Author Archives: Admin

The best way to ensure the future of our sport is to introduce it to the next generation. That’s why Team Ninja is proud to announce kids age 10 and up can join for kids-mountain-bike-race-vail-co-teva-mountain-gamesfree, and take advantage of race support, sponsorship deals and the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team.

Youth cycling is a chance to welcome new riders, and help them reach their full potential without injury or burning out. It doesn’t matter what discipline, on Team Ninja, we emphasize fun, focus on development and celebrate personal bests.

Best of all, with Team Ninja, they’ll also learn the importance of being part of their community, have the chance to volunteer for great causes and gain a source of positive energy that keeps them fit and active.

team_ninja_cycling_team_jerseyTo help our youth look the part, Team Ninja is making official kits available in kids’ sizes and kids’ prices ($150 total for jersey/bib shorts). We will be including a listing of youth races on our web page, so check back to see what events suit your young ninja’s race schedule.

If you’re interested in signing up your son or daughter to our growing youth roster, or if you have any questions, please contact Coach Richard.

Quick reminder :: Monday, December 2 – 2013 is the last day you can order your Official Team Ninja bib shorts.

If you haven’t orders yours yet, here’s the link… (also, get your orders placed for additional jerseys if you want them and socks).

Men’s ‘Team Ninja’ Bib Shorts on Square Market
Champion System bib shorts sizing chart in case you need it…

11/21/2013 – 6pm Lefty’s Pizza.


We had an incredible turn out at our 2nd Official Team Ninja meeting – 9 new members joined Team Ninja putting our total rider count at 38 – Awesome!

Here’s a quick recap of the meeting in case you were not able to join us (or couldn’t hear me over all the Lefty’s madness)…

Review of Team Ninja Historyteam_ninja_cycling_team_jersey

Richard started a mountain bike workouts on at Balboa Park in 2012 because he saw there was a void.  Every other sport has group workouts and now mountain biking had its own too.

The workout has been free because he sees it as a public good.  Hundreds of riders have participated since its inception and there’s no end in site.

A lot of close friendships have been forged at these workouts and it was at participants demand that we created the jerseys, and at their demand that we are starting this team.

Who knew that meetup would be the beginning of something so cool. Still today, 18 or so months later, we’ve have between 25-30 people coming out week after week.   If you haven’t made it out to a workout lately, join us!

Team Ninja Mission Statement

A team 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. Team Ninja is open to everyone, no matter what level rider or cycling discipline.  You just need to ride a bike!

What We Have Done so Far


IMBA and Team Ninja join forces to put on our first ever Free Mountain Bike Kids Skills Clinic October 2013.

  1. IMBA Kids MTB Skills Clinic | Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (24 participants)
  2. First ever USAC XC MTB race – Ninja Night Race

In the Future

  1. Kids bike skills clinic at San Diego Gran Fondo in April, 2014
  2. This is where Dan and Heidi come in… (if you have ideas, let them know)

Upcoming Cycling Events and Racers

  1. An upcoming MTB race schedule been created by Mike Henry (will be posted on the website shortly)
  2. Ray Snoke will be taking on the task of assembling a Road Race list for Socal – Thank you Ray!! (will be posted soon)
  3. Ninja Night Race – No confirmed date yet, will be announced soon — Stay tuned

Ninja Supplies

  1. New Team Ninja canopy has arrived – awesome!team_ninja_cycling_team_event_support
  2. Water coolers are here.
  3. Tables are here.
  4. (portable bike rack on order)

Sponsor Update

  1. Reference Sponsor List on website (and in Members only section)
  2. New Sponsors: Lefty’s Pizza, EZ-UP, Paul Gamache LAC – Acupuncture, Sports Medicine and Family Health


  1. Group email list. You need a Google account to participate.  This is a great way for everyone to communicate about everything Ninja; team rides, community events, carpools, etc. Go here to request access:
  2. Website updates (new features, check ‘em out!)
    1. Members only section (Member’s Only:  Login is ******** and password is ******** (email Richard or Kristen for this information). Go to and key it in to get more team info and learn how to access sponsors’ offers.)
    2. Classifieds (Use this to sell and buy cycling parts, gear, etc.)
    3. Forums (This auto categorizes all group emails into forums threads for future reference, searching,etc.)  You can post directly to the forums here, or by sending a group email. Go here to request access:
  3. Facebook Page (Join Team Ninja | Cycling Team)

team_ninja_bib_shortsTeam Orders

  1. Rudy Project – going to be placed quarterly (Monday Dec 2)
  2. Team Ninja bib shorts, order yours on the Team website ASAP (deadline Monday Dec 2)!
  3. Socks – available online tomorrow on the team website store for $8.

