Chasing Sun and Dodging Poison Oak in Santa Cruz, California

It's 287 miles from Portland to Ashland and another 409 to Santa Cruz. We made a pit stop in Ashland to soak in some sun and some much-deserved turns on dirt. The conditions in Ashland are all time right now. There is a small window in Southern Oregon when the trails are tacky and far from blown out. Stoked to have caught it! 

We got into Santa Cruz around midnight. The drive was fucked. 12 hours in a car is just not good for you. Our buddy and our host for the week Sam was up waiting for us. Sam is a data scientist, route master, and all around rad dude. Can't thank Sam enough for letting us crash, drinking your beer, and for dragging us out on one hell of a night ride! 

It was Michael's first time riding in Santa Cruz. I've been hyping it up for years and thankfully we caught it during the perfect time. All of the rain has left everything so green and the trail conditions were absoulutely mint! 

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I always pack a camera with me but more and more I find myself not pulling it out. The conditions were so good that all I could think about was pedaling back up for another go. 

There were plenty of taco stops between rides on this trip. My two favorite spots are La Cabaña Taqueria on Mission St and Taqueria Santa Cruz on Soquel. Make sure to get the shredded beef at La Cabaña Taqueria

There is so much good riding in Santa Cruz but this had to have been one of our favorites. 

We're no strangers to riding at night so when Sam told us to bring our lights we listened. 

The rain was coming down hard but the conditions could not have been better. 

Sam drove us down to Pacifica to meet up with our buddies Cubby and Geof. The trails in Pacifica are so different. Massive coastal views, endless poison oak, and pretty dry despite all the rain. 

Trailside jibs for life! 

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Endless climbs with endless views. I don't even think Cubby and Geof broke a sweat on this ride. 

You see the ocean and all I can see is the damn Poison Oak!

Sam is the best host.

We headed back to Ashland to camp and ride the following day.

Alex (@loamranger) had a fire going and the camp spot dialed.

Follow @brokenandcoastal for more and look out for Volume 04 of our print mag to drop in the next couple of months.

Huge thanks to Michael for teaching me to drive stick and coming on this trip. Thanks to Sam for hosting, Alex for the camp vibes, All my friends for meeting up and riding with me! Love you all.