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Our 2014 and 2015 Vail Lake and Big Bear Team Camps were incredible successes, not just in the areas of team bonding and skill development, but in the area of race results, too! Ninjas won the Cat 2/3 overall and our Pro/1 team took home 3rd overall!

So, in light of that—we’ve acquired another (bigger) team Big Bear Cabin for 2016! The cabin will serve as a home base for our team camp over Memorial Day Weekend as we prepare for the Kenda/US Cup races in Big Bear. (Besides, it’s another excuse to ride bikes and hang out with friends.)

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Below, you’ll find our itinerary for the camp :

Day 1 (Friday)

  • Arrive in Big Bear
  • Team Dinner at the Cabin
  • Altitude Acclimation Breakdown (What to Expect and Why it’s Important)

Day 2 (Saturday)

  • Review Bike Setup (Tire choices, suspension, more).
  • Race Discussion / Brief Course Analysis
  • US Cup Course Pre-view with technical sessions as needed
  • Intermediate / Advanced skill review
  • Fueling / Nutrition Discussion
  • BBQ / Hangout at the Team Ninja Cabin

Day 3 (Sunday)

  • Big Bear US Cup Race Strategy – Detailed
  • Efficiency and Flow Review and Practice
  • Proper Line Choice
  • Fast Lap / Race Pace
  • Optional Extra Credit Riding
  • Team dinner in the Village

Day 4 (Monday)

  • Breakfast Discussion
  • ‘How To Go Faster’ Tip Review
  • Session / Master Tech Sections on US Cup Course
  • Fun Ride
  • Head Back Home

When:

Arrive May 27, depart May 30 — Memorial Day Weekend

Who:

Team Ninja Members Only — Not a member yet? Join the Team, information is here.

Cost:

Free (except for accommodations, food, transportation, etc.)

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Accommodations:

We’d love it if you’d stay at the new Team Ninja Cabin located at the base of Snow Summit Resort. An amazing location for pre-rides/course recon. Reserve your spot and learn all about our new digs here. ***check your Team Ninja email re: this subject for the password to view this page.

If the cabin is full or you’d like to explore other options — check out our offical host hotel: the Big Bear Chateau | Best Western. You can reach them at 909/866-6666, when you call ask for Sherry and tell her you are attending the Ninja Mountain Bike Camp. She’ll give you the lowest avaialble rate.

 

2016 is already shaping up to be Team Ninja’s Best Year Ever!  Not only do we have our largest and most diverse (in terms of age, gender, discipline, and experience) group of riders to date, but we also have two super talented groups of riders representing our Ambassador Program and Elite Team.  Both of these sub-groups of Team Ninja were chosen, after much deliberation, from a very deep talent pool of applicants. Thank you to all who applied, and congratulations to those accepted.

The following 6 riders were chosen for our 2016 Ambassador Program because they exude and exemplify everything “Team Ninja”. They are committed to cycling and encourage others to ride. They are active in their communities and bring about positive change. They are dedicated to our team and our sponsors and strive to make Team Ninja one of the best cycling teams in the US.

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Ambassadors

Nicco Salvador
Armando de Armas
Vincent Casino
Benjamin Wokcik
Calvin Lefebvre
Jeffrey Balmeo

The following 11  Pro / Cat 1 riders were chosen for our 2016 Elite Team because their years of racing and training have placed them in the upper echelon of mountain biking, and because they have aligned themselves with Team Ninja’s mission of giving back to the community and inspiring others to ride. team_ninja_elite_congrats

Elite Team

Courtney Cowan
Evan Christenson
Stephane Roche
Aaron Hauck
Tony Brand
Brandon Ewers
Paula Evenson
Regina Jeffries
Thomas Teger
Brent Burcham
Richard La China

Follow these riders on our team website and their personal social media sites to see what exciting things they’re up to this year.

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We had a great turn out the past weekend at our 2nd annual Team Ninja End of Season Party. Over 143 Ninjas, family and friends of Ninjas, and potential future Ninjas gathered to enjoy each others company, celebrate our accomplishments from the past year, learn about the exciting plans for the coming year, participate in a raffle, and, of course, eat good food and drink good beer. (A huge thank you to both Rough Draft Brewery and Criscito Pizza for your delicious ‘eats and drinks’ and for accommodating our large—and sometimes rowdy—party! And another huge thank you to ZOCA Gear for buying everyone’s first drink, to Rehab United for designing and providing the Team Ninja shirts, and to WD40, Loaded USA, Rudy Project, Zumwalts, …. for the generous raffle prizes!)

