15 YR ANNIVERSARY, GRAND REOPENING & PARTNERSHIP

FULLERTON BICYCLES HAS A WHOLE NEW LOOK!!
FULLERTON BICYCLES HAS A WHOLE NEW LOOK!!

TIME FOR CELEBRATION

March 31st was full of milestones, new looks, and great business relationships made stronger.
Mike Franze owner of Fullerton Bicycle was celebrating his 15-year anniversary of ownership. Mike purchased the store back in 2003 then shortly after he purchased Buena Park Bicycle in 2005. Family owned, Mike treats his customers just like family. Something that is unique with retail stores, but so needed in today’s E-Commerce environment where brick and mortar is going the way side.

MIKE FRANZE TAKING TIME TO GIVE A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT FULLERTON BICYCLE WITH GIANT
MIKE FRANZE TAKING TIME TO GIVE A LITTLE HISTORY ABOUT FULLERTON BICYCLE WITH GIANT

Just to give you little history about Fullerton Bicycle, they first opened their doors back in 1967 and have been a big part of the community since. Always providing the absolute best service, in the best environment. This is a store where the staff is not only friendly, but knowledgeable at what they do.
These guys don’t just sell bikes and fix them, they are pure cycling enthusiast through an through, even Mike is an avid rider himself and this is what makes a customer come back to a place like this. They know that a shop that rides is a shop that cares.

FACELIFT

THE NEW LOOK IS GREAT
THE NEW LOOK IS GREAT

After 6 weeks of remodeling both stores, it was time for the celebration of 15 great years hard work.
The minute I walked into Fullerton Bicycle I was blown away by the changes. This was a whole new store with a whole new feel of space. Giant Bicycle gave a helping hand to the remodel and they did an awesome job of it. New paint (my favorite color, Giant Team blue), brighter lighting, new flooring, well-marked Giant kiosk for accessories and gear, plus beautiful counter tops for the sales and service areas.

NEW SERVICE AREA
NEW SERVICE AREA

THE WOMEN'S AREA
THE WOMEN’S AREA

This was truly a remarkable change. When you walk in it feels warm and inviting, a kind of Feng Shui feel to it all.
You could feel the pride in all the staff members as well as Mike Franze himself.

WHEN YOU WALK IN YOU WILL NOTICE HOW OPEN THE WHOLE STORE FEELS
WHEN YOU WALK IN YOU WILL NOTICE HOW OPEN THE WHOLE STORE FEELS
A BIG DAY LOOKING FOR THE NEW BIKE
A BIG DAY LOOKING FOR THE NEW BIKE
WELL LAID OUT KIOSK AND SIGNAGE MAKE IT EASY TO FIND WHAT YOU NEED
WELL LAID OUT KIOSK AND SIGNAGE MAKE IT EASY TO FIND WHAT YOU NEED

LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED

DEMO, DEMO ,DEMO!!!
DEMO, DEMO ,DEMO!!!

So how do you do a Grand Reopening party / Anniversary party? I’ll tell you how, you get Giant Bicycle bring out their Demo rigs for Giant and LIV bikes, but you don’t stop there. How about kicking off a morning group ride around the Fullerton Loop with all the customer’s.

GIANT TEAM OFF-ROAD MEMBER CARL DECKER AND LIV AMBASSADOR LEIGH DONOVAN POSE FOR A PIC WITH A CUSTOMER.
GIANT TEAM OFF-ROAD MEMBER CARL DECKER AND LIV AMBASSADOR LEIGH DONOVAN POSE FOR A PIC WITH A CUSTOMER.

Then you lead that ride out with none other than Giant Factory Off-road Team Rider, Carl Decker and LIV Pro Ambassador Leigh Donovan, two legends of mountain biking. Now that’s an awesome start to a long day of fun.
Let’s not forget having some food to go with that ride after you get back. Tacos with all the trimmings, rice, beans, salsa, and soft drinks to wash it all down. “Mmmmmm gooood.”

TACO TIME!!
TACO TIME!!

Throw in some great raffles for the customers, a great big sale, plus have a booth to get your drivetrain all nice and spiffy after that morning ride. Boy was this guy ever busy all day too.
The Giant demo crew was busy all day as well with demos going and coming, and the store was busy none stop helping customer with all their needs too boot.

