Training for 50MR? Try the Mountain Challenge

Looking for fun ways to put some training miles in before our Rwanda Ride event? Our friends at Enduro Stuff (makers of Okole Stuff, the best chamois cream ever) are hosting a brand NEW race event in the local mountains.  It’s the “Mountain Challenge 2012” and it takes place on March 17 (St Patty’s Day).  Yes, this one is a RACE, not a ride.  And it looks to be super fun!  It will be based at the Blue Jay Campground off Ortega Hwy in the mountains above Lake Elsinore, CA.  The race will go out of Blue Jay up the Main Divide (“The Wall”) down Trabuco Trail then up Holy Jim & back around the Main Divide to Blue Jay (25 mile loop and over 5000 feet of climbing).  There will be prizes for all categories, and lunch is included.  Best of all, a portion of the proceeds will benefit our good friends at the Warriors Society, in support of all the great trail work and advocacy they do on behalf of mountain biking.  More info and registration HERE

Meet Team Rwanda Cyclist Janvier

Janvier2YOU are making a difference when you ride in our event! To drive this point home, we want you to get to know some of the lives YOU are impacting in Rwanda. We plan to feature a Team Rwanda cyclist each month leading up to our event. This month, we’re pleased to introduce you to Janvier Hadi

Janvier Hadi is a new addition to Team Rwanda. In April of 2011 he won the Kigali to Butare Single Speed Race and earned the right to come to Musanze (our training headquarters) to test. He tested quite well, had an excellent pedal stroke and fit the bill for an up and coming cyclist, tall, thin and young. He was 19, our youngest rider on the team. Interestingly, he was mentored by one of our veteran riders, Gasore Hategeka, who was featured in an article in this summer’s New Yorker by Philip Gourevitch, Climbers. They were also roommates.

Janvier was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1991, however, he’s Rwandan. He was most likely born in the DRC as tensions were building leading up to the 1994 genocide and his family had crossed the border fleeing for their safety.

Janvier has only a primary school education but is very smart. He is a quiet young man, but always eager to learn and to try new things. This past week he learned from coach how to test other young riders on the Velotron.

janvierJanvier has shown such incredible promise. He made the top team for Team Rwanda for the 2011 Tour of Rwanda, Team Rwanda Karisimbi, as a rookie and had a very strong showing. Based on Janvier’s performance, he was selected as the third rider to attend the UCI training camp in South Africa in February and March along with his former roommate, Gasore and veteran rider, Nicodem. Sending Janvier to training camp in South Africa is essential to his growth as a rider. It is also very expensive. The fee for camp is $3,250. The plane ticket and insurance add up to another $1,000. This will be Janvier’s first time on a plane and first time outside Rwanda since his birth. He will come back in April transformed.

The week before training camp coach Jonathan Boyer was invited to Janvier’s hometown to see his new house he bought with the winnings from the Tour of Rwanda. He bought the house for his family…a family of seven! Janvier is another young rider giving hope to all the young boys…and girls…in Rwanda, hope that they too can make a difference to their family and even their country through cycling.  (article by Kimberly Moszyk Coats, Team Rwanda Cycling)

Grand Prize Bike Announced

niner rdo

The sweetest carbon full suspension ever?

We’re so excited we can barely contain ourselves. We just landed your 2012 50 Mile Ride Grand Prize Raffle bike.  Introducing the Jet 9 RDO, Niner’s first carbon full suspension frame.

“Quite possibly the sexiest full-suspension mountain bike ever made”. Those are my words (Doug), and you can quote me.
In the words of Niner Bikes themselves: The looks may attract your eye, and the CVA suspension may appeal to your intellectual side, but the design features of the Jet 9 RDO will convince the luxury lover in you to take the plunge.
•    Carbon full suspension from the only 29er only mountain bike company
•    Patented CVA suspension is efficient in every chainring. You won’t find this design on other bikes.
•    100mm of race-ready rear suspension
•    Compatible with 100 – 120mm tapered forks
•    Custom valved Fox Float RP23 with Kashima coating
•    Custom forged suspension linkage and unique Niner suspension hardware
•    Next generation internal cable routing
•    Precise alloy hardware interfaces for brakes and derailleurs

Want to win this carbon beauty? You just need to buy some Grand Prize Raffle Tickets, and then sit back for your number to be called on event day.  Best of all – we’ll wait until you win it before we build it. That way you can pick out the proper frame size (and even the color!) so your RDO fits you like a glove.  We’ll be outfitting this racing machine with full XT components and a sweet Stan’s Arch wheelset with DT Swiss hubs and a Reba fork.  Here’s your chance to win a $6000 bike for just a $20 ticket!

