Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge

5th week, Saturday Photo Gallery

http://www.santacruzcycling.org

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19 Reviews
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Cost

Average

Registration Convenience

Very easy

Accommodation Convenience

Convenient

Website Information

Easy to understand

Parking Convenience

Very convenient

Ride options

Many rides

Route Sheets & markings

Easy to follow without route sheets

Food at rest stops & finish

Excellent food and drinks

SAG Support

Ham Radio, quick response

Road Quality & Scenery

Spectacular roads and scenery

Course Safety

Some street, bike paths, low traffic

Staff Friendliness

VIP treatment - Wow!

Overall Enjoyment

Exceptional, this is a must ride

Perks

Schwags, average start/finish, T-shirt

Reviews

Sort By

  1. 2 Reviews

    I did the 200km ride; the route is truly exceptional and is a ‘kitchen sink’ of all the best climbs/roads that there are to ride in Santa Cruz, with Big Basin being the highlight of the whole event and Alba Road being a truly memorably challenging climb. I would prefer this ride over the Death Ride, since it has almost the same elevation/distance stats, but with a more interesting route (almost no climbs are repeated as descents). The course markers were generally very good, but there was a slight confusion on the Boulder Creek exit (200 km would retrace route to Big Basin, rest would go south to Alba). Almost all road surfaces were pristine; they did a good job setting the course. I wish there were more diverse food options at the rest stops, but the lunch/dinner options were really good.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Several Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Good route sheets and well marked

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Good selection

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, average start/finish, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  2. 1 Reviews

    I had a blast at the Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge! I rode the 75-mile route and had an easy go of following the route, even though I was the only rider within visibility at many times. The parking garage at UCSC was super quick and easy. The rest stops had great choices of food and drink. The finish line meal was awesome! Local burritos, salad, cold drinks, and LOCAL ICE CREAM! Would highly recommend.

    Cost

    Very Low

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Average

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Several Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Excellent roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    Well staffed, friendly, courteous

    Overall Enjoyment

    Memorable Experience

    Perks

    Schwags, average start/finish, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  3. 2 Reviews

    This ride was one for the books! I did the 100 mile option and I honestly wasn’t sure I was ready for it. Thankfully, the other riders and courteous volunteers at the rest stops helped push me all the way. Looking forward to getting ready for the double metric next year.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Many Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Good selection

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Safe, wide bike lanes, country roads

    Staff Friendliness

    Well staffed, friendly, courteous

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  4. 1 Reviews

    This was my first time riding the Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge but it won’t be my last! It was well worth the drive from San Francisco. I rode the 44.5 mile route and it was very scenic along Highway 1, with a nice little climb at the halfway point. Terrific finish line food. Highly recommended!

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Very Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, very little trafficy

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  5. 1 Reviews

    Wonderful views and scenery. Great downhills. A few missed turn markers, Such as a blue arrow at the bottom of Alba. The course Could have been more clearly marked.
    The climb up Alba Rd. was epic, memorable. I think,however, that the description of the climb should be more detailed on the website and registration information. This is certainly not a ride for the average rider. There were a fair number of riders on Alba who were walking and looked pretty miserable.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Average

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Inconvenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Difficult to follow

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Good selection

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, good support

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Memorable Experience

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  6. 1 Reviews

    This ride offers exceptional scenic and environmental diversity especially on the 100 and 135 mile rides. You’ll probably start early in the early morning cruising through town in dense coastal fog with fog condensation dripping from your helmet as the scent of eucalyptus and redwood wafts through the air. You’ll proceed into one or more of the many deep, redwood-filled gulches and as you climb the fog will clear and the sun will emerge. At the summits you’ll have resplendent views of the Pacific ocean and the Bay Area. For the 100 miler you will be faced with at least three 2000 ft climbs and at least one of these climbs will present you with a wicked steep grade. The diverse scenery and riding environment, combined with the wicked climbs make this ride unique: there is a reason for the word “challenge” in the ride title. But what comes up must come down, so you’ll also experience some exquisite downhill – west Bear Creek comes to mind – fast and flowy. As an aside, you’ll probably see a fair number of riders donning their “death ride” vests and jerseys, just so you know what you are getting into. This a fairly small ride (limited to 600 or so) and I found the ride participants to be exceptionally enthusiastic and ready to share stories on rides, routes, and bikes. This ride has a much friendlier feel than your average corporate sponsored “fondo.” If you are located anywhere close to the Bay Area you need to ride this one, just make sure to get some training in on some “steeps” though to maximize the fun.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, good support

