncompromising vision of increasing the quality and sustainability of the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival.
Finally (finally!) we have to recognize MBoSC’s trails officer Drew Perkins for his leadership in the design and implementation of the Emma McCrary trail and for creating constructive long term relationships with the local land managers. Drew is the rock star of MBoSC and the man with boots on the ground to make new trails happen in Santa Cruz County. Thank you Drew!
We have earned a great reputation as an organization who are easy to work with and can get things done. We could not do it without the support of the local mountain biking community and those who love to ride in Santa Cruz County!
Lets rock 2013!