THIS ELDERLY GENTLEMAN CAME IN ON HIS COMMUTER BIKE LOOKING FOR A HELMET . YOU COULD SEE HE WASN'T SURE OF ALL THE HOOPLA GOING ON. IT WAS A PLEASURE TO SEE THE LEVEL OF SERVICE AND PATIENCE THAT WAS GIVEN TO HELP HIM.
THIS ELDERLY GENTLEMAN CAME IN ON HIS COMMUTER BIKE LOOKING FOR A HELMET . YOU COULD SEE HE WASN’T SURE OF ALL THE HOOPLA GOING ON.
IT WAS A PLEASURE TO SEE THE LEVEL OF SERVICE AND PATIENCE THAT WAS GIVEN TO HELP HIM.

It was nice to see happy customers leaving with their newly purchased Giant bikes. From a dad with his young son and his first Giant PRE, to a young teen getting his new Trance, and a father and son both getting new Trance bikes to rip it up together.
Carl Decker and Leigh Donovan were busy chatting and posing for pics with customers also.
This turned out to be quite a day of smiles everywhere.

HAPPY CUSTOMER LOVING HIS NEW TRANCE
HAPPY CUSTOMER LOVING HIS NEW TRANCE

HIS FIRST GIANT, DAD IS STARTING HIM RIGHT
HIS FIRST GIANT, DAD IS STARTING HIM RIGHT

LIV DEMO CREW MEMBER SHARA AND GIANT DEMO CREW MEMBER SAM (NOT PICTURED) WERE THERE TO HELP YOU WITH ANY BIKE YOU WANTED TO TRY OUT.
LIV DEMO CREW MEMBER SHARA AND GIANT DEMO CREW MEMBER SAM (NOT PICTURED) WERE THERE TO HELP YOU WITH ANY BIKE YOU WANTED TO TRY OUT.

You can tell the staff and Mike Franze are very well liked. I spent the better part of all day here and it was evident just how much the customers care for Fullerton Bicycle. To the customers, this is just as much their store too and the well wishes were flowing to all the staff and Mike.
All this because of a philosophy and business practice Mike Franze believes in and shares. He Cares about his customer’s and his community.

PARTNERS

CYCLING CAN CHANGE ONE'S LIFE AND GIANT BELIEVES IN THIS.
CYCLING CAN CHANGE ONE’S LIFE AND GIANT BELIEVES IN THIS.

It was great to see all the Giant members that were there to help celebrate the Grand Reopening and Anniversary with Mike, showing their support. You could tell this wasn’t just shaking hands and saying thanks then goodbye. This was a long-time relationship that has been built into friendships. Something you may not see to often from a company. This shows the importance of partnerships between dealer and company.
Giant Bicycle recognizes this philosophy, Mike Franze has been a Giant dealer for as long time and he is clearly a dedicated and passionate person to cycling.

UNMISTAKABLE PASSION THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE FULLERTON BICYCLE WITHOUT A DOUBT
UNMISTAKABLE PASSION
THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE FULLERTON BICYCLE WITHOUT A DOUBT

Mike was none stop all day, I don’t think I saw him take a break at any moment I was there, true hard work pays off and for Mike Franze it does.
The highlight of the day came when they got him to stop long enough for all the Giant crew and customers to gathered briefly for Giant Bicycle General Manager John Thompson and Regional Manager Eric Woods to present Mike with a plaque certifying Fullerton Bicycle as a new Giant Retail Partner.

GIANT GENERAL MANAGER JOHN THOMPSON (R) AND GIANT REGIONAL MANAGER ERIC WOODS (L) PRESENTING MIKE FRANZE WITH A PLAQUE CERTIFYING FULLERTON BICYCLE AS THE NEWEST GIANT RETAIL PARTNER.
GIANT GENERAL MANAGER JOHN THOMPSON (R) AND GIANT REGIONAL MANAGER ERIC WOODS (L) PRESENTING MIKE FRANZE WITH A PLAQUE CERTIFYING FULLERTON BICYCLE AS THE NEWEST GIANT RETAIL PARTNER.

