Santa Cruz Hell Ride 5 2008: Pictures, Stories



I leisurely rode a few trails in the area as any tourist would. I rode up and down the Lavezolla creek area which was very pretty. Apparenty some trees escaped the miners’ axes. There were trees with 8-foot thick trunks that had to be old growth and a larger species that resembled Sequoias (?).Turns out that this was part of the return leg of lap 1. It was impossible to capture the big trees in pictures as they were huge shadows behind a screen of smaller trees (which are themselves too tall to capture).


Hellride Day 2 & Summary

I have to thank the Santa Cruz and Yuba Expedition people for the work and enthusiasm put into the event. It’s clear they love what they’re doing and love mountain biking. It wouldn’t be the same if it were done by corporate drones.The women were housed in the Carriage House. The men had a house and deck on the river directly opposite the diving hole (bike ramp jump).Everyone one was super nice. Mark Weir was congratulatory both in the pre-ride games and the post-ride events. He was encouraging too as he passed me. I never heard any trash talk from anyone including the competitors. Everyone settled into the mode of do what you can and have a good time doing it.I didn’t win but I got a lot of riding in. The night before Santa Cruz took us to dinner at the steakhouse. The waitress served food in shifts, I was in the last group and she happened to lose our order. I finally got some fatty roast beef that was advertised as tri-tip (NOT). Finished at 10:30PM. It would have an effect the next day.We started at 7AM. I had to make some pit stops in the bushes. Anyway I got near the top of the first loop (7089′) and the Santa Cruz guys on motos said it was time to turn around. Further on the extreme hike-a-bike would cost too much time for everyone (me and the moto sweeps). I could ride the second loop if I wanted. I did the initial climb (loop2) and finished with ~10,000′ climbing. SC said that last year the entire course was ridable, this year they designed in a lot of un-ridable.Coming down I met up with “bacon” Butcher. She was monitoring herself with an HRM to keep her pulse down. Previous to the race she found she was pregnant so had already told SC that she wouldn’t finish. She is a very skilled rider. In the warmups of day 1 she was giving lessons on wheelies, nose wheelies, wheelie hops, etc.

Erin and Kurt won their Nomads. At night there was a party (with drinking – shock!!) and karaoke. The race contestants did karaoke, the prize based upon audience cheering was a hard tail frame. I can’t sing and I hope SC erases the video. Kelly and Aaron tied so SC gave each one a frame, choice of Chameleon or some dirt jumper.

The day before we had some contests for bonus time credits. I won the tire changing contest (switch tubes front to rear on a ride ready nomad – 30 psi) and the time underwater in the river contest. They told me to take a victory lap around the other contestants who were still struggling with their bikes. In the river I was not feeling stress at all but they signaled it was over. The others quit so early it was shocking. After that I felt my chances of winning were much better – ha ha. The other contests were time on a tightrope (fractions of seconds), slingshot at beer cans (I lost in sudden death shootoff ), and riding their double jointed bike around obstacles.

Santa Cruz Bicycles took a lot of videos and pictures of the Hellride.

Check their website. (

Forrest Arakawa’s Images: Page 1 | Page 2
What is Hell Ride?
Doug Kubler’s – Hell Ride Participant – Images and Story: Pre-View/Day 1 | Nomad Part 1 | Nomad Part 2 | Pre-Ride/Summary

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