Three Times the Fun

whitingWe’re making history with our 5th Annual Rwanda Ride. We’ll be the first major cycling event that takes riders through 3 (count ’em) three OC Parks.  You already know and love our route through O’Neill and Caspers Parks.  Now, we’ve added a mini-tour of Whiting Ranch Park into our event!

All of our local riders know about the rain damage to Arroyo Trabuco Trail, which is expected to be closed for several more weeks.  Bummer because that was the only way back to O’Neill and the finish of our event.  We would also lose about 9-10 miles of our ride.  But I love it when a challenge becomes an opportunity for something even better.  In our effort to find additional trail miles, we contacted Whiting Ranch.  Turns out they are thrilled about adding their popular park into our event route.  How cool is that?  We’ll still start and finish at Cooks Corner.  But now all our riders (both 50 and 25 milers) will head to Whiting for some fun new trails.  We’ll get our needed mileage in, and a bit more climbing too just for fun, before we return back to the Aliso Creek bike tunnel and on to our “normal” climb into O’Neill Park.  We hosted a training ride today through our new 25 mile route, and everyone thought this year’s route is our best ever!

Rwanda Ride Re-route

arroyotrabuco1For those who wanted a little variety in our Rwanda Ride route, we have good news for you!

The Arroyo Trabuco Trail (the one that follows the creek/wash back into O’Neill Park) is still a mess after the heavy rains.  Our trail crews have assessed the situation and have given that section of trail “two thumbs down”.  No way it will be rideable anytime soon.  So, we get to try a new route this year!

arroyotrabuco2We’ll still have a 25 miler and a 50 miler.  The actual mileage may be slightly over, or slightly under – we haven’t decided yet.  But one thing is for certain – it will be FUN!  Our team is working with the various park rangers in our area, and they are cooperating with us to make our event as successful as ever.  Most of our routes will remain the same as prior years.  We’re just coming up with alternatives to get us back into O’Neill without having a lot of road riding.

Stay tuned!  Please follow us on FACEBOOK to keep up with the latest trail news.  If you’d like to help us with trail work to get our trails in shape before our event, please sign up at VOLUNTEER.  You don’t need any experience, we provide the tools and the training.  Thanks for your support!

More Sponsors = More Raffle Fun

Our planning team is working overtime to line up even more sponsors for this year’s HUGE raffle event.   Here’s some of the sponsors and prizes we lined up just this week:

11HardrockDiscSurf City Cyclery – 2011 Specialized Hardrock Disc MTB

Yakima – Hitch-mount 2-bike rack

XTR_brakes_sizedShimano – XTR trail brakes/rotors, XTR pedals with M240 shoes, XT pedals with M161 shoes

cobaltwheelsCrank Brothers – Cobalt 26″ wheelset, Eggbeater and Candy pedals

Nite Rider – 2 light sets

portapottiesBrian Rodgers – proud new sponsor of our Porta Potties (no we’re not raffling them off, but you’ll be glad we have them when you need them)

We’ve got fifty (50) sponsors already (coincidence?  50 mile ride?) and more joining us each week.  WE LOVE OUR SPONSORS! They’ve caught the vision and the spirit of our event and our Project Rwanda cause, and we thank each one of them!

Hey, have you signed up yet?  What are you waiting for?

Rwanda Cyclist Qualifies for Olympics

teamrwandatrainingI have some amazing news to share. Some of the proceeds of our 50 Mile Ride event go to support the Rwandan National Cycling Team.   By participating in our event – half a world away from Rwanda – you are helping miracles happen.  Here’s an excerpt of a story you need to read:

This past Saturday, February 12, 2011, in a small town outside Cape Town, South Africa, Adrien Niyonshuti a young Rwandan man became the first Rwandan ever to secure an Olympic bid in cycling. Adrien is one of the five original members of Team Rwanda. Four years ago, Adrien was a teenager doing what most Rwandans do, hauling food. Adrien is a genocide survivor, losing six of his brothers and over 60 extended family members in the 1994 genocide. Today he stands proudly for his own personal triumph over tragedy and he stands as a light of hope for all the young men and women in Rwanda.

Please read the full story at Tell Me About Africa .

Trail Heroes

trailtools

It’s time to recognize some unsung heroes in our midst. I’m talking about the countless men and women who have generously volunteered to endure blisters and backaches in order to repair and rebuild our local trails.

The rains had barely stopped, and restoration work had already begun.  Volunteer groups from SHARE, Warriors Society, STR, Saddleback Cycling Ministry and others have organized and conducted trail work projects these past few weeks.  Trails that were once dangerously rutted and washed out are now smooth and flowy singletracks once again.

On behalf of our entire Rwanda Ride team, we say “THANK YOU” to each of you who worked (and who continue to work on) our trails.  You are true heroes.  In the words of Helen Keller (admittedly not a mountain biker, but an inspirational person nonetheless):  “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.  The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” So to all you trail-builders – a hugh thank you for all the pushes and shoves of those trail tools you worked so masterfully on our behalf.