This is a big thing to have happen for any store and I’m glad to see it happen to a store that I may not be close to, but have always considered it as my local bike shop.
So that was the first plaque, a second was also given to Mike and as this was pulled out and presented to Mike you could tell he was taken by surprise.
It was a photograph with a personal message from Tony Lo the chief executive of Giant (just retired) with Mike in the photo.
Partnerships have been built, but friendships have come out of this. The massage from Tony Lo was just that.

MIKE FRANZE WAS HAPPY FOR THE PERSONAL  PHOTO AND MESSAGE TO HIM FROM TONY LO OF GIANT WHO RECENTLY RETIRED.
MIKE FRANZE WAS HAPPY FOR THE PERSONAL PHOTO AND MESSAGE TO HIM FROM TONY LO OF GIANT WHO RECENTLY RETIRED.

Yep, Mike Franze has not only built a business relationship with Giant, but a true friendship and it’s worth saying over and over because you don’t see this to often and I like this.
Mike gave a grateful many thanks to Giant for all the support and love throughout the years and mentioned how blessed he was for it all and that he is.

MIKE FRANZE HAS A LOT TO BE PROUD ABOUT
MIKE FRANZE HAS A LOT TO BE PROUD ABOUT

SAYING THANKS

THANKS TO GIANT, THANKS TO MIKE. THIS IS A GREAT PARTNERSHIP THAT WE HOPE TO SEE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME
THANKS TO GIANT, THANKS TO MIKE. THIS IS A GREAT PARTNERSHIP THAT WE HOPE TO SEE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME

Mike, Happy Anniversary and congratulations for 15 years of outstanding service and dedication to our cycling community.
Congratulations becoming the newest Giant Retail Partner. You and all your staff are professional, courteous, and there for the needs of your customer’s. With a Customer First attitude that shines through.
We at MtnBikeRiders.com thank you for being there and wish you many years to come.

The Bike Geek: Let’s get social!

Hello Mountain bikers and fellow Facebook Addicts! The weather has been sucking in “not-so-sunny” Southern California lately but that has not stopped Art and myself from going to different cycling related events. Not sure if you know, but Facebook has this cool feature that allows us to go “live” at different events; watch out for those F-bombs!

Anyhow, here are a few or our live videos:

The Giant rep visited my LBS to showcase the new Giant road bikes and mountain bikes:

Art went to the electric bicycle expo:

So make sure you follow us on Facebook for upcoming live videos!

The Bike Geek: Cyclocross is awesome

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Welcome back to my weekly Friday post! Last week I posted that we were going to try racing cyclocross and we did, and it was fucking awesome even though my lungs crashed and burned… literally.

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RL, Rocky and I headed to Moreno Valley to give Cyclocross a try. Rocky does not own a Cyclocross bike but the race promoters were renting them out for $10.00, yes, ten dollars!!! Rocky rented a nice Raleigh RX 2.0 cyclocross bike.

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They had the perfect “race” for us newbies to try out. One lap of the circuit and we even got a clinic! We were taught the basics of cyclocross such as dismounting, mounting, carrying the bike, going up the stairs, riding through sand and hopping the barriers. The clinic helped a lot because we actually got to pre-ride the entire course giving us a sense of confidence.

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There were 13 of us, some racers chose to ride Mountain bikes and others were riding proper Cyclocross bikes. I started pretty strong, felt good but then my lungs started to burn, my bronchial passages started to close and I could not breath properly. By 3/4 of the race, I was done. RL and Rocky passed me by and so did the rest of the riders except the 10 year old riding the BMX bike. Yeah, I sucked and I was hurting but dammit this shit was fun.

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Unfortunately we chose to race the last race of the season, but now that we have a cyclocross under our belt, I am already planning for next season!

Here is some video of my race, enjoy.

The Bike Geek: Let’s go racin’

Hello fellow Mountain bikers, cyclocrossers, downhillers and anyone who happened to arrive via Google. I hope you enjoyed our last 2 reviews; that Whisky sure makes a great after-ride drink! If you have followed us for the last 10 years, yes, Ten.Freaking.Years. You know that we have tried all sorts of racing; Downhill, XC, Super D and 24 hour races. However, we have never raced cyclecross.

