Author Archives: Admin

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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.

2015-05-06 07.40.33 am

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/

Team Ninja Training Camp2015-us-cup-logo-lg

(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.

2015-03-03 12.05.18 pmThe 2015 Kenda Cup kicked off this past weekend at Vail Lake. The wet, cold, and muddy conditions did not deter many, and the turnout was huge! Team Ninja had a solid presence at both the Enduro on Saturday and the XC + Endurance races on Sunday.

Every Ninja that braved the start-line is a champion in our book, but there are a few that we want to give extra special kudos to:

2015-03-03 12.33.29 pmShelly Rolandson – Enduro – 1st place Cat 2 Women
Paula Evenson – Enduro – 5th place Cat 1 Women (2 weeks post crash resulting in AC joint separation. Yah, she’s got a crazy high pain threshold.)
Aaron Hauck – Endurance – 1st place Men SS, 3rd Overall (He was right behind Tinker on his first lap, and in front of EVERYONE else.)
Darryl Sykes – XC – 2nd place Cat 1 Men 30-34
Kris Gross – XC – 3rd place Pro Women
Courtney Cowan – XC- 1st place Cat 2 Women
Jim Watson – XC – 1st place Cat 3 Men 60-64
Marcus Weigle – XC- Cat 2 Men 35-39
Todd Young – XC – 2nd place Cat 3 Men Clydesdale 35+
Patrick Silva – XC 5th place Cat 3 Men 50-54
Arianna Jones – XC – 6th place Cat 3 Women 30-39 (1st MTB race ever! And in those conditions!!! Wow!)
Doug Stewart – XC – 2nd place Cat 2 Men 65+ (1st Kenda Cup race ever! And, to get there on time, he woke up before 10am!)

2015-03-03 12.36.05 pmWhile the memories of this crazy event will last a lifetime, we hope the mud and dirt in your derailleurs and bottom brackets will not. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean every inch of your race rig before you ride it again! Our sponsor, WD-40, has a perfect line of products, just for this kind of mess.

Our 2015 partnership with WD-40 BIKE allows us to give out samples at all of our events including out camps and clinics as well as a discount to our Team Ninja members (see Members Only section of the team website for more info on this).

Team Ninja is thrilled to announce the addition of an exceptional new teammate. Already an outgoing member of her community of riders in Los Angeles —especially women—she’s agreed to take on additional responsibilities to help welcome even more female racers (and race-curious) to the team.

karen01Please join us in welcoming Karen Bauer!

Karen has a serious case of bike love, and it’s contagious. Team Ninja is proud to combine the support and camaraderie we’ve cultivated with Karen’s drive to introduce more women to racing. “I would love to encourage women, girls, and roadies to try racing mountain bikes,” she says. “Get out of the city and into the mountains; whenever I conquer a fear on my bike, or successfully ride through a tough section, I bring that feeling to my everyday life when things get challenging.”

We love Karen’s spirit and she joins the nearly 20 women already registered for Team Ninja’s 2015 season. She’ll be leading pre-rides at the L.A. area races, organizing group rides, and available to answer any questions you might have thanks to her many years’ experience riding, and the past five years’ racing. With her leadership, we look forward to welcoming even more racers. You can sign up by visiting the team’s site, www.teamninjaelite.com.

Team Ninja is a welcoming group of like-minded cyclist working together to support each other and achieve our goals while giving back to the community and inspiring others to ride. What does ‘like-minded’ mean? It’s about upholding the spirit of mountain biking; being fitter, faster, stronger; helping the mountain biking community and ensuring the future of the sport with volunteering. Learn more at teamninjaelite.com.

 Fun fact about Karen: Did you know? She’s one of the talented people who have helped bring The Simpson’s to your TV screen for over 25 years!

HessSIG Team Ninja is growing. In fact, when racers planned their end-of-year party, they even outgrew the venue they selected and moved the celebrations to Mike Hess Brewery in North Park San Diego.

