A mainstay on any trip to Cali is the Wilder Ranch compound just north of Santa Cruz. Yeah I’ve ridden it so many times I could do it backwards upside down, but there’s nothing like panoramic ocean views, clear blue skies and UC Santa Cruz stunts to stir the soul of a mountain biking addict. The only omission is my riding buddy Jim, stuck in the cold and dark of Seattle. One of these days we’ll get him down here to sample the local treats.
The other nice thing about the Wilder ride, which usually runs 2 to 3 hours, is that it’s a good toner for muscles long atrophied by cruel Northwest winters. A few Wilder runs under the belt leaves you ready for the bigger assaults in Nisene Marks, Aptos and beyond.
Sea Otter starts in just a few days!