If staying competitive within the bike industry didn’t seem like a tall enough task, Santa Cruz Bicycles says that over the next three years they will put $1 million toward trail development projects, local and national advocacy organizations, events, and programs with a mission of creating and strengthening mountain bike trail access.
Santa Cruz calls the mission PayDirt and “wants to support activities that benefit riders and their local communities. And, we want to inspire others to do the same.”
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Santa Cruz is looking to support grassroots organizations who do the silent work of advocacy to build and maintain trails that all mountain bikers can enjoy.
With that, any group with an idea or mission to increase access or improve the mountain bike experience can apply to the PayDirt fund, starting today.
A history of MTB philanthropy
Santa Cruz knows that trail access doesn’t come easy. Even though the brand’s hometown has roots in the early history of mountain biking, it’s currently far from being a mecca of mountain bike trails. According to the brand, only 40 out of 220 miles of sanctioned trails in the area are open for mountain bikes.
As a company, Santa Cruz encourages responsibility for local trails through their workers, and they say that every employee is also a member of the local trail organization Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC).
The brand has also been long-time supporters of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, the sustainable trails organization based around the Sierra Nevada mountains. Santa Cruz has supplied SBTS with bikes for the annual $5 Per Foot campaign, which has raised over $400,000 since its start.
Santa Cruz also jumped in locally when a piece of open space along the California coast looked like it would become accessible to the public, as part of the San Vicente Redwoods trails project. The company fundraised for the property’s recreational trail plan, leading a collaboration between other local industry partners. After raising enough money to get through the project planning stage, Santa Cruz added another $500,000 to the project. The project is expected to start soon and will add 38-miles of new multi-use trails in the area.
Making it purposeful
Santa Cruz wants to make sure that the PayDirt fund will lead to better access for mountain biking, no matter how it’s put into place. “Who knows, we’re open to ideas.”
Santa Cruz will consider any project that increases access for mountain bikes, including building trail, supporting local trail and mountain bike organizations with their advocacy efforts, trail builders, and organizations with a focus on getting more people on bikes.
For more information and to apply, visit the Santa Cruz website and learn about PayDirt here.