Team Photos / Bios

  1. Team Portrait night at Zumwalt’s Cycle Center — December 5 (Thursday) 6pm
  2. Please send in your Rider bios to go with your photos – due by Dec 15.

Volunteer Positions

  1. Membership coordinator / communication role.
    1. James Vo will assist Richard in this role.  Thank you James!
  2. Other community events (looking for a community service minded volunteer to take this position)
    1. Heidi Amundson will take on this role – Thank you Heidi!
    2. Dan Golich will assist – Thank you Dan!
  3. Rudy Project orders
    1. Michael Henry will take the lead on coordinating these orders.  Thank you Michael!  Expect an email from Michael soon with instructions, in the meantime – check out to figure out what you’d like to purchase.

Positions yet to fill (let Richard know if you are interested in any of these):

Race / Ride Result Coordinator (post results from team members on Team Ninja site and social media.)
  2. Sponsorship Coordinator – work with prospective and current sponsors for Team support, product, etc.
  3. Social Events (off the bike) Coordinator (Art galleries, concerts, movies, wine nights, etc…)

Closing Remarks

  • Thank you Lefty’s Pizza (David)!leftys_pizza
  • If you know anyone who might like to be a sponsor of the team, let Richard know.
  • Everyone is welcome to join the team (as long as you ride a bike) More info here:
  • We have most size jerseys in stock on the Team Ninja Store.  If we don’t well include yours in the next order (Dec 2)
  • If you haven’t already, order your Bib shorts in the Team Ninja Store – deadline is December 2, 2013.

Whew, you made it this far… In case your eyes glazed over some of the important dates, here they are in a list, put ’em in your calendar now…

Item / Event Due Date / Date
Bib Shorts Orders 2-Dec
Additional Team Jersey Orders 2-Dec
Rudy Project Orders 2-Dec
New Members Sign Ups 2-Dec
Team Photos (Zumwalt’s Cycle Center) 5-Dec
Rider Bios 15-Dec

Thank you for being a part of Team Ninja – We’re really looking forward to seeing what we can do in 2014!


Launch of Volunteer-Run Team Whose Mission Is Community-Minded

(November 19, 2013 – San Diego, CA) San Diego cyclists have worked together to launch a cycling team open to riders of all disciplines and categories with members sharing a common interest in strengthening their communities.

Team Captain, Richard La China, a USAC-certified cycling coach, IMBA-certified mountain bike skills instructor, Cat 1 racer, as well as head coach of Ninja Mountain Bike Skills based in San Diego, formed the team in response to riders’ demand.team_ninja_jersey_richard_lachina

“Every Tuesday night for the past 18 or so months, a group of mountain bikers has been coming to Balboa Park for a free workout, challenging each other up some of the great climbs and trails there as they get fit for whatever cycling goals they’re pursuing,” said La China. “A team was the natural next step. Now we’re going to train, race and see if we can make difference together.”

Part of being on Team Ninja is committing to support community projects and events, especially in ways that also support the growth and future of the sport.

“Already, we’ve been really excited to see team members, their friends and family step up to help out with the kids’ skills rodeo we hosted to benefit the Monarch School of San Diego,” said Team Ninja captain Richard La China. “It was a lot of fun for everyone involved, and we had a great response from the participants — our big dream is to create a youth cycling program to keep the sport growing, and we’re keeping our eyes open to find more ways to help support both our cycling community, and some of the many amazing non-profits and charities in San Diego.”

The team is run on a volunteer basis by its members. A growing list of sponsors, including Rudy Project, Power Bar and San Diego’s Zumwalt’s Bicycle Center, as well as local cycling industry stalwarts like Sock Guy, have shown great interest and are offering tremendous support for the racers on the roster. The team is open to new membership and anyone who ride a bike of any kind is encouraged to sign up. Annual membership fees includes a race jersey and contributes to the basic team expenses. The team is comprised of riders participating in mountain bike racing, road racing, track, ultra endurance and gran fondo events.

“We’re already up to over 30 members and though everyone has different cycling goals from a range of disciplines we all share one thing in common and that’s a real sense of the importance of helping others,” said La China. “It’s amazing to see so many great people come together and rally to promote cycling, represent the team, and give a little back.”

Team Ninja is open to anyone. It meets quarterly and supports the Monarch School of San Diego, Promises2Kids and the USO. Learn more by visiting


Greetings Current and Prospective Team Ninjas Members!2013-10-29 10.47.37 am

We hope your base miles are underway or that you’re enjoying CX season and Ninja Night Races! We wanted to interrupt your regularly scheduled Ninja-ing to discuss topics outlined in the agenda below. Meeting will be November 21, 2013, 6pm at Lefty’s in Mission Hills.