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If you follow my posts at bikecommuters.com, you probably know that my commuter bike is a Spicer Cycles Cyclocross bike. I always said that CX bikes make excellent commuter bikes, they are sort of the “Jeeps” of bicycles. If you are not familiar with cyclocross bikes, they are basically road bikes with knobby tires and higher clearance. They are stupid fun to ride.

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So this weekend, yours truly and the Bossman are going to race cyclocross. Well, more like “attempt” to race cyclocross. The holidays were really kind to us with tamales, ham, wine and more tamales so we are lugging around a few extra pounds. It does not help that the famous “El nino” got here a year late (typical Mexican) so we have not had much riding time, but what the hell, it is not like we ever did any training when we used to race!

The event will happen in the beautiful city of Moreno Valley and we will be streaming live on both the BikeCommuters.com and MtnBikeRiders.com facebook pages.

Wish us luck!

INTERBIKE 2015: BELL HELMETS & STAR WARS??

OK ITS TIME TO GEEK OUT, YEAH I'M A STAR WARS FAN.
OK ITS TIME TO GEEK OUT, YEAH I’M A STAR WARS FAN.

GEEK TIME

Allow me to geek out for a minute OK. “YES, YES, YES!!! Limited edition Star Wars helmets!!! Yeah!!!”
Now that I got that out of my system, Bell helmets will be offering two Super 2R MIPS equipped helmets, plus the Segment and Segment Jr with Star Wars graphics on them for a limited time.
Now you can have the SUPER 2R MIPS BOBA FETT helmet and go collect your bounty at the Enduro races or trails.
Why not be STORM TROOPER TK-421. You remember him don’t you, the Trooper that HAN SOLO and LUKE called into the Falcon to get his armor while on the Death Star. I’m pretty sure HAN shot first on that one, but we will never know.
You also have the SEGMENT Darth Vader black helmet with Imperial Cog on the side and for that Jr shredder check out the BOBA FETT BOUNTY HUNTER SEGMENT JR, or Millennium Falcon SEGMENT JR.
I have to say this is a first time I have ever seen something like this before and find it very cool for all the SW fan boys.

The BOBA FETT SUPER 2R
The BOBA FETT SUPER 2R

The mark of the Mandalorian
The mark of the Mandalorian

The cool STORM TROOPER SUPER 2R helmet
The cool STORM TROOPER SUPER 2R helmet

Chinbar complete with TROOPER breathing ports
Chinbar complete with TROOPER breathing ports

"STORM TROOPER!!" "Your designation is TK-421!!"  "DO YOU HEAR ME TROOPER!!"
“STORM TROOPER!!” “Your designation is TK-421!!”
“DO YOU HEAR ME TROOPER!!”

SEGMENT & SEGMENT JR

SEGMENT DARTH VADER
SEGMENT DARTH VADER

BOUNTY HUNTER JR
BOUNTY HUNTER JR

MILLENNIUM FALCON SEGMENT JR
MILLENNIUM FALCON SEGMENT JR

SUPER & SUPER 2R MIPS

Some cool colors for the 2016 Super 2R and Super will pop out at you. Aggression Blue, Matte Kryptonite, and Matte White/ Glacier Blue.
Bell is also doing the Joy Ride Women’s collection which will have the Super and Super 2R with a cool color.
Here’s a look at what you can expect from BELL HELMETS.

BELL's cool colors
BELL’s cool colors

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JOY RIDE WOMEN’S HELMETS

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I love the Super helmet we reviewed when they came out and with the new SUPER 2R’s added quick release chinbar it makes for one versatile trail/Enduro helmet. Another thing that’s great, BELL did update the SUPER to allow you to purchase the chinbar separately if you want later.
Look for the BELL STAR WARS Limited Edition helmets other Bell Helmets at your local dealers near you.

INTERBIKE DIRTDEMO 2015

Well as I descend upon Las Vegas and make my way to the 2015 Inter bike Dirtdemo, I saw fat tire bikes, cool bikes from the past, Mountain E-Bikes, and products galore.
The weather was windy, sunny, and just enough rain to make it just right, so here are some pics of the 2015 DirtDemo.