Among the notable things covered were recognition of Ninjas that earned podium spots at races in 2015, a review our community service activities, and the announcement of our “Ninja Star” award recipients (Patty Elliott, Jeff Meyer, Nicco Salvador, Mike Henry, Aaron Hauck, Brigid Waterhouse and Todd Young), including our 2015 Ninja MVP recipient (Nicco Salvador). We also recognized our 2015 Ambassadors and our sponsors for their help and support of our team this past year. We would not have had nearly as much success—or fun!—without them.

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We also announced some new and exciting this coming up for the 2016 season. In addition to the return of some of our favorite sponsors (like ZOCA gear, WD40, Zumwalts Bicycle Center, Loaded Precision Products, Rehab United, Specialized Bicycles) we will be on-boarding some new ones like Absolute Black, PDG Health, and 100%.

Also new for 2016 will be the creation of an “Elite Team” of Pro and Cat 1 riders. Much like our Ambassador Program (which will be returning for our 2016 season), our Elite Team members will receive larger discounts from select sponsors, Team Ninja accessories at no charge, and race / event reimbursement. However, unlike our Ambassador Program in which any rider, racer or not, can participate in, our Elite Team is made up strictly of racers. For more details about this program, see here. For more information about our Ambassador Program, click here.

As 2015 quickly draws to a close and 2016 approaches, we want to continue reaching out to the community and potential sponsors to offer a team experience unlike any other; one that is open to all cyclists of all disciplines and one that is successful both on and off the bike. If you think that you’d like to join in the fun for 2016 as a member, click here. If you are interested in sponsoring Team Ninja, contact us here.

For those of you who are planning to, but haven’t renewed yet, please do so ASAP as we’re going to be opening the clothing store very soon (join/renew link below).

 

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It’s Party Time!!

Join us for the annual Team Ninja Party!

Sunday – October 25, 2015 :: 3-6pm

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We’d love for you to come join us at our official Team Ninja End-of-the-2015-Season-and-Beginning-of-the-2016-Season Party. We’ll be reliving the glory days of this past year (like our team race results, our community outreach projects, and more), having an awards ceremony to laud those Ninjas that went the extra mile (some of them quite literally), thanking our sponsors and talking about our plans for next year.

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In addition to reviewing our member benefits such as free coached workouts, free attendance to skills clinics, free team mountain bike camp in Big Bear, support at races, great sponsor and grassroots deals, etc, we’ll also be revealing our cool new 2016 kit designs and our 2016 sponsors!

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Now, a party wouldn’t be a party without a good venue, and we promise not to disappoint. We’ve rented out a private room at Rough Draft Brewery in Mira Mesa (San Dieg0). First drink is on our team sponsor ZOCA Gear! Also, we will have delicious and (mostly)nutritious food taken care of. Don’t worry, there will be vegetarian and gluten free options for those with special dietary needs.2015-09-24 09.14.12 am

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Free Ninja T-Shirts

Free t-shirt for all 2015 Team Ninja members and all new 2016 members from our sponsor Rehab United!

Free Water Bottles

Free 26oz Purist Water bottle from Ninja Mountain Bike Performance for the first 50 people to join or renew their membership for 2016!

Door Prizes

We’re going to be having some great door prizes too including:

Rudy Project helmets and gear

Several really cool items from our sponsor Loaded Precision Products, including AmXC Carbon Handlebars and lots more!

Tires from our sponsor Schwalbe.

Free Ninja Cowbells

We’re giving Ninja cowbells away. Be one of the first to the party, we have limited quantity of these.

Clothing Try-on 2016 Kits

ZOCA will be there with sample-size kits. We STRONGLY recommend you try on your team gear as we are offering new products with new cuts, different sizing, etc.

Discounted 2014 and 2015 Ninja Gear

We’ll have Team Ninja gear there on sale for anyone that needs an extra jersey, shorts, jacket, etc.

So come on out and eat, drink, be merry, and talk about bikes with us. Bring your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/“special friend”/lover, kids… All are welcome. Seriously.