Please RSVP (here) for the meeting so we know how many are coming — and let us know how many guests you are bringing.

Meeting Agenda

1)  Team introduction to new members and prospective members.

• What we’ve accomplished so far as a team.

• Upcoming community events.Upcoming races (Ninja Night Race, Quick and Dirty, Racers and Chasers).

• Team Ninja jersey distribution.

• Team equipment update (tables, water coolers, tent, flags, more)

• Sponsor review (current, new, prospective).

• Group email list.

2)  Team Orders:

• Rudy Project – Please have your wish list ready to go!

• Check out the “Members Only” section of for more details. Team Ninja bib shorts – Please be ready with your size and quantity.

• Socks – how many pair would you like to order?

3)  Discussion on team structure, infrastructure and organization

4)  Short presentation on the “Advanced Health Directive” available through Casiano Law (If you’re interested in a AHD, plan on staying after the meeting to get things rolling with Vinny).

But wait, there’s more! We’d like to share some information that is strictly Ninjas only:

1)  Member’s Only:  Login is ******* and password is ******* (will give out at the meeting).  Go to and key it in to get more team info and learn how to access sponsors’ offers.

2)  Team Ninja deadline: For USAC registration and for our sponsors’ information we need to lock in our official team roster. If you have friends who are interested in joining the team, please let them know the deadline is December 15, 2013.

Team Ninja is open to everyone, no matter what level rider or cycling discipline.   You just need to ride a bike!

If you’d like to learn more, join us at the meeting.  And if you know someone who might want to join the team, BRING ‘EM too!

3)  Rider bios: Thanks to all members who responded.  If you haven’t already sent yours, please send them over ASAP. Also, we’d include a couple more questions as suggested by some members. The updated Q list is below — have fun with it!

Thanks for reading, thanks for riding, and we’ll see you at the meeting on November 21.


Rider Bio Questionnaire:

a.   Provide all of the following information:
i.   Name
ii.   Primary discipline
iii.   Birthday
iv.   Hometown
b.   Choose three from the following:
i.   Nickname
ii.   Special talent
iii.   Fav food
iv.   Fav music
v.   Philosophy on life
vi.   Most important person
vii.   Movie quote
Next, we’d like to add:
a.   Instagram?
b.   Twitter?
c.   Strava?
d.   Any other social channels?
e.   Favorite Trail/Ride?
f.   What do you ride?

Also, please include 1 or 2 photos of you riding!




We had a FANTASTIC afternoon for IMBA’s annual Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. Thanks to all the kids who came out to try the skinnies, practice their feed zone technique, work on their cornering and perfect their Ninja Positions! We loved riding with you! Special thanks to the parents who helped us make the event run smoothly and for taking a kid mountain biking today, and every day. San_Diego_Mountain_Skills_IMBA_Bike_Rodeo_Ride_Like_A_Ninja_6

But we could not have done it without the help of the TEAM NINJA volunteers who stepped up to make the day a big success.

Thanks to Axel Niedergesaess for bring a sweet tool box and really owning his job as head mechanic. I think those bikes all left working better than new, and we had no mechanicals all afternoon!

Thanks to Jeff Meyer for helping to coach some brave boys and girls over our ramps and skinnies, working on their ninja position and cheering them on.

San_Diego_Mountain_Skills_IMBA_Bike_Rodeo_Ride_Like_A_Ninja_11Thanks to Dan Golich who was one of the first to respond to our call with almost everything from our list that we needed to run the afternoon.

And thanks to honorary Ninja, Gerhard Gross for volunteering to snap these photos and for contributing a box of BMX magazines for the kids to test their paper-boy skills with, and then take home.

It is super inspiring to see how our team is already stepping up to the plate and committing to our community service mission only a few weeks in. The best part? It’s hard to tell who had more fun — the kids who we’re sure fell asleep almost as soon as they got buckled up, or us, Team Ninja — the kids at heart.

Thanks to these great volunteers and the spirit of our amazing community, we were able to stoke out the next generation of riders, meet some of their awesome parents, and raise a little money for the Monarch School as well. Stay tuned for more info on that!

Thanks again — hope you enjoy some photos from the event.

Richard La China and Kristen Gross

We’re taking part in IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day by offering a free “skills rodeo” in Balboa Park this Saturday, October 5.ann337_042513_ai_tif_

We have lots of excited kids on the way and a fun afternoon planned. But to make the event a success, we need your help. Come give back in the community, get kids stoked on bikes and help us raise some money for the Monarch School of San Diego.

We are looking for at least 12 volunteers to help at our skills stations, check bikes for safety (we especially need a mechanically-minded person for that job) and to get each rider set up with a number plate and a name tag.

