Trailblazers: The Creative Story Behind Mountain Biking in Santa Cruz

Explore how the Santa Cruz County mountain biking community blazed the trail for creativity and innovation.

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February 7, 2020 - October 4, 2020

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Second Floor Solari Gallery

From the dense redwood forests of Flow Trail to the rugged coastline of Wilder Ranch, mountain biking in Santa Cruz County has blazed the trail for community, creativity, and collaboration.

Come learn about the history and development of this popular Santa Cruz County sport in an exhibition co-created with local frame builders, artists and mountain bike enthusiasts like the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

Inside, check out prewar Schwinn cruisers to full suspension down-hill speed machines. Then dive into the history of off-road cycling and the importance of public lands. Learn how the desire to explore our local landscapes alongside friends turned into the trail stewardship and internationally recognized brands we know today. Uncover the lifecycle of a trail and learn how expansive trail networks are built and maintained.

Throughout the exhibition, participate in a variety of collaborative programs from trail building days and group rides to behind-the-scenes workshops.

Virtually Visit Trailblazers

Despite our doors being closed, you can still browse the bikes of Trailblazers thanks to Aptos based company, Capture My Space, and their 3D modeling!

Featured Artists

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Jeremiah Kille: Meet Me at the Tanks

Do these shapes look familiar? If you’ve spent time on the trails up near UC Santa Cruz you might recognize these four cylinders. Located in the heart of the campus trail system, a collection of storage tanks have become an iconic spot for painters and graffiti artists over the years. These bold colors stand out against the greenwash of the forest and make for an ideal spot to stop for a snack or photo op. From group ride meetups to photo ops, the painted tanks are an iconic part of Santa Cruz County mountain bike culture.

This is a scale reproduction of local artist, Jeremiah Kille's original mural from 2018. A Santa Cruz County local, Jeremiah began his career building custom surfboards. You can follow his ride out to the tanks in this video documenting the process. And if you make the trip up to campus you might even see traces of the original

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz & the Trail Vision Awards

Most of our iconic trails wouldn’t be here without the support of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC). Founded in 1997, MBOSC is a community working together to support sustainable mountain biking throughout our county. Their members and volunteers work to support, preserve, and expand trail access through a variety of events and programs.

The Trail Vision Awards were created by MBOSC to showcase the talent and creativity in our community while celebrating local trails. Last year’s awards show debuted at the Rio Theatre to a packed house of trail enthusiasts from across the county. Keep an eye out for the call for entries this summer for a chance to share your trail experience.

Events, Interviews, & More

This exhibition is proudly sponsored by:

In the Press

"On a sunny day, it's hard to imagine why you wouldn't be out on one of those trails, but at some point, you're going to be downtown for an ice cream or a sandwich, and that's when this gallery at MAH beckons you inside to reflect and appreciate the "trailblazers" who came before you."

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"With a collection of early designs from the Marin Museum of Mountain Biking, visitors can get up close to these bikes and learn about the innovative development of the sport. Among the 25 bikes on display, the exhibition features hand-made frames from the 1970s and 1980s as well as new designs."

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