I had a co-worker who told me he chose Purdue University not just because of its outstanding engineering program, but because there was nothing to do in small town Indiana. He said if he went to school somewhere like University of California Santa Barbara, he’d spend all his time at the beach instead of studying.
He’d probably say the same thing about UC Santa Cruz, which has awesome surfing just minutes south of campus and amazing mountain bike trails just minutes north of campus. He’d probably never make it to class.
The trails on university and state property just uphill from UCSC campus are among the best in the region, in the region where mountain biking was born. Find a local to show you around, perhaps someone who works at Santa Cruz Bicycles or at Giro. It’s a favorite morning or lunchtime ride spot for those lucky folks.
You’ll want a local because the best trails may be named, but they’re not marked. With trails this good you don’t want to advertise them to the teeming masses. I’d offer to show you myself, but I have no clue where we rode. All I can say is that it’s an amazing, magical forest. And it’s a good thing I don’t have to study or work nearby.
Do you have a special riding place in your area that locals keep under wraps? How did you learn about it?