We also have a list of items we need help to track down:
–       2 2×6 boards
–       A ramp (please let us know if you have one, or if you’re into building things and we’ll give you the specifics)
–       12-15 Traffic cones
–       5-7 Rolled up newspapers
–       Donation Jar/Box
–       Name Tags
–       Sharpies

The rodeo begins at 1pm at the San Diego Velodrome in Balboa Park. We’d hope to see you there by 12:30 at the latest so we can fill you in before we get started. We hope to be all done by 4pm. Please let us know how you can help as soon as possible.

Here’s the link to the event.. Kids Rodeo Information


Richard La China and Kristen Gross

Team Ninja 2014 Jersey

Thanks to everyone who came out to Lefty’s in Mission Hills for pizza, beer, and the launch of our new mountain bike team. Team Ninja has grown up naturally because of the amazing community of riders that come out to Tuesday night workouts, skills clinics and group rides. It’s a team for us, by us and we’re excited to see it coming to life.

It was amazing to see so many members – now 23 strong – sign up on the spot to take on our mission and race bikes together. Here’s what it means to be on Team Ninja:

  • Support at races and in training through group workouts and discounts on coaching
  • Sponsorship by some of the best suppliers in the industry
  • A Team Ninja race jersey included with your membership fees
  • The chance to be part of a team that believes in giving back and growing our sport.

As we settle into the base-training months, knowing we have a team to represent come race season is a great motivation we hope everyone will use to push a little more, go a little harder and grow a little stronger.

Team Ninja is run entirely on a volunteer basis and meets regularly in various locations for weekly group rides (road and mtn bike) as well as quarterly meetings and special events. For more information on the club, email us here and if you’d like to join the team click here!

Balboa Park Mountain Bike TT Results | 09-24-2013

Congrats to Dan Bergstrom for the most improvement on his PR — he wins the Helmet!

Also, props to Michael Asgian, Manuel, Michael Henry, Vinny and Beatrice Dormoy on their PRs — well done!

And a new course record has been set by Stephane Roche — amazing TT!

Place Rider Name Seed Order TT PR Improved
1 Stephane Roche 1 0:23:00
2 Michael Henry 4 0:24:50 0:26:17 0:01:27
3 Ryan Brown 3 0:25:20 0:25:14
4 Ben Raymond 6 0:26:01
5 Michael Asgian 23 0:26:10 0:26:53 0:00:43
6 Todd Young 7 0:26:25 0:27:38
7 Lisa Hauck 17 0:26:42
8 Dan Bergstrom 19 0:26:50 0:28:48 0:01:58
9 Jim Ritch 12 0:27:00
10 Patrick Higens 11 0:27:30
11 Bea Dormoy 8 0:28:01 0:28:20 0:00:19
12 Doug Stewart 9 0:28:12 0:28:31
13 Manuel 25 0:28:42 0:29:09 0:00:27
14 Darrell Styner 22 0:29:29
15 Advait 14 0:29:53 0:28:41
16 Jimmy Tu 5 0:30:24 0:30:00
17 Brad Wilton 16 0:31:02
18 Arnel 13 0:31:32
19 Vinny Casiano 27 0:32:41 0:33:42 0:01:01
20 Karl Graff 26 0:33:28
21 Michael Whitehurst 15 0:33:57
22 Anne-Catherine 18 0:36:34
23 Jesus Santana 24 0:37:29
24 Calvin Gipson 20 0:38:20
25 Aaron Hauck 2 DNF 0:25:54
26 Kushan Peykarian 10 DNF 0:31:04
27 Richard Lai Fatt 21 DNF

ANNOUNCEMENT  Ninja Mountain Bike Race Team

You already train together. You suffer up Z-climb repeats together. You do standing Pershings together. You all face “The Wall” together. You already cheer each other on at the monthly TT/Fitness Tests…2013-07-31 10.42.00 pm

And now, we’re making it so you can race together…

Yes, that’s right! You asked for it and we are making it happen: San Diego Mountain Bike Skills is creating the “Ride Like a Ninja” MTB Team for the 2014 season.

What does it mean to be on the Ride Like a Ninja MTB team?

– Spirit of mountain biking; being fitter, faster, stronger; helping the MTB community and ensuring the future of the sport with volunteering
– Coached workouts
– Race support
– Sponsorship and sponsor discounts
– Discounts on skills essions
– Race Kits
– MTB Camps
– Discounts on Coaching

Haven’t participated in the Tuesday Night Workouts and don’t know what the Z-climb is? That’s ok! The Ride Like a Ninja MTB team is open to everyone, regardless of skill level (and familiarity with said Z-climb). The only requirement is a shared commitment to the mission of the team.

More information about joining the Ride Like a Ninja Team will be coming soon.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to be a sponsor of the team, please reply to this email or contact us HERE.