 

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Team Ninja and San Diego Mountain Biking Association

would like to invite you to our

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day Event

When: Saturday, October 3th, 2015

Where: Morley Field (Balboa Park).

All kids need to be checked in by 1pm.

Meet up in the grass area just south of the baseball fields under the Eucalyptus trees. It’s just east of the entrance to the San Diego Velodrome.

We should be done with all the fun by 3pm.

This is a great opportunity for you to pass your passion for pedaling on to kids. Plan to go mountain biking on the first Saturday in October – and bring a kid along for the ride!

We are currently seeking interested participants as well as volunteers for all aspects of the event including assisting kids in the skills stations, doing bike safety checks, putting number plates on kids bikes, giving out finisher prizes and more!

For more information and to register, check here.

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feedbackYou requested. We listened. And now, some positive changes are on the way in Team Ninja Land….

First off, kit ordering and distribution for 2016 will be directly through ZOCA.  ZOCA will be making our DH/Enduro/BMX jerseys as well for 2016. You will order straight from their website, and they will ship straight to your door. No more trying to coordinate drop-off/pick-ups with me in some dark alley after a Tuesday Night Workout.

Secondly, Schwalbe tire ordering will be through our team bike shop sponsor–and Schwalbe dealer–Zumwalts. This means that common tire sizes and models will be in-stock, so depending on what you want, you could walk out the door with it and not have to wait for the shipment to arrive! Wahoo!! Less waitin’ and more braaaapin’!

In order to continue to make Team Ninja the best it can be, We’d love some feedback from you.  Please fill out the survey below.

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Congratulations! We did it! We repeated our successes from last year and **WON** the XC/Endurance Co-ed Cat 2/3 Team Overall Award, and placed 3rd Overall in the XC/Endurance Co-ed Pro/Cat1 Team category.

Doing this was no small feat, as we had stiff competition from the super-talented teams of Triple Threat, Veloz, and Bear Valley Bikes. (Congratulations to everyone on those teams, too. You made us ride to a higher level. Can’t wait to see what next year brings.) Additionally, this year the series came complete with unusually bad weather (think: the mud and rain at Vail  Lake and the heat at Bonelli and Santa Ynez) and a super-compact schedule where it seemed like we were racing nearly every weekend from Feb-April. So bravo to us for making it through it all!

As you can see from the list of results below, winning these awards was not a solo enterprise—it takes a village…er…team! We had over 40 members do one or more races in this series, which is huge deal! I think we were one of the largest teams out there. Words can’t describe how proud (and honored) I was to see so many Ninja jerseys. After all, our team is only in it’s second year, and we have grown from a small group of “Tuesday Night Workout” enthusiasts, to a multi-city, multi-discipline, legitimate, bona fide team.

In addition to the congratulatory praise, I also want to extend an even larger “Thank you” to everyone on the team, the friends and family members that provided support at the races, and especially, our sponsors. The phrase, “None of this would be possible without you” may be cliche, but it definitely applies here. Without team members, we would have no team, no jerseys, and no EZ-Ups. Without the support of friends and family members at races, we wouldn’t have perfected the art of the water bottle hand-off or the pre-race whisky shot, and we certainly wouldn’t have had Facebook ‘Cover Photo’ quality photos of us shredding on course. And without our sponsors, we might have well have been a XC running team, because we wouldn’t have had jerseys, socks, bikes, helmets, sunglasses, mtb shoes, mechanical support, electrolyte mix, tires, chain lube, and bike parts. So, I’ll say it again, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Lastly, I want to give a special shout-out to our Enduro “Special Team”. In the first year of it’s existence, we had team members that podiumed at every race they did, and came out in the top spots for the Overall awards. Congratulations ladies (and gentlemen)! Good luck at the Enduro World Series!

Congrats again — hope to see lots of you at Rim Nordic this season.  Our first XC race and Enduro race #3 are this weekend (http://rimnordic.com/).

Thank you sponsors for making this possible:  Big thanks to Zumwalts Bicycle Center, ZOCA Gear, WD-40 BIKE, SockGuy, Rehab United, ‪#‎ISFittLabs‬ Rudy Project, Rising Sun Mortgage & Realty, PowerBar, Loaded Precision Products, Schwalbe tires (official), Specialized Bicycles, True North Communications, BasicLink and of course… Ninja Mountain Bike Skills.

