Ben Cruz pulled himself up from his bootstraps. The kid who wouldn’t excuse himself from Weir’s garage, wouldn’t stop ankle biting, wouldn’t stop yapping, made it happen. From hand-me-downs he went straight to hauling ass. It’s almost as though he funneled his trouble into speed.
Ben is nonstop on and off the bike. Relentless, full-on, committed, fearless… any of these can be aptly appropriated to the man who broad chests it down the mountain. Any mountain. Ask Ben to recount a course he raced and you’ll invariably hear about a section where, “You have to let your bike do the talking,” and that pretty much describes Ben too – he lets his bike do the talking.
Ben’s talents have been rightfully recognized and 2013 pretty much marked the year Ben marred the European gentleman’s sport of Enduro with sheer American muscle. They seemed dumbfounded by the brash American who wouldn’t step aside off the podium. He couldn’t, top 5 all year. In 2014, Ben battled Lyme’s disease but didn’t let any fans down, he flew down courses. 2015’s open, he’s strong, and it’s hunting season for the Novato native – watch out for Ben Cruz!
Sponsors: Whyte Bikes, Wilderness Trail Bikes, Smith Optics, ONE Industries, 661, RideSFO, Five Ten, CamelBak, White Industries
How long you have been with WTB: I think it was 8 years ago Mark and Jason started dragging me around to races but I have been stealing tires from Weir’s place since I was 12 or so. Thanks Mark.
Age: 25 years young
Hometown: Novato, CA
Favorite place to ride: The hills around where I am from. There is endless loam and turns to explode.
Fun fact: My favorite color is pink.
How WTB contributes to your success? Strong reliable parts are the key to our success. WTB makes products that are tested by us to handle the roughest gnarliest things you can throw at them. When we are laying it all out on the line we shouldn’t be worried about our gear. With WTB there is never a doubt in my mind that I have the right tools for the job.
How you got started out competing? I started racing at 13. I had so much energy and loved riding. My dad would drive me anywhere and everywhere just to let me run amuck on my bike. I was a downhiller until about 18 then Weir got me into climbing and more All Mountain stuff. Riding is my favorite addiction.
First experience with a bike: First memory on my bike is riding my older sister Two Wheeler Huffy on the back lawn of my parents’ house. She kept pushing me and when she let go I ran straight into a rock wall... thanks sis!
Who do you look up to? All the US soldiers overseas that fight day in and day out so I can live a free life of an American bike riding gypsy. Without them this life could never be possible. Thanks guys.
Other activities (off the bike): Fishing, Hunting, Hiking, RC crawling, Chopping wood, 4 Wheeling, and counting how many times Moeschler can chew his oats.
Beverage of Choice: Those tasty beverages that I keep the cooler on my side yard stocked with at all times. Nothing like a frothy beverage after a good ride.
Place you have always wanted to ride: That’s a hard one. There is nowhere specific that I’ve always wanted. The path less traveled, the turns freshly cut, and the peaks that have never been summited before.
Instagram handle: bencruz_ridelife
Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/ben.cruziii?ref=hl