2014-06-16 03.08.36 pmThe Kenda Cup Series final was held over Father’s Day weekend in Big Bear, CA under blue skies, and near-perfect racing conditions. Team Ninja began assembling at the team cabin on Wednesday, trying to get a head start on altitude acclimation, with the majority of racers arriving Friday night or Saturday morning.

A quick head count showed that the team needed every point and even then, it might not be possible to hold on to the narrow lead Team Ninja had established for its Cat 2/3 co-ed team. Under the added pressure, Team Ninja racers responded like true champions, taking home six podium finishes and countless PRs over the weekend, sealing its place on the top step for the Cat 2/3 co-ed team, third place for the Cat 1/pro co-ed team, and overall wins in men’s and women’s Super D.

“There is so much that goes into winning a big series like this,” said Team Ninja captain Richard La China. “That’s why I am enormously proud of our team for consistently showing up and stepping up on every level. Team Ninja has worked to be a force on the race course, but also an open-hearted group of friends who support one another and help one another — it’s been an amazing season so far.”

2014-06-16 03.09.41 pmTeam Ninja is a new face on the SoCal circuit, with racers coming from San Diego, L.A. and Phoenix — some for their first seasons ever. It has a welcoming, doors-open policy, with a focus on community involvement and the promotion of the sport along with a healthy dose of excellence for good measure. The team is deeply grateful to have the support of tremendous 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, and title sponsor, Ninja Mountain Bike Skills.

With its trademark enthusiasm, Team Ninja already has its sights set on the upcoming Rim Nordic Series as well as campaigns planned at Fire Road 100, Leadvillle Trail 100 and the B.C. Bike Race. Stay tuned for more exciting news to come, and check out the Kenda Cup results below. Congratulations Team Ninja!

| Join Team Ninja | Contact Team Ninja | Team Ninja on Facebook | Team Ninja on Strava

June 15, 2014 – Big Bear Shootout #2 – Series Final

XCO Results:

Cat 1 Women 30-39 Kris Gross – 1st

Cat 2 Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 4th

Cat 3 Women 30-39 Paula Evenson – 2nd

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

Cat 3 Men 40-44 Abe Gonzalez – 7th

Cat 3 Men 50-59 Vinny Casiano – 5th

Cat 3 Men Clydesdales 35+ Todd Young – 2nd

Endurance Results

Men 40-49 Michael Whitehurst – 16th

Men 40-49 Richard La China – DNF (mechanical)

Super D Results

Open Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 1st

Open Men 40-49 Richard La China – 2nd

 

