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On Location: Another Successful Santa Cruz Mt.Bike Festival

Held the weekend before the massive annual Sea Otter Classic in nearby Monterey, CA, the Santa Cruz Mountainbike Festival took place under warm and sunny skies. Demo bikes from industry leading brands like Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Pivot, Niner and many others had many people trying bikes ranging from dirt jumpers to hard tails to gravity oriented mountainbikes. Lots of food trucks and shady places to sit attracted some folks away from the demo area, and dirt jump jams kept riders young and old busy and others entertained.

A very young rider ripping a bermed turn during the pump track speed race. These kids were shredders!

A very young rider ripping a bermed turn during the pump track speed race. These kids were shredders!

The SCMBF has very much become THE place to take your family for the weekend. And while they offer shuttles for experienced riders to check out the nearby Soquel Demo Forest, lots of peeps just stay down at the festival village, relaxing and enjoying the day. With a couple of different pump tracks and dirt jump areas as a background for the village and demo area, there didn’t seem to be any down time for anyone.

Because Sea Otter is close, the festival demo area is chock full of industry vets. Try a new Smith helmet, or Santa Cruz Bronson. But there area also a ton of local vendors trying to get the word out about how cool they are. Massages, locally made ice cream and mountain bike tour companies are a few that come to mind.

After looking back, it’s the grassroots events like these, with just as many attendees under the age of 10, as adults, that’s really what keeps mountain biking the amazing sport that it is. You might not have seen the current World Cup downhill or Enduro World Series at the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival, but I bet you may have gotten a glimpse of someone that will be racing in those events in the future. Great stuff, think about attending next year. Not to mention the nearby communities are awesome place to take the family on vacation. So whether you’re local to the area or not, think about checking it out. Especially if you have young ones, or are a youngster at heart.

Families of all ages come to the Santa Cruz Mt. Bike Festival to look at all sorts of new gear. And of course play corn hole.

Families of all ages come to the Santa Cruz Mt. Bike Festival to look at all sorts of new gear. And of course play corn hole.

The air bag kicker jump is super popular. Work on that new jump you've been dreaming of all winter.

The air bag kicker jump is super popular. Work on that new jump you’ve been dreaming of all winter.

The line was long for the air bag kicker but went quickly.

The line was long for the air bag kicker but went quickly.

Starting point for going off the big kicker jumps into the air bag.

Starting point for going off the big kicker jumps into the air bag.

The big boy dirt jump area is home to many local pros, who are some of the best riders in the country and world. A rider practices here for the comp later that afternoon.

The big boy dirt jump area is home to many local pros, who are some of the best riders in the country and world. A rider practices here for the comp later that afternoon.

Demo bikes were on hand from many big companies like Trek, Specialized and Santa Cruz. Just sitting there,  waiting to be ridden.

Demo bikes were on hand from many big companies like Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz and Pivot. Just sitting there, waiting to be ridden.

"Fast Swiss twins" is how I was introduced to Anita and Carol. Look for them on the Enduro World Series circuit this summer.

“Fast Swiss twins” is how I was introduced to Anita and Carol. Look for them on the Enduro World Series circuit this summer.

Words & Photos: Daniel Dunn

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