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    Well staffed, friendly, courteous

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    No Schwags, or perks

    Reply to this review.
  7. 1 Reviews

    This was my first organized ride and I loved it from start to finish. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. The food was ample, nourishing, and delicious. The course was well marked. There were no schwags, but it keeps costs down. For those who want to buy a t-shirt, they are available. This is a really well organized and executed ride.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Many Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    No Schwags, or perks

    Reply to this review.
  8. 1 Reviews

    I grew up in Santa Cruz, so this ride is all along familiar territory for me. The scenery is some of the best you could want, the staff super-friendly, and the food good and plentiful. There may not have been much in the way of perks/schwag, but that’s not what I do these rides for. If you’re looking for a challenging, beautiful and fun ride, run by some really nice folks, this is the ride for you!

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Average

    Accommodation Convenience

    Average

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Many Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Good selection

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, good support

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Minimal Schwags, poor start/finish

    Reply to this review.
  9. 1 Reviews

    This was my first Cool Breeze metric century, and it was a very good ride! The route was a gentle climb up to Ojai, then back down to Ventura and up along the coast. There wasn’t too much traffic on the roads, bike density was reasonable, and the signage was excellent! Rest stops were well stocked, and the volunteers extremely friendly. One of my group cut his tire at a rest stop, but fortunately there was a repair stand there – and the guy did a great repair job without us needing SAG support. I’ll be back next year, probably for the century.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Average

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Excellent roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  10. 1 Reviews

    This is my second year participating in this ride and I really enjoy the scenery and the whole biking trail. Riding along the coastline is always a site. Great SAG support too. I wish they would give out a medal to keep as a remembrance for that years ride. Overall it is always a fun ride.

    Cost

    Low

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, very little trafficy

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Fun Ride

    Perks

    No Schwags, or perks

    Reply to this review.
  11. 1 Reviews

    Everyone was super friendly. Very organized, especially at the start to find parking and go to registration. Price could be lower but probably par for the area. Fantastic signage that warns ahead of time of approaching turns. I am navigationally challenged and lost the cue sheet halfway but had no issues. A really beautiful course. Liked the goodies and the burrito hit the spot. Only thing I needed was a cold beer after 100 miles but not their fault. 🙂

    Cost

    Low

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Very Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, very little trafficy

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  12. 1 Reviews

    This is one of the best organized rides in the Bay Area with clear signage and not too steep a fee, compared with some charity rides. This ride has interesting routes in the Santa Cruz Mountains – so plenty of hill climbing and descents. I’ve done it in 2010 and 2017 and each time was introduced to a new snack or drink. The food is great – ending with local ice cream and burritos. What I particularly like about this ride is that if you are a slow biker because there are longer routes at the end there’s always someone to talk to, even if you are last on the shorter rides. In 2017. Some of the experienced long distance cyclists have wonderful tales to tell of long and challenging rides they have taken. I thought it might have been better to go south from UC Santa Cruz, as there are more alternative routes not on Route 1 and as 25 miles of the 45 miler were on Route 1, it wasn’t very relaxing. As it was I cut off at Wilder Ranch on to the Pacific Coast Bike Trail to get to the Natural Bridges State Park where there was a water stop. It would have been more pleasant if this had been the official route. The logo iwth mountain lion is fun – so clothing sold for a fee is worth purchasing.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Excellent roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwagbag, festivity all around, free photos, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  13. 1 Reviews

    101 mile route, beautiful scenery and hell of climbing! The food was great in particular fruit (watermelon and cantaloupe), despite a warm day water was always cool. Astounding volunteer’s job on the road and in tricky intersections!

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Very Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Average

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  14. 1 Reviews

    Did the 100 mile option last year and the 75 mile option this year. My favorite parts this year:
    The first 10 miles or so- riding through the fog in the early morning.
    Empire Grade out to the lunch spot. Really pretty stretch. And Alba too- if you’re not focusing ALL your attention every second on the climb.
    Just really do like that lunch spot. Feels like it’s kinda out there somehow.
    The Bonny Doon descent was a pleasure.
    Swanton Road- beautiful.
    The cruise back on Highway 1 was really nice this year.
    The stretch of West Cliff in Santa Cruz.
    The food and the volunteers were great!