Canopy city, now let the games began.
Canopy city, now let the games begin.

 

Welcome, but you need a pass. Don't worry we got you covered.
Welcome, but you need a pass. Don’t worry we got you covered.

FAT TIRE

Fat tire bikes seemed to be the cool thing again this year.

The Surly Fat tire brigade.
The Surly Fat tire brigade.

 

Oh please no tight shorts on a Fat tire bike.
Oh please no tight shorts on a Fat tire bike.

 

9:ZERO:7 Carbon framed Fat Tires were very cool.
9:ZERO:7 Carbon framed Fat Tires were very cool.

 

Full Carbon, 1x9
Full Carbon, 1×9

 

Carbon fork with thru axle
Carbon fork with thru axle
Belt Drive made to last
Belt Drive made to last

 

KHS Fat Tire
KHS Fat Tire

Best way to travel goes to this guy.

Now this is plain cool.
Now this is plain cool.

 

Got all your gear.
Got all your gear.

 

Now there no trail you can't get to with this setup.
Now there no trail you can’t get to with this setup.

OLD SCHOOL BIKES IN THE DEMO

Nothing like seeing an old KLEIN. These still look cool in my book.
Nothing like seeing an old KLEIN. These still look cool in my book.

 

Elastomer Manitou OG.
Elastomer Manitou OG.

 

Repack cruisers, where it all began.
Repack cruisers, where it all began.

 

The start of MTBing
The start of MTBing

 

Early suspension fork, yeah!!
Early suspension fork, yeah!!

DAINESE DEMOING THEIR GEAR

You won’t see to many safety companies doing a demo of their protection and I have to say it was great to see them out there. From what I gathered it was a hit and you can tell with most of their popular sizes checked out for most of the day.

The Dainese Crew was busy both days demoing the newest knee and elbow protection.
The Dainese Crew was busy both days demoing the newest knee and elbow protection.

 

"DO IT!" "JUST DOOO IT!"
“DO IT!” “JUST DOOO IT!”

 

The newest protection from the best.
The newest protection from the best.

MISHAPS & ODD BALLS

When at a DirtDemo you will have injury and that one guy that will reinvent the wheel.

The boo boo brothers were out having a good time, I think.
The boo boo brothers were out having a good time, I think.

 

Suck it up Buttercup.
Suck it up Buttercup.

 

I don't know which guy looks better off, the guy on the right or the guy on the left.
I don’t know which guy looks better off, the guy on the right or the guy on the left.

 

"I just know this tire size will be a way bigger hit then 29er guys."
“I just know this tire size will be a way bigger hit then 29er guys.”

 

So far this one took the overboard award.
So far this one took the overboard award.

 

With great big tires you need great big stopping power, obviously.
With great big tires you need great big stopping power, obviously.

 

Dual spring seat is the rear suspension on this baby.
Dual spring seat is the rear suspension on this baby.

 

As Doc Brown has forsaken his greatest invention of the time machine and his Flux Capacitor (due to mishaps in time) he moves on in search of another tire company to pitch his do all tire size. Good luck Doc.
As Doc Brown has forsaken his greatest invention of the time machine and his Flux Capacitor (due to mishaps in time) he moves on in search of another tire company to pitch his do all tire size.
Good luck Doc.

HARD WORKING CREWS

When at a Interbike DirtDemo there is a no harder working staff then that of the bike companies. They are constantly moving bike in and out of there tents, adjusting bikes to fit their customers and hopefully potential new customers. For two days in any weather condition they are cranking.
A quick look at the hardest working people. Thanks guys.
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LAST LOOKS

Finish Line lubes and cleaners for your bike.
Finish Line lubes and cleaners for your bike.

 

GT CARBON SENSOR 27.5
GT CARBON SENSOR 27.5

 

Cannondale bikes looking cool and fast even on a rack.
Cannondale bikes looking cool and fast even on a rack.

 

Giant's Woman LIV line.
Giant’s Woman LIV line.

 

Good crowds made it easy to see and try it all.
Good crowds made it easy to see and try it all.

 

G-Form always at the Demo.
G-Form always at the Demo.

 

Take one out for a try.
Take one out for a try.

