Day 2 began early with promises of 3k’ climbing that will be duly rewarded tenfold with repeated sustained downward velocity that can only be dreamt of back in the armpit of Florida.
Headed out of the UCSC campus directly into the aptly named Star Wars
trail did not disappoint. Old growth redwood carcasses line a dark, twisty route of rooty climbs and bobsled downs.
One of the all time Santa Cruz classics, Sweetness, carves a high velocity path of gravity-fed enlightenment that this east coast rube has never experienced. Imagine slalom skiing, on a bike, where it’s a constant oscillation berm to berm, throw in some small log kicker jumps with generous landing accommodations and patches of rutty washouts. Thoroughly earning its namesake, this area should not be missed.
One of the adjustments I am learning is to simply trust the bike and not be so deliberate in choosing lines. Back home, I spend considerable effort tiptoeing through the rough stuff with my XC whippet…here there is no time for that. As I stay off the brakes more and more, the Ibis Ripley takes over and does what it’s designed to do: devour trail.
This bike absolutely charges through whatever it encounters without any trepidation. Slack head angles, long travel, wide tires, low bottom brackets are the antithesis of the Florida sand vessel and is obviously and unquestionably designed to blast through the gnarliness….which it does with ease.
A full day of steep sustained climbs and rocky, loose plummeting followed with more vastly differentiating terrain. The dial definitely got cranked more today, all as a primer for what’s to come. Stay tuned.