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Santa Barbara: Greatest Hits - Episode 1

Jun 22, 2016
by Satchel Cronk  
Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

There are few places quite like Santa Barbara; nestled between the rugged Santa Ynez Mountains and the vast Pacific Ocean. Going into the last few months of our four years of school at UCSB, my buddies and I decided we wanted to showcase some of our favorites among the wide variety of riding options that we enjoyed.

In this first episode, Jimmy Lucchesi rides some of the remote backcountry trails that Santa Barbara has to offer. The backcountry holds the hidden singletrack gems of the area; driving over the hill to the trailhead is rewarded with solitude, natural singletrack, untouched beauty, and long descents.

Views: 5,364    Faves: 31    Comments: 5


We spent several days out shooting and making the most of some of our last rides on these trails. The first section was shot on Tequipas trail, which starts on the backside of the Santa Ynez Mountains and climbs all the way up to a spectacular panoramic viewpoint of the backcountry, town, and the ocean.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.
Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.
Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

The second section of the video is Santa Cruz Trail, the downhill portion of the classic and epic Little Pine loop. A long fire road climb is rewarded with an incredible overlook and then some six miles of flowing singletrack back down the mountain.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.
Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Images for Santa Barbara Greatest Hits Episode 1 with Jimmy Lucchesi.

Jimmy probably spent as much time on these trails as in class, so a sunrise in the mountains seemed like an appropriate situation to take graduation photos.


Next weeks' Episode 2 will feature Nelson Monge getting wild in the frontcountry, and all three of us sending it to the beach before graduation.

The classroom education was meaningful and greatly appreciated as we look towards the future, but mountain biking gave us the friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for reading, and to everyone in Santa Barbara that made it such a killer time.

Words, photos, and video by Satchel Cronk. @satchscratch

Posted In:
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36 Comments

  • 19 0
 There is absolutely no reason to shame these guys about "sharing" local trails. There isn't a strava/trail forks map accompanying this article and the don't show the trailhead. Even if there was a map, who are you to say it's wrong to show other people how to get to beautiful trails in your area? I'm moving down to Santa Barbara this fall to start graduate school and seeing this not only brightened my day because of the great mountain bike cinematography, but also because it gave me so much to look forward to these next few years! Cheers guys!
  • 5 1
 I was thinking the same thing, and how many people are actually going to flood the those trails?!?! They are not easily accessible and are big rides. I've ridden them a few times, and you rarely see more than a handful of others out there.
  • 3 3
 The difference in this case is there has been major biker/hiker conflicts in this area...granted not as much on the backcountry trails featured here but 10years ago mnt bikes were on the verge of being banned mostly due to out of towners running shuttles on the frontside trails and having little to no regard for any hikers..nowadays it isn't as bad as most people ride trail bikes and the 3000ft climbs keep the crowds in check...as a life long local I'd rather not see trail names on pinkbike or trailforks but if someone wants to come ride here they can find the trails either way...that said it was an awesome video and pics and jimmy is a cool dude..
  • 7 2
 Respect - mountain biking is all about escaping and having fun, and most importantly having a beer with your bros post-ride.
I don't give a shit if a bus-load of people gets dropped off at our local trail head - as long as they respect the trail and other trail users. Yes, we have had problems on our front country and yes it was mostly due to people being kooks on the trail.
Stoked to see more people riding our trails respectfully - don't forget your bell????????
  • 2 1
 Both of these trails are recognized by the Los Padres National Forest as official trails, and there is no prohibition on mountain bikes as they are outside of wilderness areas. Bike bells are always appreciated by the hikers, so please bell up for the descents.
  • 4 0
 Go Gauchos! Class of 2008 right here, way to showcase the trails in our amazing mountains. I remember hitting dirt jumps, canyon gaps and cliff drops in Elwood. Bombing and shuttling down Naps Castle. And surviving/anailating Tunnel. Thanks for the nostalgia and congrats on graduating. With all the distractions in I.V. - the Parties, the ocean, the chicas and the trails - I've always said, "if you can focus and graduate from UCSB, you can be successful and thrive anywhere"!
  • 3 0
 haha i went to elwood elementary school
  • 8 0
 Thanks Satchel! My gf says you're very good at making me look kinda pretty
  • 4 0
 Jimmy, come to SC and let's ride dogggg.
  • 6 0
 I didn't see any mention of bell boxes.If you are planning on riding in SB pick up a bell for your bike from LBS. It has saved me from more than few rider-hiker conflicts.
  • 5 0
 Love it! I graduated from UCSB waaaaaayyyyy back in 98 and to this day think about that Santa Cruz singletrack down Little Pine all the time.
  • 1 0
 Hands down favorite loop in SB, the singletrack feels emdless. You could probably go find some of my sweat puddles on that climb Smile
  • 1 0
 What's up Jeremy? Its Noah
  • 1 0
 @zark: Holy crap! UCSB mid 90's reunion on PinkBike!
  • 3 0
 I ride in a land not too far from SB. We have a great community of mountain bikers around here and it drives me crazy that people get all silent about "their" trails. I understand the idea of keeping spots secret and unpopulated. I also don't appreciate the hatred we seem to get from hikers that are benefiting from the trails that we build. I rock the bell all of the time, and it kills me to get glared at by some hiker with earbuds in who is startled by my slow approach. We are out there to appreciate our natural environment. Ditch the phone/iPod and take in the surroundings. And don't frown at me when I gently pass by with nod and a smile! /rant
  • 5 0
 Epic! Looks like you guys put some serious time into making this come together. Hats off to you!
  • 4 2
 On one hand I’m thinking, ‘why would you tell everyone where these ‘gems’ are?’ and on the other, I’ve been wondering about the trails over there for a while now. So thanks!
  • 5 2
 i get that youre joking here, but i hate it when people get protective of trails. if we all kept our trails hidden, they would be gone in a generation, and we'd never get to ride anything new. everyone should share and allow others to ride these gems.
  • 3 0
 I live "over there" so hit me up lets go ride!
  • 2 0
 You could have found this stuff using google earth, strava, trail forks, million different ways.
  • 2 1
 @lyophilization: I was joking, yes. However, it’s a reality in my area that trail popularity attracts jackalopes that piss off hikers not to mention trash the trails. These aren’t the kind of riders that show up for trail days either.
  • 1 0
 @elusivedesertfox: For sure! Thanks.
  • 2 0
 @mxben13: I have. Checked out lots ride reports, sites, ets. I’m just saying this video confirmed what I’ve hoped.
  • 2 0
 Word of caution...there is zero water in the backcountry this time of year. Ride early, bring a camelbak and know where you are going. Whatever the weather report says for SB, add 10-20 degrees for over the hill.
  • 5 0
 "Take a piss"
  • 3 1
 If they ended their day at Freebirds that looks like it would have been a pretty fantastic day!
  • 1 0
 If you like hanging out in Isla Vista with teenie-bobbers
  • 4 0
 Holy hell I miss SB.
  • 1 0
 Great video!! Both those trails are amazing. Its fun to see them properly shredded.
  • 3 3
 If I check into this thread when I'm down there will someone guide me to these trails? I'll do the same in Seattle. Thanks in advance.
  • 1 1
 Trailforks!
  • 1 0
 I will absolutely trade you some trail guidance!
  • 4 2
 shhhhhhh
  • 1 0
 Always fun seeing Jimmy & Satchel work together. Nice job again guys!
  • 1 0
 And those yucca spines are like poison tipped spears!
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