 

Alpinestars at the demo.
Alpinestars at the demo.

 

HARO Hardtail 27.5
HARO Hardtail 27.5

 

Great product for all to see.
Great product for all to see.

 

New Deuter Hydro pack.
New Deuter Hydro pack.

 

Back protection insert new for Attack 20.
Back protection insert new for Attack 20.

Well there can be so much more, but we have Interbike to go see next. Hope you enjoyed.

SEA OTTER KIDS

THE KIDS ZONE

Just for you, from 2 to 16, this is to you
Just for you, from 2 to 16, this is to you

One of the best sections I like to post is the kids section, why because they are here to have fun plain and simple.
You have the little tikes on there push bikes, whole families enjoying the Sea Otter experience, kids mastering their jumping skills, and kids racing showing they could do it just as good as the big kids.
Its funny to see them with ear to ear grins or wiped out form a whole day of excitement, crying because they fell and a second later they’re tearing it up again.
You will see that the bike industry is making more for kids then they ever have just so Jr. or your little princess could be a part of it all.

On the kids track the little shredders were ripping it up
On the kids track the little shredders were ripping it up

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COOL IS KING
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Girls just want to have fun
Girls just want to have fun

KIDS FUN

It wasn’t just about bikes for the kids. There was a lot of stuff for the kids at Sea Otter.

Easter Egg Hunts
Easter Egg Hunts
Fun Jumpers
Fun Jumpers
Kid Pinball
Kid Pinball

KIDS BEING KIDS
Kid fun in the sun Kid fun in the sun


This little guy had so many band aids he had to be the most hardcore kid out there.
This little guy had so many band aids he had to be the most hardcore kid out there.
This kid wanted a hat and ten pushup's got it for him
This kid wanted a hat and ten pushup’s got it for him

The greatest thing about cycling is how it brings the family together
The greatest thing about cycling is how it brings the family together

SEA OTTER : BELL HELMETS

If you recall we did a review on the BELL super helmet last year as a part of our Enduro product reviews. At that time BELL had not yet released the Super 2R or Super 2R MIPS. These are the latest in the All-Mountain / Enduro type line up for BELL Helmets along with the Super 2.
The Super 2R come as a standard foam type EPS liner with a In-Mold Polycarbonate Shell, while the Super 2R equipped MIPS steps up the protection in the shell. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This allows for better protection to the head.
The key feature to both Super 2R helmets is that they use a detachable chinbar. This is great because it allows you to remove the chinbar while say climbing, put it in your pack, and then allowing you to simply reattach it back to the helmet with three clips.
The other cool thing is the fact that you get not just a CPSC Bicycle safety rating, but also a CE EN1078 rating.

BELL Helmets was quite busy at the Sea Otter Classic showing off the good.

BELL Helmets showing off the goods.
BELL Helmets showing off the goods.

The new BELL SUPER 2R helmet
The new BELL SUPER 2R helmet

Notice the quick release on the back of the helmet. You also have two more on the left and right sides of the helmet. Easy as 1, 2, 3.
Notice the quick release on the back of the helmet. You also have two more on the left and right sides of the helmet. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Inside the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R.
Inside the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R.

Retail for the SUPER 2R is $200, while the MIPS equipped SUPER 2R retails for $220.

Enduro Stuff: OC Parks Tour 2012

This summer in Orange County, Enduro Stuff held a series of four races in the local country parks, entitle OC Parks Tour, starting at Aliso & Wood Canyons Park, then Santiago Oaks Regional Park, O’Neill Regional Park, and ending at Caspers Wilderness Park. I had not raced any other races put on by Enduro Stuff before, and they did a great job of organizing and running these events. They even held formal pre-rides for riders to come check out the course before the events. Being XC races, I was on my SS for this series.