Nearly 100 team members and Ninja-curious potential members traveled from as far away as L.A. and Phoenix to hear about the notable feats and good deeds of the past year’s “Ninja Stars” learn about sponsorship for 2015 and do what Team Ninja does best: connect with each other. (Of course, since we were at the amazingly delicious Hess Brewery, we also got to imbibe some tasty brews and chow down on hearty food from the Not So Fast food truck.  Huge thank you to both of these businesses for accommodating our rather large group of Ninjas.)

IMG_5584Among the highlights covered for the 2015 team is a new grassroots sponsorship agreement with Specialized Bicycles.  Zumwalt’s Bicycle Center, our our local bike shop sponsor, brought in a number of brand new Specialized rigs for us to drool over including an S-works Epic, Stumpjumper, Tarmac, Enduro and Fatboy. Another 205 highlight is that Team Ninja athletes will be racing in a redesigned kit by Zoca Gear, who brought samples so everyone could be sure they got a great fit.

IMG_5580The team has also announced a new “Ambassador Program” where we offer a little extra to those Ninjas that are willing and able to consistently go above and beyond normal Ninja-ness.  The program features larger discounts from select sponsors, Team Ninja accessories at no charge, and race / event reimbursement.  More about the Ambassador program here.

And new for 2015, Team Ninja will support a number of “Special Teams” including XC, Super D, DH, Road, Triathlon, and Cyclocross. Each special team will have a liaison that will be responsible for coordinating events in each discipline with interested Team Ninja members. These positions are now open, and volunteers are welcome.  More about Special Teams here.

Team Ninja is a group of like-minded cyclists who train together, race together IMG_5581and also work to give back to the sport, and their communities. The team is welcoming new members for 2015  — registration is open now!  Renew or join today here http://teamninjaelite.com/join-renew/

Kit orders must be made by Friday,  November 7, 2014 at 9pm.

2015 registration is open for Team Ninja!  Renew or join today here http://teamninjaelite.com/join-renew/

Full list of sponsors, 2014 photo gallery, more information on the Ambassador Program and Special Teams have been updated on the site.

Balboa Park Set To Host Final Two After-Dark MTB Races Nov 6 and Dec 112014-10-02 02.47.05 pm

SAN DIEGO, CA (October 1, 2014) — Ninja Night Race is proud to announce the final two events of 2014 will be presented by new title sponsor, Loaded Precision Components, and will take place on Thursday November 6 and Thursday December 11 at Balboa Park, starting at 7pm sharp.

“We’re headed back to Balboa Park for its central location, race-worthy trail system and best of all, the awesome feeling and spectacle of starting on the Velodrome,” said Race Director Richard La China. “We’re excited to be back, and thrilled to have Loaded Precision on board, as we welcome the earlier evenings with a little late-season racing.”

Ninja Night Race is the first USAC-sanctioned series of its kind, however Cat 2/3 athletes do not need a USAC license to participate. Pro/Cat 1 podium placers a can look forward to up to $100 in prize money for both men and women. The event also includes an expo featuring event sponsors and local businesses, a free tamale for all racers and live music to add to the festive vibe.

“It’s been a busy summer of racing for everyone, but now we get to enjoy some cooler temperatures, and a more laid-back atmosphere, all while still collecting those last-minute upgrade points,” said La China. “We hope that the Loaded Precision Ninja Night Race attracts riders who want to give racing a try, racers who want to give night-riding a try, and of course, the usual suspects in our tremendous community of mountain bikers.”

NinjaNightRace3Look for details leading up to the event, including the course, who will be in the expo, and the famous Ninja Night Race door prizes at ninjanightrace.com.

About Ninja Night Race

Ninja Night Race began in late 2013 with a pilot event held at Lake Hodges. Thanks to its success, the series relocated to Balboa Park in downtown San Diego to allow more racers to join in the fun. Participants in the second event became the first mountain bikers in history to set tire on the famous San Diego Velodrome. Ninja Night Race is the first USAC-sanctioned series of its kind and takes place during the week in the fall/winter, adding an off-season option for racers who like to go fast in the dark, or riders interested in trying it for the first time. Ninja Night Race is proud to offer equal prize purses in the Cat 1/pro categories for men and women. More than a race, the event also brings a party atmosphere by including live music, delicious tamales, and an expo featuring sponsors and local businesses. For more information, please visit ninjanightrace.com.