–Richard

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15-uscup-260x260Here are our team results from the Kenda Cup this season:

XC
Marcus Weigle Cat 2 M 35-39 1st, 1st in Series Overall
Doug Stewart Cat 2 M 65+ 1st, 1st in Series Overall
Ken Gibson Cat 3 M 55-59 1st, 1st in Series Overall
Catherine Hinton Cat 2 W 40-49 1st, 1st in Series Overall
Courtney Cowan Cat 2 W 30-39 1st, 2nd in Series Overall
Anne-Catherine Roch-Levecq Cat 3 W 50+ 1st, 2nd in Series Overall
Christopher Weigle Cat 2 M 14&U 2nd, 2nd in Series Overall
Jim Watson Cat 3 M 60-64 2nd, 2nd in Series Overall
Bjorn Adams Cat 3 M 40-44 2nd, 11th in Series Overall
Todd Young Cat 3 M Clydes 35+ 5th, 5th in Series Overall
Advert Ogale Cat 2 M 30-34 6th, 5th in Series Overall
Brad Wise Cat 3 M 40-44 8th, 6th in Series Overall
Darryl Sykes Cat 1 M 3rd in Series Overall
Rhonda Geiszler Cat 1 W 50+ 3rd in Series Overall
Karen Bauer Cat 3 W 50+ 3rd in Series Overall
Patrick Silva Cat 3 M 50-54 5th in Series Overall
Shelly Rolandson Cat 1 W 30-39 5th in Series Overall
Vincent Casiano Cat 3 M 55-59 6th in Series Overall
Tracey Lewis Cat 3 W 30-39 6th in Series Overall
Ben Ulfers Cat 3 M 30-34 7th in Series Overall
Benjamin Wendorf Cat 2 M 35-39 9th in Series Overall
Jim Ritch Cat 3 M 50-54 9th in Series Overall
Kris Gross Pro W 10th in Series Overall
Paula Evenson Cat 2 W 30-39 10th Overall
John Bayliss Cat 3 M Clydes 35+ 12th in Series Overall
Arianna Jones Cat 3 W 30-39 12th in Series Overall
Dylan Tucker JR MEN 11-12 12th in Series Overall
Michael Henry Cat 2 M 35-39 15th in Series Overall
Mark Tucker Cat 2 M 50-54 15th in Series Overall
Eric Knowles Cat 2 M 55-59 19th in Series Overall
Darrell Styner Cat 3 M 50-54 20th in Series Overall
Paul Gamache Cat 3 M Clydes 35+ 20th in Series Overall
Daniel Bergstrom Cat 2 M 35-39 22nd in Series Overall
Tom Jones Cat 2 M 45-49 29th in Series Overall
Phil Moses Cat 2 M 40-44 42nd in Series Overall
Derek Couse Cat 2 M 40-44 45th in Series Overall

Endurance
Rhonda Geiszler W 40+ 2nd, 1st in Series Overall
Aaron Hauck M SS 2nd, 2nd in Series Overall
Darryl Sykes, M 30-39 2nd, 2nd in Series Overall
Stephane Roch, Pro M 4th, 4th in Series Overall
Michael Henry M 30-39 8th, 5th in Series Overall
Vincent Casiano M 50-59 10th, 12th in Series Overall
Derek Couse M 40-49  19th, 29th in Series Overall
James Vo M 40-49 33rd in Series Overall
Armando de Armas M 50-59 7th in Series Overall
Cheryl Parrish W 40+ 8th in Series Overall

Enduro (Series Standings)
Siobhan Shaffer 1st
Shelly Rolandson 2nd
Paula Evenson 3rd
Regina Jefferies 4th
Randy Inglis 13th
Mark Tucker 20th
Phil Moses 28th

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Morley Field at Balboa Park | Thursday, June 18

Race starts @ 6pm – Sign ups and practice 4:00pm – 5:45pm.
  Race is free and includes a BYOGB (bring your own goodie bag with your own t-shirt).   If you think you’re gonna win your category, bring your favorite trophy with you.  And, if you feel up for paying for a free event, a $10 donation would be amazing.  All proceeds go directly into Coach Richard’s pocket.

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4 CLASSES: Death Wish being most prestigious! Awards top 3 each division!

