Award-Winning “Rising From Ashes” OC Debut on Feb 24


One night only!  Join our 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda fans on Monday Feb 24 at the exclusive OC premier of “Rising from Ashes”, an inspiring true story about the rise of the Rwandan National Cycling Team.  The film will be presented at the historic West Coast Theater in old town Santa Ana (near the Civic Center).  Doors open at 6:30pm and the screening starts at 7:00pm.  After the film you’ll get to meet the filmmakers as well as Team Rwanda member Rafiki Uwimana (the one with the infectious smile and the boundless enthusiasm for life).

“Rising from Ashes” is a feature length documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team. As they set out against impossible odds both Jock and the team find new purpose as they rise from the ashes of their past.  (Note from Doug:  I’ve seen the documentary a few times, with audiences of all types – and I guarantee you’ll be inspired and encouraged by the message – whether you are a cyclist or not).

Donations will be accepted, and merchandise will be available for purchase.  All proceeds from the night will benefit the Rising From Ashes Foundation.  Registration for the 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda will also be available that night.  Come join your friends for a fun and inspiring night!  Please join and share our film screening FB Page

Clearance Sale on 50MR Jerseys

club jersey

We’re clearing out the shelves at our 50 Mile Ride Store, making room for new 2014 merchandise. Now is your chance to purchase our original and authentic 50MR Club Jersey at a special clearance price of only $35 each (regular price was $75). Limited sizes available, so don’t delay.  SHOP NOW

Note: these are Italian-made race fit jerseys, so best to order a size or two larger than your normal size. Jerseys can be mailed to your address or picked up in Foothill Ranch. Details available AT OUR STORE

Updated Routes for 2014

finish scaffolding

Our Rwanda Ride planning team is already at work, helping to make the 8th annual 50 Mile Ride event our best ever. One of the changes we’ve made this year is to the initial section of the route. Since we’re starting and finishing our event at Oakley again this year, we’re trying to cut back a bit on the excess miles from last year. Our new routes for both the 25 and 50 mile routes (with slight changes to the first 5 miles) are now posted on Geoladders. The 50 mile route is now 49.3 actual miles, and our 25 mile route is coming in at 27.5 miles (reduced from over 29 miles last year). There’s still about the same amount of climbing this year though – so be sure to get your training miles in before April!

27.5 actual miles, 2756 feet of climbing

The 50 Mile Route is a combination of the 25 MILE ROUTE and the CASPERS LOOP, for a total of 49.3 miles and 5242 feet of climbing.  50 milers start and finish on the same route used by 25 milers, the 50 milers just add the Caspers Loop section “for extra credit”.  So click on both links above to get the full route.

We’ll post some fun training rides on our FACEBOOK page beginning in February. Meantime, have fun on the trails. Happy New Year!

Change the World by Dec 31

mobilize me

Watch this inspiring 3 minute video and learn how you can help someone change their world.

Imagine racing the sun just to get by. People across rural Africa face this challenge every day. Without adequate transportation, access to vital resources such as healthcare, education and economic opportunity is often out of reach.
When you donate to World Bicycle Relief, you mobilize entrepreneurs, healthcare workers and students as they fight to feed their families, build their businesses, treat the sick, finish school, follow their dreams and change their world.

We are proud to help support the good work of World Bicycle Relief with a portion of the proceeds of our 50 Mile Ride for Rwanda event.  As a Rwanda Ride participant and supporter, we wanted to let you know about a special opportunity.  From now through December 31, 2013 the first $1.2M in donations to World Bicycle Relief will be matched dollar for dollar.  Your $20 donation becomes $40.  Your $134 donation to buy one bike becomes a donation that funds TWO bikes.  And so on.

Seems like a great Christmas present, doesn’t it?  Discover more and donate today at MobilizeMe

On behalf of our Rwanda Ride planning team and our friends at WBR, we thank you for your support.

Grand Prize Winner and his Tallboy

tony with tallboy and dg smallSome folks say we have the biggest and bestest (is that a word?) prize raffle in all of mountain biking.  At least that’s what this biker would say.  Here’s Tony Powers, the 2013 winner of our raffle grand prize.  This year’s winner got to pick out the Santa Cruz frame of their choice, and build it custom to order.  Tony ended up with the Santa Cruz Tallboy bike of his dreams.  Congratulations Tony, enjoy the ride!

Rwanda Ride Makes an Impact

allstate check small

Since our first Rwanda Ride event in 2006, you’ve helped us raise over $430,000.  We’re blessed to be able to raise so much money for our Rwanda causes. Some riders have asked us “what do they do with all that money?” We’re glad you asked!

