Mountain Bike Shuttle

First time shuttling with us? Please scroll down for important information before you book.

Catch a comfortable, scenic lift from our Aptos store to the top of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, from which point you can take on the renowned singletrack loops at Soquel Demonstration State Forest before enjoying a beautiful descent through the redwoods back to the shop.

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Shuttle Schedule

Monday through Friday 11am

Saturday and Sunday 9am & 11am

No shuttle service on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Service may be cancelled due to poor weather and trail conditions.

Reservation required. Helmet required. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your departure time.

Cost

  • $25 per person

  • $225 per 10-pack punch card (save $25!)

Epicenter Shuttle requires a minimum of three passengers for the $25 rate to apply. In the event that only two passengers book for a given shuttle, the rate increases to $30 per person; if one person books, the rate is $60. In the event our minimum passenger requirement is not met, you’ll be given the option to cancel or pay the extra amount. We will make every effort to contact you with plenty of notice to discuss the options.

Otherwise, refunds are only issued in the event of shuttle cancellation due to weather and/or trail conditions, etc.

Before You Book Your Shuttle

Make sure the adventure is suitable for the rider

Riders planning to ride the trails at Soquel Demonstration State Forest (Demo) should be fit and possess solid bike handling skills. This is an intermediate to advanced trail system with climbing and technical sections. It’s a big ride even if you’re skipping the singletrack and just riding the fire road back to the shop. You still have to pedal to the top of the descent. Plus, expect to put in some effort even on the downhill.

This adventure takes place in a remote area, with little to no cell reception. Riders must be confident, competent, and able to handle emergency situations.

Riders aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Under 18 must have waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Make sure the bike is suitable for the adventure

XC, trail and all-mountain models are most appropriate for the singletrack trail system. Most riders prefer full suspension. Downhill bikes are not recommended. Hardtail models will suit you just fine for the fire road descent. See “Suggested Routes” to help you determine which type of bike is most suitable for your riding style and abilities.

Your bike should be in excellent working condition — you will be riding in a remote area with minimal cell service; be sure your bike is tuned up. Bikes with coaster brakes are not acceptable, and the smallest bike frame we can accommodate on the trailer is 24”.

No bike? No problem! We rent Trek mountain bikes; learn more here.

Prepare for Your Adventure

Make sure your bike is in tip-top shape

If it’s been a while since your last tune-up, get your bike checked out well in advance of your shuttle date. You want to be certain everything is torqued, aligned and adjusted for this adventure!

Epicenter Cycling offers basic tune-ups as well as more comprehensive overhauls; make an appointment for service at our Aptos shop by calling (831) 662-8100. Learn more about our service packages here.

Not confident your bike is up to the task at hand? Rent a Trek mountain bike from us — learn more and reserve your rental here.

Know your route

See “Suggested Routes” to help you determine an appropriate route for your riding style and ability.

Know what to wear

Conditions at Soquel Demonstration State Forest can fluctuate rapidly, so be prepared. It can be surprisingly cold in the summer, and astonishingly hot in the winter. You can’t go wrong dressing in layers; be sure to have space in your pack for any extras you have to peel off along the way.

Riding apparel to consider: riding shorts & chammy (riding tights for the colder days), jersey, mid-layer and/or arm warmers, rain shell and/or wind breaker, and ear warmers. Plus don’t forget your socks, shoes, gloves and helmet!

Also, don’t forget poison oak protection and/or sunscreen if you need it.

Know what to bring

  • Helmets are REQUIRED. Your driver will not let you board the shuttle without your helmet being accounted for.

  • Hydration pack containing at least one liter of water, plus an extra bottle of water in your frame cage. We can’t stress how important this is. There are no developed water sources in the forest. You will have to carry enough water to sustain you through a big ride. Be aware that you WILL be pedaling for a good part of your ride — at times in exposed areas under a hot sun. You’ll want a hydration pack that offers plenty of space for the extra clothing and nutrition you’ll be carrying.

  • Inclement weather gear (see “Know what to wear” above)

  • Map: paper print out or downloaded map. Remember, you’ll be in a remote area with little to no cell service.

  • Nutrition: energy and electrolyte resources (GU energy chews, ProBar bars, Honey Stinger chews and waffles, etc.), plus a sandwich or other light lunch or snack

  • Protective gear such as knee and elbow pads

  • Multi-tool, tire levers, portable pump, spare tube (even if you run tubeless)

  • First aid kit

  • Your bike of course!

When You Arrive

Plan to arrive 10 - 15 minutes before your departure time. This will give you ample time to purchase anything you may have forgotten, fill your water, and/or use the restroom if needed. Get directions here.

  • If you did not fill out a waiver on-line, please do so in the shop.      

  • Do a safety check: tire pressure, skewers, headset, etc. Pump and multi-tool available.

  • Double check that you have everything (checklist is posted on the passenger side of van). Helmet! Map! Water! (Pro tip: Always make sure your H2O bite valve is LOCKED: you don’t want to arrive at the top with an empty hydration bladder.)

  • Visit our convenience station for any items you may be missing.

  • Use the restroom. After everyone is loaded up and ready to go is not the best time to realize you have to pee. There are no restrooms in the forest; be courteous to others when nature calls out there, and be sure to pack out your TP.

  • After you’ve got everything ready to go, line up with your bike in front of the shop. We encourage you to use the gear “coolers” in the Huckwagon to store your packs. This makes for a more spacious ride.

  • Don’t bring anything with you on the shuttle that you don’t want on your ride. You won’t be able to access the shuttle later to retrieve items.

  • Please leave the bike loading to our crew. We appreciate your willingness to assist loading, but we follow a system that ensures the safety of all the bikes.

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The Drive to the Top

Our comfortable 14-passenger van and Huckwagon trailer will shuttle you and your mountain bike up to our drop-spot at Buzzard’s Lagoon Road. The drive takes about 50 minutes, depending on conditions. You’ll enjoy inspiring scenery including rivers, redwoods, waterfalls and canyons as we wind through picturesque Corralitos and up into the Santa Cruz mountains.

Prone to motion sickness? Let your driver know and be sure to sit close to the front. The road gets especially curvy at the top of the canyon.

Upon arrival at Buzzard’s Lagoon, the driver will unload bikes and gear. Please leave the unloading to the driver, but be ready to take your bike as it’s unloaded.

Before you head out, review your route and refresh yourself on this basic trail etiquette:

  • Do not pedal or push up a downhill trail (see “Suggested Routes” for more information on trail traffic)

  • When you need to pass a rider, do so on the left when safe.

  • On multi-direction service roads and trails, downhill riders must give way to those ascending

  • All bikes must yield to horses and hikers. Stop your bike, and step off to the side. Be nice! Say hi! We want everyone to love mountain bikes. Respect all trail users.

Feel free to ask your driver any last minute questions after he or she has unloaded the bikes. Then, off you go! Have fun !!

Post Ride

We recommend capping off your big day on the bike with a hearty meal and beer at Aptos Street BBQ.

If you were stoked on your experience, the best compliment you can give us is to leave a positive review on Google, Facebook or Peek Pro.

Also, we’d love to see pics from your adventure, so please tag us (#Ride831). You can find us on Facebook here and follow us on Instagram at @rideepicenter.

Thanks for riding with us!