Death Wish – Coaster Brake – No fixed gear – No hand brakes – Single Speed.
Walmart – Department store bike (max retail $199.00) NO Modifications – Bone Stock.
Old School – Vintage Mountain Bike (1990 or earlier) No suspension – 24 gears max.
Easy Cheesy – Single Speed MTB (BMX ok)

Race will be approx 10 laps – 1 hour race time for the winner.

Race course is more than 75% singletrack.

Spectators will be able to see over 50% of the course and are encouraged to join in the fun!

Meet up for Pizza at Leftys in Southpark following the event for some amazing pizza and a cold beer!

Race starts at the entrance of the San Diego Velodrome.  Exact race course will be announced soon.

Each category is rated by difficulty, Death Wish being the hardest and Easy Cheesy being the easiest.

Death Wish: Coaster brake racers.

Great example of a Pro Klunker!

Great example of a Pro Klunker!

The hardest of the hardcore. No hand brakes, no gears, no sense of self preservation! A rider choosing this configuration can have a suspension fork and be clipped in etc as long as the bike is single speed coaster brake only. Click here for exhaustive information on coaster brake mountain bikes.

Walmart: Department store klunkers!

Lots to choose from at your local Walmart!

Lots to choose from at your local Walmart!

Your budget is $200.00 or less and you’ll have to show your receipt upon entering the rally. You can tweak and tune your bike (and you should) as much as you want but you cannot switch out any parts! The bike must remain bone stock for the event. Most big department stores have a very lax return policy (wink wink) or donate it to charity when your done with it.

Old School: Vintage mountain bikes.

Sweet example of a vintage rig!

Sweet example of a vintage rig!

There are tons of old mountain bikes from 1990 or older just laying around waiting to roll on some single track again. Now is the time to dust off that old hot pink rockhopper and ride like your life depended on it. The bike must be 1990 or older, be full rigid (no shocks or suspension) and have 24 speeds max. Click those thumb shifters and get ready for action!!!

Easy Cheesy: Single speed mountain bikes.

Single speed mountain bikes of any stripe are welcome. High end, home grown, hodge-podge, or bmx is all right by us.

This event is for fun, bring friends to watch and heckle riders, and don’t forget to wear your helmet!!!

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/377648639109335/

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(updated May 20, 2015)

The 2014 Vail Lake and Big Bear Team Camps were incredible successes, not just in the areas of team bonding and skill development, but in the area of race results, too! Ninjas won the Cat 2/3 overall and our Pro/1 team took home 3rd overall!

So, in light of that—and renewed lease on the team Big Bear Cabin—we are planning another team camp over Memorial Day Weekend to prepare for the US Cup races in Big Bear. (Besides, it’s another excuse to ride bikes and hang out with friends.)

Below, you’ll find our itinerary for the camp :

Day 1 (Friday)

  •     Arrive in Big Bear
  •     Team Dinner at the Cabin
  •     Altitude Acclimation Breakdown  (What to Expect and Why it’s Important)

Day 2 (Saturday)

  •     Review Bike Setup (Tire choices, suspension, more).
  •     Race Discussion / Brief Course Analysis
  •     US Cup Course Pre-view with technical sessions as needed
  •     Intermediate / Advanced skill review
  •     Fueling / Nutrition Discussion
  •     BBQ / Hangout at the Team Ninja Cabin

Day 3 (Sunday)

  •     Big Bear US Cup Race Strategy – Detailed
  •     Efficiency and Flow Review and Practice
  •     Proper Line Choice
  •     Fast Lap / Race Pace
  •     Optional Extra Credit Riding
  •     Team dinner in the Village

Day 4 (Monday)

  •     Breakfast Discussion
  •     ‘How To Go Faster’ Tip Review
  •     Session / Master Tech Sections on US Cup Course
  •     Fun Ride
  •     Head Back Home (or stay another night if you’d like).

When:

Arrive May 22, depart May 25  — Memorial Day Weekend

Who:

Team Ninja Members Only — Not a member yet?  Join the Team, information is here… http://teamninjaelite.com/team-info/

Cost:

Free (except for accommodations, food, transportation, etc.)

Accommodations: 

Stay at the Team Ninja Big Bear Cabin (cost ranges between $40 and $120 per night).  I’m sure all the ‘good’ beds are going to fill fast — information on how to reserve your spot will be sent to the team email list.
** If you’d like to see something else added to the camp, let me know.  I will send out a more specific time-line for each days activities when we get closer to the camp.