Thank you Niner Bikes, Shimano and Derek Melberg from RideRep Sales Group for making this sweet Grand Prize possible.

New Year’s Special at Two Wheels One Planet

twopLet’s get this new year off to a great start!  We’re pleased to welcome Two Wheels One Planet as our featured event sponsor for the month of January 2012. Kristen Lawrence and her team at Two Wheels One Planet (TWOP) have been proud supporters of our 50 Mile Ride event for the past three years.  TWOP is offering all Rwanda Riders a special discount for the month of January:  10% off all regularly priced bikes! Simply mention “Rwanda Ride” to receive your special discount (valid from Jan 1 thru Jan 31, 2012).

TWOP is one of the area’s longest standing bike shops, serving the cycling community for over 40 years.  With two locations in Orange County (Costa Mesa and Lake Forest), they have you covered for all things cycling.  Says Kristen “We truly love the partnership we have developed with Doug and the Project Rwanda Ride.  We could not think of a better way to give back!  Supporting such a great cause and promoting the cycling lifestyle within our community is a win-win!”  Like our Rwanda Ride team, TWOP shares a passion for two wheels and we all strive to be great advocates for cycling safety and responsibility to each other and our environment.  Kristen and her team hope to see you in person at one of their stores soon!  Meantime, they encourage you to Get Out and Ride Our Planet!  Thank you to our friends at Two Wheels One Planet.

Surf City Cyclery – Dream Bikes & More

surfcityOKSurf City Cyclery is our featured event sponsor for the month of December.  Owner Sean Flynn and his team joined our event last year, and they’re back this year bigger and better than ever.  Surf City is offering all Rwanda Ride participants and friends a special December offer:  20% off all apparel.  Just go to either of their two Orange County locations (Huntington Beach or Costa Mesa), mention “Project Rwanda Discount” and receive 20% off all apparel items (offer good from Dec 1 through Dec 31, 2011).  Now is the time to stock up on your winter riding gear!

Surf City Cyclery was recently featured in Bicycle Retailer magazine.  Their shop delivered the first-of-its-kind limited edition S-Works McLaren Venge “dream bike” to one very special customer.  (Check out the complete story at the end of this article).  But don’t worry, Specialized is making more of these dream bikes – and for the right price, you can own one too.  By the way, Surf City sells a complete line of bikes at all levels and prices – so you can find your dream bike regardless of the size of your dream.

Be sure to visit Surf City Cyclery soon to thank them for their support of 50 Mile Ride – and of course, to shop for those great apparel deals too!

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VengeMcLarenComplete text of S-Works McLaren Venge news release:
Not so long ago, concept bikes were built specifically to push design boundaries and capture the attention and imagination of riders. Many of their ideas and technologies eventually trickled-down years later, but most riders have never had access to these game-changing engineering marvels in their state-of the-art form.

Following the successful launch and victory of the S-Works + McLaren Venge at this year’s Milan San Remo, there was a shift. Riders who realized the performance benefits of the technology built into the bike, and understood the $18,000 price tag, could finally own the most advanced race bikes to ever hit the UCI circuit. Within minutes of Matt Goss’ win, riders rushed to their local Specialized Concept Stores to claim their place in line for the fastest UCI-legal road bike ever made.

As Venge’s season continued, winning the Tour’s Green Jersey and taking Worlds in Copenhagen, demand only increased.

Well, the day has finally come. Surf City Cyclery delivered the first of these exclusive, limited production super-bikes to its first rider this Thursday – only we can’t reveal who it is, because he’s decided that the new bike will be a Christmas gift for a lucky member of his family!

“He’s our best customer,” said Sean Flynn, owner of Huntington Beach’s Surf City Cyclery. “He’s a Specialized devotee, drives a McLaren, and has a great history with our shop. He was literally the first person through our door after the race, asking for one of these bikes. As it turns out, his was the first ordered in the country, too. In this case especially, being a Concept Store, located where we are, certainly has its privileges.”