Kenda Cup Final Series Standings

TEAM

Cat 2/3 Co-Ed Team – Overall Series CHAMPIONS

Cat 1/Pro Co-Ed Team– 3rd Place Overall

XCO

Cat 1 Women 30-39 Kris Gross – 1st

Cat 2 Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 7th

Cat 3 Women 30-39 Paula Evenson – 2nd

Cat 3 Women 30-39 Heidi Amundson – 5th

Cat 3 Women 40-49 Lisa Bielke – 4th

Cat 3 Women 50+ Anne-Catherine Roch-Levecque – 4th

Cat 1 Men 17-18 Evan Christenson – 11th

Cat 1 Men Singlespeed Richard La China – 8th

Cat 2 Men 19-24 Eric Fischer – 3rd

Cat 2 Men 25-29 Ray Snoke – 20th

Cat 2 Men 30-34 Ryan Brown – 3rd

Cat 2 Men 30-34 Kyle Wills – 8th

Cat 2 Men 35-39 Michael Henry – 12th

Cat 2 Men 35-39 Henry Heisler – 24th

Cat 2 Men 40-44 James Vo – 21st

Cat 2 Men 45-49 Tom Jones – 46th

Cat 3 Men 30-34 Advait Ogale – 6th

Cat 3 Men 35-30 Daniel Bergstrom – 18th

Cat 3 Men 35-30 Nelson Mozzini – 26th

Cat 3 Men 40-44 Abe Gonzalez – 5th

Cat 3 Men 40-44 Michael Whitehurst – 17th

Cat 3 Men 45-49 Jim Ritch – 18th

Cat 3 Men 45-49 Tom Jones – 22nd

Cat 3 Men 50-54 Darrell Styner – 8th

Cat 3 Men 50-54 Dan Golich – 20th

Cat 3 Men 55-50 Vinny Casiano – 10th

Cat 3 Clydesdales 35+ Todd Young – 2nd

Endurance

Men 40-49 Michael Whitehurst – 21st

Men 40-49 Richard La China – 28th

Singlespeed Men Aaron Hauck – 10th

Super D

Open Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 1st

Open Men 30-39 Michael Henry – 27th

Open Men 40-49 Richard La China – 1st

Open Men 40-49 Michael Whitehurst – 28th

By: Kris Gross

My first “real” US Race is now under my belt, and it could not have been a more enjoyable day! First of all, my parents arrived just in time to be in attendance, and with Gerhard already agreeing to come along that meant it was a chance for “team training” leading up to BC Bike Race. Everyone was very attentive to pre-race procedures so I’m confident the support crew will be in tip top shape come June 28.

Pre-race procedures this time meant the song and dance I usually reserve for early-season Ontario races: will it rain, or won’t it? Mud tires, or no? Where’s the Pam cooking spray? What’s the latest forecast? The rains we had in Southern California recently are rare, but much-needed (though I read they still didn’t make a dent in the drought situation we find ourselves in). The course I pre-rode last week was completely different from the one I found on race day. Thank goodness. Gone were the hot, dry, choke-on-dust conditions I expected and in their place was cool, tacky, cloudy (but not raining!) perfection.

We joined up with the awesome people of Team Ninja under our team tent and tried to get as many racer stories as possible. Our team was looking sharp in our new kits and everyone was buzzing with that post-race glow. Love this team! I did my warm up on the trainer (a first for me, but not the last), then jumped on the mountain bike to make sure it was working as perfectly as I left it and then it was off to the start. There were five women in my new “Cat 1” category, but since we were divided by age group, I was really only racing one of them. Another light class for the ladies. Sigh. I’m told that later races will fill up a little more. Fingers crossed for that day, and big thank you to the Cat 1 ladies who came out for this one: Ema, Michelle, Shelly and Rhonda!

Our category started last in the 1:30 group so we had no one behind us chasing us down. So lovely. We agreed that since almost no one in our start gate was actually in a race, we’d all work like a pride of lionesses to chase down as many men as we could. Look out, boys! Fun game.

My perfectly-working mountain bike declared it was less-than-perfect right off the bat with a near-to-“Schlecked” chain that just never really sorted itself out. Team Ninja cheered me through the opening stretch as I wrestled to get into the big ring. Oh well. I was trying to climb and spin the adjusters at the same time for the first half of the lap and eventually did find a place where I could make use of my big ring (!!).

With the rain, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the course, but bikes from the previous race were coming out fairly clean and Ninjas had mostly good things to say, so I was confident we were in for a treat. I was right. The climbs felt like we were riding elevators, my tires were like velcro in every corner (regular tires … not mud ones … thank goodness I didn’t succumb to that temptation) and with the dust pasted down, I could actually breathe. I hammered off the start line despite my beleaguered drive train, opened a gap and didn’t look back until the course wound back on itself after the first super fun drop.

Ema was leading the rest of the ladies and looked determined to close the gap. With three nine-mile laps on the menu, I picked a pace and stuck with it, trying to focus on men up ahead rather than Ema on my heels.

Halfway through the lap, she closed the gap. Ema was racing in the 15-19 category and I was super thrilled to have her back there. She was riding smooth and strong and if that’s the quality of racing coming up the ranks, then that’s great news for the women’s scene. I asked her if she wanted to come around, but she declined, so I said, “Okay, let’s go” and we rode together for a little while. I hope I helped her, because she helped me. I lost her amongst some passing/trail traffic and then I was back on my own until lap three.

The second lap I ate up some more men, and started to really settle into my pace and enjoy the course. Vail Lake isn’t everyone’s favourite race, or so I gathered. But without any others to compare it to, I was fully enjoying it. It winds back on itself a number of times, skirting ridges and going in and out of canyons with one climb in particular, “the switchbacks” standing out as “breathtaking.” And then the descents were just a blast. No brakes, lovely berms, some rocks and drops to play with and I was loving it. On one of the drops, I misjudged my line, carried in way too much speed and I don’t think my tires even touched the ground except to skitter over the tops of the rocks. Regained control just as I hit another well-formed berm and laughed out loud it was such a rush. There were so many “yee-haw” sections and I found the course had plenty of flow to offset the long steady climbs and punchy steeps.

