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September Newsletter

September 2023 Newsletter

What we’ve been doing

The Latest Lots of good stuff happened in August and September Once again, we at OCMTBA have been everywhere and met with everyone we can in our goal of expanding and protecting trail access. ...Read on below!

Good Dirt Ride 2023 Whether you call it the 50 Mile Ride, the Rwanda Ride, or the Good Dirt Ride –join for a day of FUN and goodwill. You get the same fun, the same epic trails, the same huge opportunity drawing, and the same legendary post-ride party. What began 16 years ago as a birthday ride with friends has now become a larger community event united by a love of cycling and doing good locally and around the world. With this purpose in mind, aim to have some fun and support your local trails thru OCMTBA or an African child riding her bike to school in a rural village. Although our community is local, we impact globally…that’s why - the Good Dirt Ride!

Nothing’s for Free viewing party OCMTBA was proud to premiere the film Nothing’s for Free in Orange County. Like Dog Town and Z Boys for skateboarding or Riding Giants for surfing. Nothing’s For Free is the story of the birth and legacy of freeride mountain biking including the role of Laguna Beach and Orange County and locals like Hans Rey. Hans was on hand to tell the crowd a few stories from those days. We also gave a sneak preview of the Grand Prize raffle for the 2023 Good Dirt ride, the Community Bike build, an Intense Sniper T completely customized by the local bike community – more info here Thank you to our sponsor - Laguna Bike Shed, donated their time to assembling it. And most of all, thank you to Troy Lee Designs for letting us use their space for the screening. We had over 100 people brave the summer Saturday night parking in Laguna Beach to attend. OCMTBA volunteers were on hand to take tickets, serve drinks and food and make for a great event for the Orange County Mountain Biing Community.

Trail work on The Luge with So Cal Trail Alliance So Cal Trail Alliance is a group that maintains The Luge trail in the Cleveland National Forest. In July, they brought out a group to trim and brush the vegetation on the Luge. We started early to avoid the downhill traffic and got the entire trail completed. These are the folks that keep the Luge in tip top condition year round. Please follow them at

Las Ramblas Trail Group Mixer San Juan Capistrano has a great local trail system called Las Ramblas after the road that goes there. And there is a great local trail group that maintains these trails. These trails are covered in mustard plants after this year’s rains, and these guys and gals have fought a winning battle against the mustard to keep the trails open. They also have done great work on the dirt, adding drains and fixing rain damage. They had a mixer last month and we all got together to talk trails.

OC MTB Social Mixer We had another quarterly mixer with trail fixers, diggers and riders for some casual conversation about biking, trail work and more. The goal is connecting our local groups to each other.

Nothings for Free Screening at Oakley We had a second screening of Nothings for Free at Oakley headquarters in Lake Forest. One of the stars of the film, Richie Schley was on hand and told us some stories in person before the film. We also gave another sneak preview of the two of the Grand Prizes for the 2023 Good Dirt ride, including the Community Bike build, – more info here Thank you to Oakley for offering their community theater for this event.

REI Laguna Hills Store Opening OCMTBA was invited to be an exhibitor for the Grand Opening of the newest Orange County REI store in Laguna Hills. We had a booth there for all four days of the opening party and REI is our newest partner in our retailer membership program.

GET OCMTBA GEAR! Pedal Industries has created an awesome collection perfect for any mountain biker or OCMTBA enthusiast! Never forget any of your gear again with the OCMTBA Raceday bag. Even a race day wallet, jerseys, and socks! And with every purchase you are supporting your local trails!

Our program with Cassette & Co to win a custom OCMTBA T-Shirt was a great success. We had a drawing every two weeks all summer. Winners to date: Laura Rosenberg Jeff Pope Paula Hunsaker Jack Schweigert Evan Bailey

The Dirt

  • Warriors Society held a trail brushing event on Trabuco trail

  • So Cal Trail Alliance held a trail brushing event on the Luge

The Trails

  • We co-sponsored a Good Dirt Pre-Ride to get people familiar with the course for the Good Dirt ride coming up on September 30th.

  • OCMTBA Pres and VP attended the quarterly trail meeting with OC Parks management and Laguna Canyon Foundation

  • OCMTBA execustives also attended an Environmental Groups meeting to represent Mountain Biking in Laguna Beach with Laguna Canyon Foundation, Laguna Canyon Conservancy, Crystal Cove Conservancy, Natural Communities Coalition, Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, Laguna Greenbelt and Village Laguna

The Partners

  • We attended and promoted the Ales & Trails event by Laguna Canyon Foundation.

  • OCMTBA was at the Maui benefit at YT Industries to raise money for fire victims in Lahaina

  • Please join our OCMTBA Strava Group

Upcoming Events

Our Supporters

REI Laguna Hills is our newest partner in our Retail Bike Shop membership Program.