As the first bike created in what eventually became a formal partnership between Specialized and McLaren Applied Technologies, the S-Works + McLaren Venge has enjoyed undeniably the best rookie season ever for any bike in the pro peloton.

“The Venge is a very special bike – created to integrate a measurable aerodynamic  benefit into a UCI-legal road race platform that offers class-leading stiffness and pedaling efficiency – then McLaren took it to another level!” said Director of USA Marketing Andrew Hammond.

“Specialized has some of the best composite engineers and designers in the cycling industry. The S-Works Venge itself is incredibly impressive. Around the time we finalized the design, the guys at McLaren were looking for a bike project to work on, and they approached us to see if there was something they could add some firepower to. This bike is the result.”

Before Venge, the idea of owning a bike created with the engineering horsepower of McLaren was limited to dreamers, pro athletes and the well-connected. With the S-Works + McLaren Venge, everyday riders are getting ready to receive their McLaren Venge through a local Specialized Concept Store.

Rock N Road – Featured Sponsor

Rock N Road Cyclery is our featured event sponsor for the month of November.  Rock N Road has been a loyal supporter of our event ever since the beginning, and we really appreciate their sponsorship.  They’ve got four locations in Orange County, so there’s bound to be one near you.  If you’re in the neighborhood, check out their original Mission Viejo store – newly remodeled into a premier concept store.  Rock N Road is offering Rwanda Riders a special discount for the month of November – 20% off on any light system. Print the coupon attached and take to any of their stores to redeem before November 30.  Thank you to our friends at Rock N Road!

The Path – Featured Sponsor of the Month

We’re pleased to announce a new benefit available to all past present and future 50 Mile Ride participants.  Each month leading up to our event in April, we’ll feature a different Rwanda Ride sponsor.  Our featured sponsor will serve up a special offer exclusive to Rwanda Ride participants and fans.  Such a deal!  Who says you have to wait until our next event to grab a good deal and support a great cause?

the pathOur first Featured Sponsor is The Path Bike Shop in Tustin. For the entire month of October, Tani and his team are offering a “Rwanda Ride Special – 15% off one item in the shop”.  The rules are simple – you just have to mention the “Rwanda Ride Special” when you check out to get this deal*.  Stop by anytime this month to say hi to our good friends at The Path, and most importantly to SHOP for your good deal.  Thanks for supporting our sponsors!

*This offer cannot be combined with any other offer or club discount.  Limit one purchase per customer.  Discount will be taken off the MSRP.  Complete bikes, frames, and sale items are excluded from this offer.  Good through October 31, 2011.

50MR Team at OTH Series Finale

OTHhorlogo2011-hires smallOur friends at Over the Hump have had a hugely successful race series this year.  Hundreds of racers have participated every week during their twelve week series (yes, OTH is a “race” not a “ride”).  We congratulate Matt Wenger and John Russell and all of their volunteers for hosting what has quickly become an epic OC MTB tradition.

Some of our 50MR team will be attending the series final race on Tuesday August 30.  We’ll be handing out “Save the Date” cards for our 6th annual event (to be held on Saturday April 28, 2012).  We’re also hoping to unload a bunch of 50MR event t-shirts from our attic – at a special price of just $5 each.  Plan to stop by our booth and say HI!

First Grand Prize Sponsor On Board

Stealth PBOHow cool is this?  SPINERGY WHEELS has already signed up to be the first of our Grand Prize Sponsors!  Spinergy will be donating not one but TWO wheelsets for our Grand Prize category raffle.  Roadies will want the Stealth PBO wheelset (value $1200), and the MTB gang will try to win the Xyclone Disc set (value $800).  Thanks to our good friend Randy Matson at Spinergy for helping to make this happen.  We’re off and running!

Want to sponsor our event? Or do you know a company who’d make a great sponsor?  You can help us reach our fundraising goals next year by referring potential sponsors to us.  We’ll answer all their questions, you just need to introduce us.  Thanks for your support!

Save the Date – April 28, 2012

We’re pleased to announce the date for our 6th Annual Rwanda Ride:  Saturday April 28, 2012. Hope you and your friends can join us!  We’ve already got ideas and plans for even more fun, more prizes, more thrills (but hopefully LESS spills).  Mark your calendars now!  Registration for our 2012 event will open on November 1, 2011.