Trent went to Puerto Rico with Woody on a surf/ bike trip a few months prior to the initial birth of this whole thing, and without that it may or may not have happened. Several months later Meryl mentioned wanting to check out Puerto Rico, for a vacation/ 30th birthday celebration. In conversation at Highlands I told Trent, and his eyes immediately lit up.
There were 4 things I took from the brief conversation at the Highland Mountain Bike bar while this came up; there is good riding, there is this awesome “fake?” beer, this guy named Al Capitan that you had to meet, and that he would 100% come with us if we went.
So the conversation became an idea, the idea became a reality, and before you know it 8 of us were on a plane flying to Puerto Rico, to stay in a small surf village names Rincon.
We arrived at the house at around 6:30am, and immediately went to sleep. Just kidding, we started building our bikes, ate some food, and went to a local spot Trent knew from his last trip called “Domes”, which is also a pretty well known surfing location. We took a few shuttle laps to shake off the jet lag, and went back to base camp to relax.
The following day we drove a couple hours towards the capital to Salinas, more specifically the Salinas Gravity Park which is located on a Olympic Training grounds center, which now resembles more of a “park” where you can participate in numerous activities. It costs about $1.00 to get in, then you ask if the gate to the top is open, and the fun begins.
A 7 or 8 minute drive up a steep coarse paved road with the occasional wash out brings you to the top, it’s an access point for cell phone towers, or something. The entire ridge-line is exposed, something us New Englander’s don’t really see unless we are up over 4,000+ feet. Getting to the top and getting out of the van the first thing I said in a joking tone was “I wish we had a drone” (more on that later). The trails here exceeded our expectations and instantly became the inspiration behind Mutt Society. How could this be so close to home (5 hour flight) and we have never heard of it? How are we the only people riding here right now? Who the heck made all these trails? The questions kept coming but not much thought at the time was put into it as we were to busy taking as many shuttle runs as we possible could. After 5 or 6 laps we started getting pretty blown out, and we were at the bottom of one of the main trails having a “fake” beer, when another crew rolled up.
Fake Beer, Good Beer
Turns out this group of 5 or 6 guys were some of the core builders (volunteers) of the Salinas Mountain Bike Park. Many of our questions were answered, and we instantly were even more engaged and passionate about this place due to their dedication, hard work, and pride they took in the park. They were certainly happy to see we were riding there, and the vibes were good. We thanked them for their contributions to the sport and took a couple more runs, then started the trip back to Rincon.
The stoke was high, and the joking about the drone got mentioned a few more times between a few of us. The fact that the riding was so awesome, gave us a drive to want to capture it, expose and share it.
The drive and passion continued throughout the night. Dinner, drinks, exploring the town, the discussion of making a video and wanting to capture the riding started to become more productive, more serious, and more real. The next morning I woke up to Trent on his laptop eating burnt toast and peanut butter.