Local Focus Warriors Society From Chris Vargas - Founder and Executive Director at Warriors Society The Warrior’s Society mountain bike club is based on the traditions of American Indians, particularly the plains tribes. For plains tribes, the Warrior’s Society was made up of warriors/braves that had proven themselves courageous in battle and thereby shown they placed the protection of the tribe and their lands above all else.

The Warrior’s Society Mountain Bike Club honors that American Indian tradition by protecting the responsible recreational access of our National Forest and fighting against those who would limit that access. The Warrior’s Society has fought several access battles since our founding in 1995, including proposing Wilderness Designations and Forest Plan Revisions that would have banned mountain bike recreation in our, and other Southern California National Forests. With the help of the “mountain bike tribe,” AKA the public, we defeated these proposals and let those that would try to limit our access know they face a powerful “tribe” that is not afraid to to face them in the battle for mountain bikers responsible access to their National Forests. The second way we honor this tradition is by hosting our events, providing a challenge that tests the endurance of those up to the challenge. In the beliefs of the Sioux (Lakota) and other American Indian tribes, a young brave would go on a Vision Quest as a rite of passage to adulthood and becoming a warrior. The brave would fast and face Mother Nature alone on her terms - “only the strong survive,” The Vision Quest would last for days at a time with the brave seeking to bond with nature the spirit world the created her. From the spirit world would come a guide in the form of an animal that would show the brave what direction his life would take - and inspire him to great deeds and accomplishments. Our Vision Quest event is based on this tradition, testing the participants endurance and fortitude in one of the toughest mountain bike events in the nation. This year the Vision Quest course will take riders up Black Star to the Main Divide, then North to Sierra Peak, then turn back on the Main Divide to the Silverado Motorway, up Maple Springs to Santiago Peak, then down the Main Divide to the Holy Jim Trail then out to Parker Ranch on Trabuco Creek Road. Participants will receive an event jersey and lunch and finisher will be awarded a beaded coup feather, “eagle wings” arm warmers, finisher’s stickers, beaded finisher key chain. They also qualify to purchase a finisher’s jersey. We estimate this new course to be 50 miles with 9,500 feet of elevation gain. $100 entry fee - 100 person participation limit For more info go to the Vision Quest event page at: Our second event, the Counting Coup, is based on the tradition of the tribal chiefs/elders watching the braves in battle and noting acts of courage. The leaders counted blows against the enemy, also called “Counting Coup,” which is the name given to this tradition by French explorers who were the first to witness that act. The Counting Coup course will be up Black Star to the Main Divide, then South on the Main Divide to the Silverado Motorway, up Maple Springs to Santiago Peak, then down the Main Divide to the Holy Jim Trail then out to Parker Ranch on Trabuco Creek Road. $75.00 entry fee - 100 person participation limit For more info on the events go to the Counting Coup event page at: Both events will be held on Saturday, April 13th 2024 Registration opens up September 1st at 5:00 p.m. The Counting Coup is 40 miles with 8,000 feet of elevation gain. The first Vision Quest occurred 29 years ago when the first two founding members of the Warrior’s Society, Chris “Dances With Hornets” Vargas and Pete “Shares The Vision” Allen, decided they wanted to challenge themselves by riding across the Santa Ana Mountains. From this first ride the Warrior’s Society was born. Protecting our access to our public lands also means preserving and maintaining the trails. To be a member of the Warrior’s Society you must show your worth by “protecting our mountain bike tribes” land, in other words, by maintaining the trails, the Warrior’s Society member honors the traditions in which the Warrior’s Society was founded. We are not a “paid” membership organization. A person must be nominated to become a member based on their willingness to volunteer. Once granted membership, the member is awarded a Warrior’s Society beaded coup feather to signify his membership. Several Warrior’s Society members have proven themselves not only by their dedication to maintaining our trails, but also by their achievements in our events. Club member Calvin “Keeps One Horse” Mulder not only rode the Vision Quest, he also ran the course in reverse after finishing taking him over 20 hours to complete. Calvin also holds the rigid single speed record. Club member Bob “Wise Owl” Haislett has the record for the oldest person the finish the Vision Quest on both a geared and single speed bike (70 and 72 years old respectively). Bob has passed away but his memory lives on through the “Bob Haislett” award given to the most inspired rider in the Vision Quest. For the past 6 years we have suffered from fires and resulting rains that have cancelled or postponed our events. Our last two events and not come close to selling out and we have lost money and have survived by infusion of over $7,000 dollars from club members. If the 2024 event is not successful we will be forced to disband the organization. For 28 years we have maintained the trails in the Trabuco District of the Cleveland National Forest and have fought to protect the public’s responsible access. It is our hope to continue these goals in the future. If you would like to donate to the Warrior’s Society we have a “donate” button on our homepage at: We thank all those who have supported us over the past 28 years. Chris Vargas Founder and Executive Director


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