Fun and hard day yesterday in Santa Cruz! We started out ride in Aptos which is pretty much at sea level, then we climbed up hill for about 12 miles through Nisene Marks State Park until we crossed over the top of the Santa Cruz mountains into Demo Forest. We rode down the flow trail which was in the best shape I have ever seen it, and then climbed back to the top of the ridge for our 12 mile descent back to Aptos
Part way down we split up, Ashley headed down the fire road and I continued down the single track. As Ashley was riding down the mountain she came across two mountain lion cubs that were no bigger than a chihuahua, she stopped and watched as they crossed the road and headed up the embankment before she continued on. But soon as she passed by where they were standing Mama cat jump down about 15 feet high from a tree onto the road right next to Ashley. Mama was about chest height to Ashley while standing on all four legs. She was huge. Ashley's first instinct was to ride as fast as she could down the mountain, but the mama cat started to chase her. Eventually the cubs couldn't keep up and mama cat held back to protect them, and Ashley was able to get away.
Ashley and I met back up at the look out bench and stayed together the rest of the way down the mountain
It was a pretty scary moment for Ashley, but she was really happy the cat jumped down on to the road, instead of on top of her attacking her. All together we ended up having a pretty good day on the bike and ended up with 34 miles and 5000 feet of climbing on some pretty rad trails through the redwood forest. Ended up being about an 8 hour ride for us, which is perfect, because we have an 8 hour race coming up next weekend!