Roger Toubeaux and Ken Rands are two guys on our Rwanda Ride team who’ve helped organize trail projects.  We will certainly have more trail work that is needed before our event on April 30.  Stay tuned for invitations to join some trail parties.  Please join us, you’ll have fun and the reward and satisfaction of a job well done is worth it.

Tom Ritchey in His Own Words

tomandmarthatandemTom Ritchey is not only the founder of Project Rwanda, he’s also a mountain bike industry pioneer and legend.  Many of Ritchey’s original frames are still being ridden today by his passionate followers.  Chris Kostman with AdventureCORPS (one of our event’s original sponsors) recently posted this blog story about Tom’s early days and the history of Ritchey Bikes.  Read the full article at Tom Ritchey in His Own Words.

Tom and his lovely wife Martha rode in our 50 Mile Ride event last year on a hand-made Ritchey tandem mountain bike.  Maybe we’ll see them again this year on our trails?  Join us and meet them in person.

Rising From Ashes – The Movie

Our 50 Mile Ride team has learned that a documentary about the Rwandan National Cycling team (five years in the making) is almost ready to release.  The feature-length film is called “Rising From Ashes”, and it chronicles the journey of five of the team’s cyclists.  Check out the cool TRAILER HERE .

I had the honor of meeting and riding with the team when I visited Rwanda in 2007.   These young men are like rock stars in their country.  Kids follow them everywhere and try to keep up with them on their bikes when the team trains (which is impossible, these guys are fast).  Most importantly, each of the team members are fine young men, great role models who give back to their villages and their communities.

Thank you for riding in our event, for volunteering and for donating to Project Rwanda.  You are making a difference for Team Rwanda – and they in turn are giving inspiration to an entire nation.  Well done!

Top Ten MTB Christmas Gifts for 2010

northpoleIt’s official.

The North Pole Gazette has just released Santa’s Top Ten Gift Requests from SoCal mountain bikers.  Now you know for sure what to get your favorite mountain biker this year.  So let’s get shopping!

Top Ten MTB Gifts:

1. Registration for the 2011 Rwanda Ride on Saturday April 30, 2011.  CLICK HERE to register!

prsocks

2. Genuine Project Rwanda cycling socks.

3. A charitable donation in your rider’s name.  CLICK HERE to donate today!

4. A big handful of Grand Prize raffle tickets for our HUGE post-ride prize raffle.

5. Genuine Project Rwanda running cap.  prcap

6. An additional 50 Mile Ride event t-shirt, size XXL, to use as a cozy sleep shirt.

7. Gift certificate for Cook’s Corner’s famous post-ride BBQ.

ninercarbon 8. A brand new carbon 29er.  Oh wait, that’s a hint for my wife only.

9. A collectible event t-shirt (collectible is what we call last year’s leftover t-shirts).

10. Registration for the 2011 Rwanda Ride.  This is so popular that Santa included it on his Top Ten list twice.  CLICK HERE to register.

Happy shopping! From all of us at 50 Mile Ride, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas!

We Love Our Sponsors

For those of you who’ve enjoyed our events in the past – you already know our prize raffles are HUGE! Last year’s raffle had over $15,000 in prizes, including a Grand Prize Trigon road bike valued at $9,000. We are blessed to have so many good friends and supporters in the local biking community.

Our planning team has already started reaching out to sponsors and friends. We’re getting tremendous support already. Here’s a partial list of our 2011 sponsors on board so far (in alphabetical order):

Allstate Insurance, Arrowhead Water, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cabo Foods, Cooks Corner, Crank Sports, Damon Fit, Efficiency Coaching, Epic Action Video Cam, Estate Services Home Theater, Fitness Together, Friction Freedom, Geoladders, Kennedy Photo Works, Kinetics3 Chiropractic, Oakley, Rock n Road Cyclery, South Coast Glow, The Path, Troy Lee Designs, Webconnex, Wellington Eng Dentistry, Westamerica Graphics.

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 by directing people to our SPONSOR page. We’ll answer all their questions, you just need to introduce us! Thanks in advance for your support.

Registration Now Open for 50MR5

We’re pleased to announce that registration for our 5th Annual Rwanda Ride is now OPEN!

Lots of new changes this year:  New web site design.  New 5th annual event logo.  New online registration service.  But one thing that won’t change – our commitment to providing the best rider experience EVER!  We’re pulling out all the stops to make our 5th Annual event the most fun you’ll ever have on a mountain bike.

Speaking of our new online registration service, we want to extend a HUGE 50MR thank you to our new friends at Webconnex.  Webconnex is the  company that is hosting our new event registration site, and they’ve really rolled out the red carpet to welcome our event into their program.  Special thanks to Webconnex co-founder John Russell (you may know John as one of the co-founders of the popular Over The Hump Race Series here in OC).  When you register, you’ll notice a much lower “service fee” than you used to have to pay when we used Active.com – and you can thank John Russell for those savings!

Find out more about John’s company and the good work they do at WEBCONNEX.

But first, go REGISTER for our event!  It’s gonna be a blast!