The first race, held at Aliso Woods, was especially early in the morning on May 5th with a start time of 6:30am. Luckily for me, I live in Aliso Viejo, so the 5 minute drive to the event was the shortest drive ever for me to any race. It was chilly on the line with the sun having just crept above the horizon. The course was a lollipop layout starting with fire-road off the starting line (which was just across the street (Alicia) from the entrance to Laguna-Niguel Regional Park). The fire-road let to the Aliso trail-head bypassing main paved entrance. From there it headed directly to the bottom of Mathis via the main fire-road. Up until that point, the course was relatively flat. Mathis is a major climb ascending about 1000’ft. in 1 mile. The first 25% of the trail is the steepest, and clearing that part is the hardest section of the climb. On the SS is it quite a lung-burner. After the climb, Mathis leads to the ridge-line trail West Ridge. A quick right then and the course head down to Rock-it trail. If you cannot gather or guess from the name, there is a large rock garden in the middle of this trail which is like a big cheese grater. It starts out with nice, tight, and twisty single-track that opens up in the middle with the rock garden and then back to awesome, flowy single-track with a long straight chute out at the bottom. From the bottom of Rock-it, the course made one more loop up Mathis and down Rock-it a second time before returning toward the start/finish the we we came. If Mathis was not hard enough the first time, it surely was the second. I ended up with a 3rd place finish for this race.

Blazing Down Rock-it @ Aliso Woods.
Blazing Down Rock-it @ Aliso Woods.

I missed the second race of the series on July 14th at Santiago Oaks, as I was out of town.

The third race was held at O’Neill Regional Park on Aug 25th. I had never ridden in this park before, so I definitely took advantage of the pre-ride event to familiarize myself with the course. The course had two sections to it, an out-and-back first section to separate and thin out the riders, and then a single-track loop. Starting briefly with some single-track the course quickly led to a river-bed crossing. This section was sandy, rocky, loose and a potential hike if you lost your momentum. I wanted to be the first through this section as to not get bogged down by other riders struggle through or dismounting. Across the River began a short pavement climb to a longer mild upward pavement grade. After about 2 miles or so, we made a U-turn and jumped onto single-track that paralleled the road for the return route.

The first section of the course was pretty straight-forward and uneventful with a few switchbacks at the end, but the looping section of the course is where all the fun (good & bad) was to be had. Passing back through the starting area, the lap began up pavement for a few hundred yards before jogging left and onto single-track. A mild climb led to a quick single-track descent, with a quick turn at the bottom where too much speed could be troublesome. From there the course headed a pavement climb that was steep enough to be tough, at for me with each recurring lap on the single-speed. At the top of the pavement a double-track trail continues the upward grind. After quick descent the trail hit the steepest section and was just barely cleanable for me with only one gear. Shortly after this section the trail reaches it peak and a single-track drops off to the left. This is the major descent of the loop and it is fast, fun, and twisty. This was by far my favorite portion of the course. At the bottom it spits out to a pavement section that led generally down toward more laps or the finish line. I completed this race with a 5th place finish.

Cresting the biggest climb @ O'Niell.
Cresting the biggest climb @ O’Niell.

The fourth and final race of the series was held on Novemeber 3rd at Caspers Wilderness Park in the San Juan foothills. It was a chilly 43 degrees (F) upon driving up to the race venue and slowly warmed up into gorgeous racing weather. The course was simple one and consisted of a short loop and a long loop branching off of the same climb. Out of the gate the course started on pavement for a bit then headed to a left and began an undulating climb of varying grades. For the short course, a quick left down the hill over some loose dirt led quickly down to a lower rolling fire-road which headed back to the start for then next lap. The long loop passed the turn for the short loop and continued the climbing. At the top of the long loop, a FAST fire road descent lead down to the same lower road, but another mile or so out. I finished this race in 2nd place.

Flying down a fireroad @ Caspers.
Flying down a fireroad @ Caspers.

With three out of four races completed I ended in second place overall for the series. This series was unique in the it was held solely in local Orange County parks, and made great use of the available trails. The events had a great atmosphere and weas well enjoyed by the racers. Ron ,the head of Enduro Stuff, made sure to choose courses that were spectator friendly and fun for the racers. Post-race each event had food available and a raffle (in which I won a new light). Being a newer race series for the area the attendance was reasonable, but not overwhelming. In other words, if you have not been to or raced at one of these events, there is room for you!

OC Parks Tour Series Results Podium
OC Parks Tour Series Results Podium

Special thanks to Called to Creation, local MTB photog, for all the photos above. You can view more MTB photos from all the these races and other events as well on his site.