Brought it around for the last lap, collected a fresh bottle (I fudged my feed on lap two carrying too much speed into the feed zone … regrettable … but there were plenty of shook-free bottles to choose from on the course!) and enjoyed seeing my team, my parents and my husband cheering me on for the final push. My shifting was once again slipping back out and I’d narrowly avoided tearing a side wall on one of my more daring descents so I was mainly focused on finishing up clean and safe.

And then of course, I look over my shoulder and there’s Ema again. I kicked it up, and brought it home to cheering friends and family. So awesome for the Cat 2/3 Ninjas to stick around for the few of us Cat 1 racers, I really appreciated it!!

Collected some neat hardware and then the best part, Team Dinner swapping war stories and filling our faces. All in all an awesome first US Cup/Kenda Cup experience. Looking forward to Bonelli!

I want to thank Team Ninja and all of our fabulous sponsors. In particular, PowerBar, thanks for those “real fruit” pouches. Delicious. Rudy Project, thanks for making a bright pink helmet that my mom can easily spot on the course! Thanks Champion Systems for our enviable kits — I have never had more people ask to have the shirt off my back. Thanks to Aaron Hauck and Inner Strength Fitt Labs for getting me so comfortable on the bike. Huge thanks to my coach, Richard La China for ALL THE THINGS. And a big thanks to all the Team Ninja racers for making all this suffering feel like FUN! Feeling pretty lucky to be part of our awesome team. Going to be a great season.

And I also want to thank my mom and dad for coming all the way from Canada for this race!! (okay okay, they just happened to be here anyway). Thanks dad for snapping all the pics in this blog, and Mom for trying to feed me (sorry I messed it up!). And my husband Gerhard who always makes me feel like I can go 20% faster just with his presence. I love having you guys at the race, and can’t wait for our “Team Kris” reunion at BC Bike Race.

The Start of Cat 1 Women
Coming through at the end of Lap 1 with Gerhard cheering me on

Crossing the Finish

When you start your race on the Velodrome on Thursday the 16th, you will be in the presence of a legend.  No, not Ron Burgundy.  Someone better. EddieB

(Yes, it is possible).

THIS man is single-handedly responsible for bringing American cycling to world prominence.

(See? Told you it was possible. Now you’re asking yourself who it could be!)

Ninja Night Race is proud to announce that Eddie Borysewicz, fondly known as Eddie B., will be joining us for this race’s historic send-off!

Under his direction, the US team won an unprecedented 9 medals at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984–the first time Americans had won medals in cycling since 1912!

Throughout his storied coaching career, he has developed and coached some of the world’s best riders, including Greg LeMond, the only American to officially win the Tour de France.

SteveHegg-EddieBAs if these accolades aren’t impressive enough, Eddie B. was inducted into the United States Bicycle Hall of Fame in 1996 AND was named the “Father of modern American cycling” at the 2004 Endurance Awards in San Diego.

Impressive, right?

But wait! There’s more!

ninja night raceNot only will Eddie B. be there, he will be sending off all riders by leading them in a parade lap around the velodrome on his motorpace bike.

Now THAT is rad.

Make sure you register in advance, attendance is limited. http://ninjanightrace.com

#ridelikeaninja

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… http://tinyurl.com/plsjsk7

11/21/2013 – 6pm Lefty’s Pizza.

leftys_pizza_ninja_cycling_team

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 Meetup.com 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

kids_bike_skills_imba_team_ninja

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

Communication

  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: http://teamninjaelite.com/forums/
  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 http://teamninjaelite.com/members-only/ 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.) http://teamninjaelite.com/ninja-classifieds/
    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: http://teamninjaelite.com/forums/
  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 http://e-rudy.com to figure out what you’d like to purchase.

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

  1. 
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: http://teamninjaelite.com/join-renew/
  • 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!

team_ninja_logo_cycling_team

http://teamninjaelite.com/

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 teamninjaelite.com.

NEXT TEAM MEETING IS NOVEMBER 21, 2013 – 6PM, AT LEFTY’S PIZZA IN MISSION HILLS — EVERYONE IS WELCOME, PLEASE RSVP HERE.

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 teamninjaelite.com 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 teamninjaelite.com/members-only/ 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. http://teamninjaelite.com/albums/take-a-kid-mountain-biking-day-bike-skills-rodeo/

Richard La China and Kristen Gross

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