10 Reasons to Start Mountain Biking


If you aren't mountain biking in Santa Cruz, you are missing out on one of life's great pleasures.

by Dave Robinson

You’ve seen your neighbor roll out early on Saturday morning with a posse of friends for years now. You regularly bump into a boisterous group of fit and dusty folks with huge grins quaffing beers at the local brewery. Does it ever make you wonder if you’re missing out on something?

Trust us, if you aren’t riding a mountain bike, you are missing out. Here are the top 10 reasons to remedy that situation, stat.

It’s the most fun way you’ll find for getting fit.
If you struggle to find the motivation to go to the gym to sit on a stationary bike and watch TV, just imagine a workout that you can’t wait to start, without a monthly membership, surrounded by ever-changing scenery.

You are at the center of the mountain biking universe.
Some of the top manufacturers in the bike industry have grown here, or moved to Santa Cruz because those in the know want to live and work here. People from all around the world travel here to experience the trails that are out your backdoor. Discover why!

To make heaps of happy and healthy friends.
These are some of the best friends that you’ll ever meet, encouraging you to ride better and making you increase your recreation time. Let’s see... meeting with your cubicle buddy at the bar and muddling over the project plan, or hooting for your pals as they pull that technical descent for the first time?

To earn the best-tasting beer you’ve ever had.
Think muddy jerseys and comparing scars while rinsing the endorphins down with one of Santa Cruz’s microbrews on the patio at the brew pub.

To better appreciate the Santa Cruz Mountains.
You’re not going to run into a bobcat or pause to watch the fog filter through the redwoods while at the gym. This is your home; engage with it.

To be 7 years old again.
Nothing takes you back to your simplest of days than a bike. Throw your leg over the saddle and discover the pure joy that comes from pointing the bike wherever you want to go.

It’s a great way to bond with your partner.
It could be a casual after-work ride or the trip of a lifetime. These are the times of your life. Share them with the one you love.

You can have the very best ride of your life any day of the year.
Mountain biking in Santa Cruz is not weather- or crew-dependent. You don’t need a huge swell. You don’t need the ideal team to boost you to the front of the peloton. Your best day ever could be today.

It’s the quickest way to get out into nature.
If you need a little bit of headspace or a bit of an attitude adjustment, then imagine finding yourself deep in the wilderness within five minutes of rolling out from the trailhead anywhere in Santa Cruz.

It’s an opportunity to learn again.
Learning a new sport helps you look at things in a different way. You may just start seeking out challenges you never considered before. Change is good and a mountain bike could be the vehicle to transport you to richer experiences with new friends in new places.

Bonus: Reasons to Learn from a Pro:

Learning the fundamentals from a pro ensures that you’ll have a good experience.
Certified instructors teach skill progressions in a manner that has benefitted thousands of students.

You’ll preserve your relationship with your significant other.
Avoid the unspoken pressure and tension that can accompany learning from someone you love. Consider the course fee an investment in a sound relationship.

You’ll get started on the right trail at the right pace.
Pros teach to your level, not theirs. They aren’t out to impress you with their riding, they’re there to help you impress.

Dave Robinson is a longtime mountain biker, licensed boat captain and natural teacher. He provides friendly, safe one-on-one guidance for new mountain bikers through The Ride Guides.