This weekend we managed to get away for a day and got a few loops in on the UCSC trails in Santa Cruz before heading to Aptos to check out the Mountain Bike Festival. The Aptos Pump Track had recently been rebuilt, and Inga was excited to get some time in on it— especially since we still don’t have any public pump tracks near by in the east bay.
The recent improvements to the track are substantial— the corners have been opened up, and the tight 180 degree berms are gone. It is a lot more fun, and a bit less technical and the fun for all levels of riders has been amped up. It flows really well now, and some very high speeds are possible. The best part is the roller spacing- it’s possible to double most of the rollers, and there are a ton of transfer lines to master. Although the track remains fun and accessible for all skill levels and ages of riders, it also succeeds in being challenging for more experienced riders.
In fact, I foolishly jumped in and tried to pin it right off the bat. I was a lot more worn out from our ride than I thought; slow reflexes, over confidence and high speed combined resulted with me piled up in a cloud of dust— the first time I’ve dumped it on a pump track in a while. Sadly, I’ve been working a lot; not my has my ride time been suffering, but with it, my fitness. (We’ll be planning a future trip to focus on riding pump tracks and dirt jumps in the area very soon, and skip the trail riding to save our energy for to focus on skills based fun)
Picking myself off, and taking a few slower paced runs remedied the situation, and then it was all about dialing in different line options.
Besides the new pump track section, there is also now a small jump line consisting of table tops that are great for novice jumpers building confidence to leave the ground.
Overall, the new flow of the track is pretty sweet, and with the starting hill lead-in line, reminded me a lot of the flow of a dual slalom track. There was a crew of locals that had their lines dialed, and were railing the track smooth as butter. We’re finding ourselves extremely jealous, and the east bay is starting to really pale in comparison. Santa Cruz has becoming more and more appealing as the go-to riding spot in the bay area.
If I could find a job or marketing role in the area, I’d seriously be ready to relocate. (just putting it out there!)