For WORLD BICYCLE RELIEF the answer is very simple. With over 157,000 bicycles in the field and more than 800 field mechanics trained, World Bicycle Relief is changing lives across Africa. But they have no presence in Rwanda – YET. Thanks to you and our 50MR event, we’re sending a container load of 220 WBR Utility Bikes to Rwanda – the first-ever WBR bikes to be delivered to Rwanda! WBR distributes their bikes in Africa via a “work-to-own” or “study-to-own” basis. Armed with the power of the bicycle, entire communities are transformed. The first community in Rwanda to be impacted will be Adrien Niyonshuti’s hometown of Rwamagana (Adrien is Team Rwanda’s Olympic cyclist, and is creating a Cycling Academy in his hometown).

We also contribute event proceeds to Team Rwanda Cycling.  TEAM RWANDA CYCLING is doing an incredible job of running and growing a cycling team on very limited resources. We asked Kimberly Boyer, Director of Marketing & Logistics for TRC, how they stretch their budget. Here’s a few examples of how your donation to our Rwanda Ride event is used:
$50 – dental checkup, cleaning and xrays for one rider
$200 – to operate one day of training camp
$250 – per month to feed breakfast to the young kids attending Adrien Niyonshuti’s cycling academy
$1150 – per month for team rider salaries so they don’t have to work in the fields (11 riders earn $50 per month and 6 riders earn $100 per month)
$250 – extra bag charge to bring necessary parts in from the US (last year this cost the team over $5000)
$3000 – to send a kid to the UCI training center in South Africa for two months.

Toshiba Turns It Up

toshiba usb4
Toshiba America returns this year as a 50 Mile Ride sponsor. But this year, they’re turning it up – like, to an “11”! Not only is Toshiba donating a cool Excite 32gb Tablet (valued at $400) for our prize raffle – but they’re also donating 1000 4gb USB drives. That’s one USB drive for every registered rider. It will be in your rider bag when you check in. So be sure to check inside your bag for this, plus all sorts of other fun and valuable coupons, samples, discounts, and surprises from a bunch of our other Ride Sponsors. Thank you for turning it up, Toshiba!

Cardo Systems is Silver Sponsor

Doug and Gregg testing the new Cardo BK-1

Doug and Gregg testing the new Cardo BK-1

We’re pleased to welcome Cardo Systems to our 50MR sponsor family. Cardo is going BIG in our event, coming in as a Silver Level sponsor with over $1500 in product for our raffle.

Cardo Systems has created the world’s first Bluetooth Cycling Communication and Entertainment system. It’s a sleek, lightweight package that mounts on your helmet and enables you to talk “hands free” to another cyclist or two – or listen to your favorite music streaming from your smartphone. Here’s what Cardo has to say about their new BK-1 product for cyclists: “The cardo BK-1 offers simultaneous conversations via intercom between up to three cyclists, mobile phone connectivity, in-the-ear instructions from GPS devices and MP3 stereo music streaming from compatible devices. Whether you cycle alone or in a group, the cardo BK-1 will give your favorite outdoor experience a whole new dimension.”

Gregg Howard and I got to test out a pair of the BK-1’s on our Wednesday morning MTB ride. This system added a whole new level of fun to our ride. The good-humored jabs we typically share along a ride could now happen non-stop. Being able to warn a rider behind you about upcoming obstacles, passing hikers, or the occasional wildlife sighting is a definite plus. Although the intercom system is “line of sight” like most walkie-talkies, Gregg and I were surprised at how clearly we could hear each other – even when we were “out of sight” from each other. The BK-1’s are voice-activated, and they go into standby mode when you’re not talking for a while. Which is a good thing on a steep hill – your communication partner doesn’t need to hear you grunting and gasping for air on those sections. For those riders who like to listen to tunes while cycling, the earpiece on these units allow you to hear surrounding sounds in addition to your music – which is a nice safety feature whether you’re riding on the road or in the mountains.

Cardo Systems will be donating (4) single units and (2) duo units for our prize raffle. We think they’ve got the coolest new electronic gadget for cycling yet!

Aid Stations and Cut-Off Times

For rider safety, and to ensure all riders and volunteers arrive back at Oakley in time for our post-ride party and raffle, rider cut-off times will be enforced.  CLICK HERE to view aid station locations and rider cut-off times.

Remember, you must be present to win at our raffle.  And our raffle is HUGE this year!  Raffle starts at 3pm.  Food court, vendor expo and live band all starts at noon.  You don’t want to miss the party at Oakley!

All Routes are Now Updated

NEW THIS YEAR – all of our routes will start and finish at Oakley Headquarters in Foothill Ranch.  Our planning team just completed re-mapping our routes.  Most of the 25 and 50 mile routes are the same as last year, with the exception of starting at Oakley this year instead of Cooks Corner.  The 10 mile route is completely new this year.  Here are links to the new routes (printable directions are available at these links):

50 mile route

25 mile route

10 mile route

Thank you to John Andrews and Roger Toubeaux for riding and mapping these routes for us!