Business Feature: Ride the Redwoods

August 29, 2023

Living in Santa Cruz, two things are true: you know someone who surfs and you know someone who rides. While surfing may be quintessentially Santa Cruz, Mountain Biking is right up there but perhaps a little less visible. We're lucky to have accessibility for both the ocean and the mountains, and equally as lucky to have businesses like Ride the Redwoods that allows that access to be capitalized on through expert instruction and terrain knowledge.

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We sat down with Darrin Geahry, owner of Ride the Redwoods, to learn a little bit more about his mountain bike instruction and touring business, why he loves Santa Cruz, and how he got his company started.

Choose Santa Cruz: How did you land in Santa Cruz and what made you decide to start Ride the Redwoods?

Darrin Geahry: I originally moved to the border of Monterey and Pacific Grove from Arizona over 13 years ago to be near Laguna Seca when I was naively pursuing a career as an auto racing driver. Back then I would spend most of my free time driving up to Santa Cruz to explore and soak in the beautiful sunny weather and I just ended up falling in love with the place!

CSC: Did you know your other team members previously or had you met them through the mountain bike community in Santa Cruz?

DG: Well... one of our team members, Mike, is my brother... so that was an easy one, haha! We've both been avid outdoor adventure enthusiasts since we were kids and love exploring the wild spaces of wherever we go. I got into mountain biking first when I was living in AZ and introduced it to him shortly after and we've been obsessed with it ever since! The rest of our team has been met from being involved in the mountain bike and cycling community.

CSC: What does a typical day look like for you?

DG: Being a small business owner, there really is no typical day. Every day seems like a new adventure or experience! Which honestly can be both challenging and exciting at the same time. With that being said, most mornings involve some type of early office work returning emails and phone calls, touching base with local business partners, and securing bookings for guides or clinics by reaching out to clients etc. Then by about 9-10am I'm usually getting out to lead a guided ride or coach a private lesson during the peak sunny hours of the day before wrapping it up in the evening and closing up for personal family time.

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CSC: What makes Santa Cruz such a rich environment for mountain biking compared to other MTB hubs?

DG: To be honest, there's a lot about Santa Cruz that makes it an ideal place to be a mountain biker. But a few standouts would be the amazing Mediterranean-mild climate that allows nearly year-round riding, the ease of access to great trails within beautiful towering redwoods straight from downtown, and the exceptional mountain bike community and cycling industry all right here!

CSC: Any personal favorite rides/trails/parks in Santa Cruz?

DG: That's a tough question since I love so many of our local trails and riding spots around Santa Cruz, but a standout for me would be the Soquel Demonstration State Forest aka "Demo" and the world-class Demo Flow trail there. It's a spectacular ribbon of flowing, swooping and fast smooth singletrack in a ruggedly beautiful and scenic area of the Santa Cruz mountains wilderness. It's akin to riding a roller coaster in the woods and its truly pure bliss!

CSC: What do you find to be the most magical part of mountain biking?

DG: To me, the most magical aspect of mountain biking is the escape from the all-too-common monotony of daily modern life, with its ability to provide both a moment of Zen and peace, and a source of adrenaline and heart pumping excitement all in one ride! I haven't found anything else that even comes close to doing that for me.

CSC: If someone is looking to get into mountain biking, where should they start?

DG: Shameless plug, they should reach out to us... haha! Other than that, getting involved with a local trail organization and groups if they have them in their area is a great way to get plugged into the community and meet other mountain bikers, while getting a feel for riding areas and the lifestyle.

CSC: In a nutshell, Ride the Redwoods is both a mountain bike instruction and touring company. What do you find yourselves doing the most of?

DG: Thankfully our business is split pretty evenly between leading guided mountain bike rides and teaching private lessons. But it does vary throughout the year with the the summer season tending to lean more towards guided rides with the summer influx of tourists and travelers.

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CSC: For your tours, do participants need to have their own bikes or do you partner with any local shops for rentals?

DG: Riders can certainly bring their own bikes and equipment, which is common. But for riders travelling without their personal steads, we do partner with several local bike shops for their rental needs and can get those all set up and booked for them as part of our service.

CSC: Can participants join a ride solo, or do they need to have a group? How many people are typically on a ride?

DG: At the moment we solely offer private guided rides, and they vary from single riders to many! Most typical rides are 1-5 riders.

CSC: Are the rides pre-planned or can people pick where they want to ride?

DG: We do have some go-to routes that are really popular, but we cater our rides specifically to each rider/group based on their personal trail style preferences, length of ride and difficulty level.

CSC: What has been one of your favorite trips so far?

DG: My favorite trip so far was a package that we put together for a prominent Fortune 500 company owner/CEO and his family. They essentially booked us to be their personal "mountain bike concierge" and plan several rides for them over the course of their week-long stay in Santa Cruz to ride whenever the want. That was a very fun and interesting experience to say the least!

Ready to hit the trails? Head over to to book your tour!

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