New Santa Cruz Syndicate member, Greg Minnaar, had a chance to check out his new digs with a trip to Santa Cruz in February. Being welcomed to the

Syndicate Œfamily¹, he was made to feel right at home (and informed that once you join the Œfamily¹, you never leave....).

Greg arrived into Santa Cruz fresh off a holiday ocean cruise, and with a bit of a rough adjustment to the wintry weather, the tanned South African got his first

chance to ride a Santa Cruz with Jamie Goldman.


day¹s end, somehow Goldman ended up with a cup of hot chocolate as Greg washed Jamie¹s bikeŠ. After a busy first day, with a proper Mexican meal filling his stomach, the jet-lagged Greg got some sleep for the next day¹s activities.

Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

Visiting the Santa Cruz factory, Greg was impressed.

³I didn¹t really expect such a big operation. It was great to see such happy people working there being involved in making quality bikes. It was a happy vibe,² said Greg. At the factory, Syndicate wrench Doug Hatfield, had Greg¹s new V-10 and Blur LT pimping. Greg was very pleased with his new steeds and says this about the V-10, ³It¹s great, very responsive in the corners, it feels brilliant, and has a wicked paint job!²

After checking out the bikes, Greg had to get his ŒBlue Steel¹ on as he was primped for hours of photo shoots for ads and catalog shots. Barely revived with a sushi dinner, Greg conked out on the studio floor at day¹s end. ³Things were pretty much as I expected for my visit, but I just didn¹t think I¹d be doing as many photo shoots with Forrest!² said Greg.

After a few days of photo shoots and video interviews Greg got a chance to go for a cross country ride. It was one of the first rides that he has done since his shoulder surgery in November. He was very cautious and tentative, but said it felt great to get out on the bike. Greg also got to the local gym to do some workouts and shoulder re-hab and was enjoying his time.

The weekend was spent with a trip into the city of San Francisco with his new family (Santa Cruz Bicycles owner Rob Roskopp and wife Lepa, and Syndicate manager Kathy Sessler), and the group stayed at Lepa¹s family home with her aunt and uncle. Now the term Syndicate Œfamily¹ was starting to make sense.... and there didn¹t look like anyway out! Greg was a great sport and the group enjoyed a wonderful meal at a Cuban restaurant after a shopping trip in the city.

After a relaxing Sunday filled with backyard bocce ball, basketball, Jacuzzi and a BBQ, it was back to

work on Monday with more photos shoots. Fortunately

there was enough time to go for another cross country ride with his new boss. Soon it was time to pack up and head back to the sunny climate of South Africa, and being bumped up to business class on the way made a perfect end to a wonderful introductory week to the Syndicate. Greg says, ³The best part of this trip was getting to know Rob, Doug and Kathy better, and the sushi dinner!

I¹m looking forward to a good season with wonderful support from the Syndicate, and it will be nice to have such a big range of quality bikes in my garage!²

Thanks to the Syndicate sponsors:

Santa Cruz Bicycles


Rock Shox




DT Swiss



Lizard Skins

Clif Bar

Troy Lee Designs

Chris King

Five Ten

Kathy Sessler

Santa Cruz Syndicate

Team Manager