Kenda Cup Series Champions 2014

Kenda Cup Series Champions 2014

Do you like to ride your bike? Do you love to ride your bike? Do you like puppies?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then we should be teammates!

IRC Bike Fix Day

International Rescue Committee Bike Fix Day

Team Ninja is seeking more like-minded cyclists to share in the fun of riding on two wheels.

We’d love for you to come join us at our official Team Ninja End-of-the-2014-Season-and-Beginning-of-the-2015-Season

IMBA Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

IMBA Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Party. We’ll be reliving the glory days of this past year (like our Kenda Cup and Rim Nordic team results, our community outreach projects, and successfully hosting the first USAC sanctioned night mountain bike race), having an awards ceremony to laud those Ninjas that went the extra mile—some of them quite literally—and talking about our plans for next year.

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 2015 kit designs and our 2015 sponsors!

Now, a party wouldn’t be a party without a good venue, and we promise not to disappoint. We’ve rented out a totally rad little microbrewery down in North Park (San Diego) called Hess Brewing. First drink is on us! (You’re welcome.) Also, we will have a delicious and (mostly)nutritious food truck take care of the food. Don’t worry, there will be vegetarian and gluten free options for those with special dietary needs.

Team Camp 2014 - Big Bear, CA

Team Camp 2014 – Big Bear, CA

 So come on out and eat, drink, be merry, and talk about bikes with us. Bring your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/“special friend”/lover, kids, dog…. All are welcome. Seriously. Just make sure they’re on leashes (the dog, not the kids).

RSVP required here … https://www.facebook.com/events/697981820283677

Don’t live in San Diego? No problem! We have team members from all over the north and southwest, like Bend, OR, Phoenix, AZ, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County. If you are from out of town and want to join the team, please send Coach Richard a message.

**You may have noticed, we updated the location and start time.  New location is Hess Brewery in North park at 6:30pm.   See ya there!

2014-10-17 08.27.41 am

10491097_10154541328870438_3521554436393636596_nIt was another successful day for Team Ninja at Big Bear for the California State Championships. There was a noticeable tension on the start line as all the racers stared down the chance to win a title, bragging rights, and the good-looking jersey that goes with all of it. With the day warming up, and some slight course changes, the ponies were all pawing at the dirt. Team Ninja proved once again they were up to the challenge, and when the dust settled, there were no less than five podium finishes to celebrate, including State Champ titles going to:

  • m_allenMichelle Allen, Cat 2 30-39
  • Heidi Amundson, Cat 3 30-39
  • Anne-Catherine Rocque-Levecque, Cat 3 50+

This adds to the National Champ titles collected by team members Regina Jeffries (Cat 3 Downhill) and Paula Evenson (Cat 3 XC) since wrapping up the Kenda Cup series.

Wow! Congratulations ladies!!

Team Ninja has had a fabulous first season with great results at every event — including the recent Fire Road 100 — and continues to race at events like the Rim Nordic Series, while preparing for “A” races such as Leadville Trail 100.

The team is grateful for the support of sponsors that include Rudy Project, Power Bar, Norco Bicycles, Sock Guy, Gaerne, Basic Link, Crank Cycling, Inner Strength Fitt Labs, Zumwalt’s Bike Shop, Casiano Law, Red Ace Organics and title sponsor, Ninja Mountain Bike Skills.

Here are the team’s full results from Sunday:

CROSS COUNTY

IMAG1884Cat 2 Women 30-39 – Michelle Allen – 1st

Cat 3 Clydesdale 35+ – Todd Young – 2nd

Cat 3 Women 30-39 – Heidi Amundson – 1st

Cat 3 Women 50+ – Anne-Catherine Rocque-Levecque – 1st

ENDURANCE

Open Men – Richard La China – 4th

Cat 2 Men 30-39 – Michael Henry – 3rd

Cat 2 Men 30-39 – Michael Whitehurst – 5th