MBOSC Ladies Dig Day

March 22 — 2019 | Santa Cruz, CA

Maintaining Trails on a Rainy Santa Cruz Day


Words by: Amanda Schaper

Photos by: Campbell Steers & Amanda Schaper


Us Californians have a reputation for how we react when it rains. A few water droplets falling from the sky means we suddenly forget how to drive. We panic. We hunker down at home. We call in sick. We just don’t know what to do with ourselves! That is, unless we’re a crew of rad ladies and the local trails need our help. Then we just take that rainy day and face it with shovels in hand!

The second annual Ladies Dig Day, hosted by Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) and Juliana, was a rainy day indeed. In fact, it feels like it’s been raining steady in Santa Cruz for the last few months, and our trails have taken a beating from it. That’s why the MBOSC Dig Days are so important. MBOSC is a non-profit trail stewardship organization, and Dig Days are our volunteer trail work events, where a bunch of people get together to help maintain our local trails. This maintenance is what helps keep our trails sustainable, which is especially important after rainy winters. For the last couple of years, Juliana has sponsored the Ladies Dig Dig, which is a special trail work day just for the gals.

Over 70 women attended the inaugural Ladies Dig Day in 2018, which was incredible, and we had about that many signed-up again this year. As the Dig Day approached, we saw heavy rain was predicted, and we were a bit worried that a lot of people might not show. However, on the morning of March 9, we were thrilled that over 50 volunteers showed-up in their rain gear for a wet day of digging. Turns out us Californians have figured out how to just put on our jackets and carry-on with life when it rains.

We spent the day in Pogonip working on Emma McCrary Trail (EMT), which is one of the most popular trails in this area. MBOSC partnered with the City of Santa Cruz to design and build EMT in 2012, so it was especially fun to work on a trail that’s such an important part of the organization’s local influence.

One of our big tasks at the Ladies Dig Day was to clear drains, which was so rewarding in the rain! It was easy to see where drains were clogged because large puddles were forming on the trail. As we raked and shoveled away debris clogging the drains, those puddles would immediately flow off the trail, proving that proper drainage was restored. Water management is one of the most important factors of trail sustainability. By ensuring that water flows off the trail, you reduce erosion and rut formation while avoiding mud bogs, which can lead to trail widening.

All MBOSC Dig Days end with a post-work celebration, and when Juliana gets involved, that celebration is extra special! Juliana brought cocktails from Factory Racing Team sponsor Venus Spirits, so the whole crew got to enjoy tasty drinks while swapping stories from a fun day on the trail. Trailwork is always a good time, but trail work in the pouring rain is an unforgettable adventure, especially for us Californians!

Thanks to all the awesome women who joined us for the 2nd annual Ladies Dig Day. If you’re inspired by the work MBOSC is doing, please consider donating or becoming a member. We’re working hard to improve trail access in the Santa Cruz area, and your support helps us build new trails for everybody to enjoy. We look forward to the 3rd annual Ladies Dig Day in 2020!


Juliana Bicycles Image
Amanda Schaper

Previous Next Post Links