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Road Bike Rental -- Santa Cruz, CA(4 posts)

Road Bike Rental -- Santa Cruz, CAHMS
Jul 7, 2001 3:25 PM
I will be staying in Santa Cruz, CA, from Thursday (7/12) through Sunday (7/15). Does anyone have any recommendations as to where I can rent a road bike? Assuming that I can find a bike, any recommendations for rides (50-70 miles max) in the area? Thanks.

Mark
Great riding...don't know about rentalsmr_spin
Jul 9, 2001 10:16 AM
Just an idea--it would probably be easier to rent a mountain bike. If you are into MTB, there are some world class trails to ride above Santa Cruz. Soquel Demonstration Forest ("Demo") and Wilder Ranch are fantastic places to ride.

As for road riding, there are also plenty of world class rides out of Santa Cruz. Any LBS should have a "Krebs" map (there are road and mountain versions), which is by far the best map of the area, and the only one you need.

The best road sampler of the area is a classic 40-50 mile loop. Get a map and follow along. Ride south from Santa Cruz on Soquel Drive to Aptos (at Trout Gulch), turn left on Valencia and ride into the redwoods. Take the Day Valley Road branch, which deposits you on Freedom for a 1/4 mile, then take Hames up the hill on the left. This will drop you into Corralitos at the Sausage Company. You're certain to bump into riders there--it's sort of a hub for the area. Anyway, turn left to go up Eureka Canyon, one of the popular climbs in the area. It's a fairly mellow grade on average, but it is long, beautiful, and almost traffic-free. The road name changes to Highland at one point (and rides past all the mountain bikers going into Demo) and comes to an end at Summit Road. Turn left, and ride 2 miles or so down to San Jose-Soquel road. Turn left, climb for a mile or so, then enjoy one of the great downhills in the area. Eventually, you'll arrive back at Soquel Drive to close the loop.

Other ideas:

If you love to climb, there are some great ones here. Ride up San Jose-Soquel, turn left at Laurel Glen, work your way over into Scotts Valley. From there, you can take Zayante or Mountain Charlie to Summit, then come down Bear Creek or San Jose-Soquel. Or climb up Felton Empire and come down (actually up!) Ice Cream Grade to Bonny Doon, and come back along the ocean. Climbing up Highway 9 from the bottom is an amazing trip through the redwoods, and once you get to Felton, you have several options to get back to Santa Cruz.

If you don't love to climb, you are "limited" to riding along the ocean. This means heading north along Highway 1 up to Davenport or further (the wind is typically out of the north), or riding south to get to San Andreas (again, get a map!), then turning inland through the strawberry fields, and most likely ending up in Corralitos and reversing the route mentioned above.
Check w/The Spokesmangrz mnky
Jul 9, 2001 12:34 PM
Great bike shop in downtown Santa Cruz (831.429.6062). I don't think that they really do rentals as a normal thing, but they may be able to work something out. They carry lots of great lines and often have interesing machines kicking around. Have you considered renting a hard case and travelling with your own bike? It would be more hassle travellng, but it's nice to have your own ride and may save you some $$$. There are some outfits that do have rentals near the beach, but they tend to be the 40 lbs. steel cruiser variety - OK for puttering around the beaches.

The riding here in SC is nothing short of phenomenal. The advice given is all good and it ultimately comes down to what kind of riding you want to do. Anything from mild coffee shop tours to some seriously sick and twisted loops in the mountains. Climbing either Alba or Jamison Creek (or both) out of the San Lorenzo Valley can be both beautiful and quite demanding. The descent down either Empire Grade or Pine Flat/Boony Doon Rd. can be quite a rush. Don't get me started on the MTB riding...let's just say that it's "decent".
re: Road Bike Rental -- Santa Cruz, CAviking24
Jul 12, 2001 1:46 PM
The closest you will find is the Palo Alto Bike Station, about 50 miles away. I did pretty heavy research into this and this was the closest (and only) I could find. A number of shops do carry monutain bikes.