Second annual cross country race and festival hits all the right notes above the Monterey Bay

By Emma Ussat

Photo: Jeff Vander Stucken

Blue skies and mild temps set the scene for the second annual Santa Cruz Old Cabin Classic, presented by Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) at Wilder Ranch State Park on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

The day kicked off bright and early with the first racers hitting the course starting at 8am. The course was harder this year, as relentless rains took their toll on our local trails. Brave souls who raced the vintage class were rattled and bounced about on their pre-1993 bikes. Despite the added challenge on the course the overall vibe remained positive and the feelings of camaraderie pervaded.

Photo: Hans Van Housen

Photo: Christine West

The neutral feed zone was lit, thanks to the efforts of Cycledelicats and Spokesman Bicycles who served up bacon, PB&Js, and kept the vibe fun.

Photo: Mike Thomas

The experts and pros started their three-lap journey in the afternoon, with local pro cyclocross racer Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz Factory Racing) finishing 1st in pro men with a time of 2:21 – a 16-minute gap between himself and second place. Caitlin Bernstein of Vive la Tarte, hailing from San Francisco, finished in 3:03, taking the win in the women’s pro race.

Photo: Mike Thomas

Photo: Mike Thomas

Scott Chapin (Santa Cruz Bicycles Factory Racing) won pro singlespeed with a time of 2:44, and won hearts all around by taking the mic to thank MBOSC for the organization’s hard work, and offering congratulations on another successful event. Chapin then went on to donate his podium purse to MBOSC (a donation matched by his employer Santa Cruz Bicycles) … which prompted his podium-mates – 2nd placer Cesar Chavez (Ibis/Buycell) and 3rd placer Brent Wood (Ibis Buycell) – to donate their winnings as well.

The California Enduro Series – which counts among its founders former MBOSC board members Steve Gemelos, Megan Gemelos, and Michele Charboneau – hopped aboard the timing train and nailed it with their new timing system. Full race results can be viewed here.

Photo: Mike Thomas

The action didn’t stop at the finish line. The expo area was jammed pack with local artists, food vendors, and a great group of local industry and businesses. The event could not have happened without the support of title sponsor FOX; platinum sponsors Ibis Cycles, Santa Cruz Bicycles, and Velocity Bike Parks; gold sponsors Spokesman Bicycles, Rock Lobster, Verve Coffee Roasters, and New Bohemia Brewing; silver sponsors Another Bike Shop, Bicycle Trip, California Enduro Series, CLIF Bar, Current eBikes, Cycledelicats, Family Cycling Center, MORCA, Sandbar Solar, Trips for Kids; and a myriad of other supporters as well. Racers and festival-goes enjoyed milling around the sponsor booths, enjoying the day.

Pros in spandex weren’t the only ones showing their skills; the Kids Rodeo by MORCA and Trips for Kids was packed all day with younguns ripping around and practicing their cornering techniques.

Juan Navarro of San Jose was the lucky winner of the event’s 2017 Old Cabin Classic custom Rock Lobster Cycles Raffle. Navarro raced the Old Cabin Classic on a borrowed bike and was plagued by dropped chains and a seatpost malfunction – seems fitting that he will now be the proud owner of a brand new custom Rock Lobster race bike. He is thinking singlespeed …

Photo: Dave Robinson

The Ride Guides set up a water station so that everyone could stay hydrated – without plastic bottles.

Photo: Carter Allen

Sandbar Solar helped keep the event environmentally friendly by bringing out their solar truck and powering the stage.

Photo: David Smith

Bike Santa Cruz County was also on board to offer bike valet, and quickly filled up all their racks. It is always inspiring to see so many people bike to an event. Sauceyz, Tacos El Chuy, and Cycleworks Santa Cruz all stepped up to the plate to feed 400 hungry racers and even more festival-goers, while New Bohemia Brewing poured delicious beer including their famous Old Cabin Classic IPA. Strawfoot Handmade, Hunter Cycles, Eastside Industries, and Patagonia Santa Cruz delivered the goods for a sweet prize selection at the podium.

Photo: Mike Thomas

Jesse Daniels sang sweet melodies to end the day on a high note.

Photo: Bruce Dorman

Photo: Mike Thomas

Photo: Jeff Vander Stucken

MBOSC raised over $10,000 for new singletrack in Wilder Ranch State Park and an additional $4,000 for Wilder Ranch operations. This event has further cemented the collaborative partnership between Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and California State Parks. This collaboration is leading to more trail maintenance and new singletrack in Santa Cruz parks.

Learn more about MBOSC at