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By Karen Kefauver
October 11, 2013
Link to Sentinel Article

Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel Riders pass each other on a tight curve during the men's B race at the Surf City Cyclocross at harbor High School on Sunday. ( @Shmuel Thaler )Though the daylight hours are shrinking, October is a favorite season for year-round cyclists here because the weather is still warm and the air is crisp.

This weekend is exceptionally full of fantastic events for riding and spectating in Santa Cruz County. Here’s a sampling (in chronological order) of races and events that are keeping other cyclists busy and will do the same for you.

Santa Cruz Super Enduro

Santa Cruz County plays host to the Santa Cruz Super Enduro at Soquel Demonstration State Forest on Saturday and Sunday.

The enduro action, a unique format of mountain bike racing requiring both endurance and downhill skills, unfolds Saturday. The first wave of racers launch at 8:30 a.m. from Camp Loma. Presented by the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC), the race will raise funds for the contruction and upkeep of Santa Cruz area trails, including a four-mile Flow Trail at Demo. Although all 200 race spots for the local enduro sold out within two hours of registration opening, this event welcomes spectators and volunteers.

Sunday’s slate of activities includes pro-led fun rides, bike demos and shuttled trail work.

Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel A cyclist races through the Surf City Cyclocross course at Harbor High School on Sunday. ( @Shmuel Thaler )

Surf City Cyclo-X Series Clinic and Race

Arguably the best cycling sport to watch in person, cyclocross races are colorful, action-packed and may just tempt you to try racing yourself. That’s how I got into it for seven seasons of racing at an intermediate level. Though I have since “retired,” I still enjoy spectating and soaking up the warm and welcoming “cross” community.

“We have a big year coming up and lots of great news,” said Mary Perez, Surf City director. “We offer $13,000 in prizes and the most women’s categories offered at any Norcal event.”

The race series kicks off Saturday with a clinic led by reigning World Cyclocross Champion and former mountain bike pro Don Myrah. The first race follows Sunday at Aptos High.

Each race benefits a local charity. There are 21 categories offered, from beginner Cat “C” at 9 a.m. to the Elite Women at 12:45 p.m. and the Elite Men at 1:45 p.m.

The Oct. 27 All-Hallows Cross is quite a spectacle to watch with most racers donning costumes.

Santa Cruz Open Streets

The second annual Santa Cruz Open Streets, a project of Ecology Action, offers a new feature Sunday: group bike rides to the event to encourage leaving your car at home.

“We are aiming to reduce neighborhood traffic and parking impact on the Westside,” said Saskia Lucas, the event’s founder and director.

She noted that West Cliff Drive, from Lighthouse Field to Natural Bridges State Park, will be closed to traffic during the event, which spans from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is in accordance with the event’s goal: “To provide a free, public, family-friendly event which temporarily diverts automobile traffic and opens the entire roadway for people to bike, walk, skate and more in a safe and enjoyable environment.”

Last year’s inaugural event attracted an estimated 9,000 participants.

Three of the event feeder rides depart at 9:30 a.m. — one from the Spokesman, led by People Power; one from Epicenter Cycling, led by Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz; and one from the Bicycle Trip, also led by People Power. The ride from the Quarry Plaza at UC Santa Cruz, led by OPERS, departs at 10:30 a.m. Each location offers activities prior to departure and there will be a free raffle open to all who bicycle, walk, bus or carpool (three or more) to the event.

Girls Gone Wilder

Do you know a woman who needs some encouragement with her mountain biking? Open to experienced mountain bike riders, as well as novices, Sunday’s social ride for women is designed to be fun and non-competitive.

“New riders get a little skills development, confidence-building and a chance to see new trails,” said ride organizer Kristina Hanson, “and experienced riders get to meet other women to ride with. And everybody gets a beer at the brewery. Our last group rides in July and September were a blast!”

Pedalers leave Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing at 3:15 p.m. to ride up the Star Wars Trail and those who want to shuttle leave at 3:45. ($7 gas fee).

PHOTO: PATRICK TEHAN - MERCURY NEWS Kevin Ingersoll, top photo, rides through a stream on the Surf City course near Davenport. [961114 VE 12D 1; color] 11/14 BLUR venture cover PHOTO BY PATRICK TEHAN Kevin Ingersoll crosses a stream while competing in the Surf City Cyclocross north of Davenport. Cyclocrss is popular in Europe and is gaining some converts here. ( Patrick Tehan )

Meet Your Maker Tour

Save Oct. 20 for a celebration of handmade bicycles. The free ride will depart at 10 a.m. from the Bike Church in downtown Santa Cruz.

“The terrain is suited to mountain bikes and cyclocross riding, with some good climbs and technical descents,” said Josh Muir, a local frame builder at Frances Cycles.

The list of local frame builders scheduled to participate currently includes: John Caletti of Caletti Cycles, Craig Calfee of Calfee Design, Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles and Paul Sadoff of Rocklobster Cycles.

Karen Kefauver (www.karenkefauver.com) is a Santa Cruz-bsed freelance writer who covers sports and travel . View her stories on the Sentinel’s Out and About blog at www.santacruzsentinel.com/blogs.


Santa Cruz Super Enduro

When: Saturday and Sunday
Where: Soquel Demonstration State Forest
Details: www.santacruzsuperenduro.com.

Surf City Cyclo-X Series Clinic and Race

When:Saturday and Sunday
Where: Aptos High
Details: Register at the race or online at www.surfcity.cx

Santa Cruz Open Streets

When: Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: West Cliff Drive
Details: www.scopenstreets.org


WHEN: Sunday, 3 p.m.
WHERE: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing


WHEN: Oct. 20, 9 a.m.
WHERE: Bike Church, 703 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
DETAILS: www.meetyourmakertour.com.

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