    I wouldn’t have minded another little climb somewhere- the 75 mile this year felt a lot easier than the 100 mile last year. But maybe that’s OK.
    Anyway, a wonderful day. Thank you!

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Average

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Many Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Good route sheets and well marked

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, very little trafficy

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwagbag, festivity all around, free photos, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  15. 1 Reviews

    I have done the 100 and this year the 75. For both routes, you always have beautiful scenery – Redwoods + Pacific ocean. The convenience of driving over the hill and doing this epic ride is priceless. The staff and volunteers are super friendly and they know how to treat cyclist. And as I see it, the 135 route can go head to head with the Death Ride.

    Cost

    Low

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, average start/finish, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  16. 2 Reviews

    SCMC is a beautiful ride! The path consisted of many paved road through the redwood forests. More shaded path than the path that expose you to the sun especially during the climbs. 135 miles ride takes you through the a short section of the Santa Cruz city, mountain, shoreline, with finishing view of the Lighthouse Field State Beach! The staffs are very friendly and responsive to emails and questions. The rest stop food/energy gel/energy drinks/fruits are very good and strategically placed. Comparing with the Death Ride I just completed on 7/8/2017, I will choose SCMC 135 with close to 14000 climb, based on the more shaded path, closer to bay area -> shorter travel time, the climbs are much steeper than the DR and take a lot more out of you.

    Cost

    Low

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Many Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Gourmet food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, very helpful and friendly

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some street, bike paths, very little trafficy

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, average start/finish, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  17. 1 Reviews

    Overall a great ride – friendly people, beautiful scenery, challenging routes. Awesoe. Only gripe was I rarely saw SAG support and the pickup location in Campbell was advertised for 4pm but didn’t actually start until 5, so I left work early for nothing. Otherwise, great ride, will do again.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Average

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Convenient

    Ride options

    Rides for every ability

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Little support

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Spectacular roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Safe, wide bike lanes, country roads

    Staff Friendliness

    VIP treatment – Wow!

    Overall Enjoyment

    Exceptional, this is a must ride

    Perks

    Schwags, average start/finish, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  18. 1 Reviews

    This is a really challenge route for century. 10K climb in 100 miles but the route has many of the scenic roads. The Alba Road is the big challenge to me. Climbing 2100 feet in 3.8 miles. I am glad I did it. One of my memorable ride.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Very Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Very Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Very Convenient

    Ride options

    Several Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Easy to follow without route sheets

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Excellent roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Safe, wide bike lanes, country roads

    Staff Friendliness

    Well staffed, friendly, courteous

    Overall Enjoyment

    Memorable Experience

    Perks

    Schwags, festive start/finish/Rest Stops, T-shirt

    Reply to this review.
  19. 175 Reviews

    The 135 Mile ride is the crown jewel of the SCMC. With 135.0 miles and 13,215′ of climbing, this route comes close to the Death Ride in elevation. Not quite tuned up for the 135M? The 101.6 mile route is the ticket. At 10,130′ of climbing, it offers excellent bragging rights at 100 FPM. This route offers many of the scenic roads from the 135M and 101M rides. This 75.7 mile route is no slouch of a ride, with 6,794′ of climbing or 90 FPM. This route offers some of the best ocean views Santa Cruz has to offer. At 45.3 miles with 2,959′ of climbing, it works out to a leisurely 46 FPM.

    Cost

    Average

    Registration convenience

    Easy

    Accommodation Convenience

    Easy to understand

    Website Information

    Very Convenient

    Parking Convenience

    Convenient

    Ride options

    Several Rides

    Route Sheets & markings

    Good route sheets and well marked

    Food at rest stops & finish

    Excellent food and drinks

    SAG Support

    Ham Radio, quick response

    Road Quality & Scenery

    Excellent roads and scenery

    Course Safety

    Some danger, 45+mph low traffic

    Staff Friendliness

    Well staffed, friendly, courteous

    Overall Enjoyment

    Fun Ride

    Perks

    Minimal Schwags, poor start/finish

    Reply to this review.

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