Santa Cruz Bicycles Selects Paydirt Awardees, Giving Various Grants to MTB Advocates

The Santa Cruz Paydirt program announces grants to promote mountain bike trail building and access around the world. These are the projects that were chosen.

Late last year, Santa Cruz launched the Paydirt program, a way of paying-it-forward to the people who make our trails and sport happen, in a massive way. Santa Cruz pledged to send $1M to mountain bike advocates over the next three years. They listed an application, and quickly started receiving responses. More than they really anticipated, Seb Kemp of Santa Cruz said when we spoke at the beginning of 2020.

At the time, the brand wasn’t sure exactly how the funds would be divided amongst awardees, as they already had numerous quality applicants and Santa Cruz didn’t specify the amount of funding that each awardee received. Today, we know who the first round of awardees are.

North America

HandleBar, Whistler, BC: Paydirt has put 100 beers on tab for local builders who have made trails like Dark Crystal happen.

Whistler Off-road Cycling Association: Paydirt contributed two new Santa Cruz Heckler eMTBs to make it easier for builders to get themselves and their gear into the woods.

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, Quincy, Ca: The SBTS is responsible for putting together iconic races like the Downieville Classic and have their hands deep in advocacy and building around the Sierra Nevadas. Paydirt will help SBTS start their Connected Communities project, linking towns together that have gone through the mining boom and bust, bringing more recreation and connectivity to the area.

Photo: SBTS

NorCal High School Cycling League: Paydirt is donating to the NorCal High School Cycling League, a NICA program based in Northern California that teaches resiliency through mountain biking and aims to make the sport more diverse.

Grow Cycling Foundation: Recently launched, the Grow Cycling Foundation started by Eliot Jackson, wants to bring mountain biking and cycling to areas where they’re typically not found. Paydirt will help by contributing to a pump track in Los Angeles.

Moab Trail Mix: MTM is the local trail building group in Moab. Paydirt will chip in financially, helping MTM build nine miles of new singletrack on the new Raptor Route. The Raptor Route will be an intermediate-level option and alternative to Porcupine Rim.

People for Bikes, Denver, CO: People for Bikes is a broad bicycle advocacy organization that promotes better cycling infrastructure and access.

Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance: Paydirt will donate to CORA, which is working on a skills park in the Mt. Airy area, which will promote better trail and bike access for youth.

Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance: The Alliance promotes land access and trail development in the northwestern North Carolina. Paydirt will chip in to help with the renovation of the Yancey Ridge Trail in the Grandfather District of Pisgah National Forest.


Enduro Jura, France: Enduro Jura has grown as an organization that puts together enduro races in the community and maintains the trails where the races take place. Paydirt will help with ongoing fundraising for Enduro Jura, “especially when it comes to the beer part.”

Chablais Bike Association, France: The CBA is a trail organization in Chablais, France that is working to build a pumptrack at Morzine Town Hall. Paydirt is chipping in to help and their operation.

Ridgeline, northern Italy: Ridgeline is based in northern Italy and is creating a “new playground for mountain bikes in the Garfagnana area.” Paydirt is helping Ridgeline to create a new public access trail network for bike tourism, bringing value to the local economy.

New Zealand

Nelson Mountain Bike Club: Paydirt is helping the Nelson, NZ mountain bike group with funding to construct a new descent in the Maitai Forest that will be one of New Zealand’s longest descents.


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