3rd Annual Specialized A1 Ride Daze
by David Langran
Now in it's third year, the Specialized A1 Ride Daze event is becoming a staple in the Anaheim supercross opener festivities. With many riders, industry types, and fans coming out to ride in the road and mountain bike segments of the event.
"Over the years we have noticed the two worlds of moto and cycling morphing basically into one big family" says Specialized's Sean Estes, who has roots in motocross. "Because of this, we decided to host a small event as a token of our gratitude to the industry members, athletes, and enthusiasts from both sports. Leveraging the relationships we have with Specialized supported pro moto and cycling athletes to provide fans the opportunity to ride alongside some of the legends of each sport. We basically just wanted to bring everyone with a love of two wheels together."
Each year the mountain bike ride is headed up by motocross legend-turned mountain bike racer, Johnny "O'Show" O'Mara. The O'Show knows the Orange County trails like the back of his hand, logging over 8,000 miles and over one million, yes one MILLION feet of climbing on the trails last year alone. Making him the perfect trail guide for the A1 Ride Daze event. "The A1 Ride Daze mountain bike ride means a lot to me personally because of my relationship with Specialized and Rock N' Road Cyclery" says O'Mara. "My mountain bike race team (Team Baghouse) is fully supported by both, so I work very hard to represent all my personal sponsors at the highest level. When we started 3 years ago we had about 50 riders join us for a nice little ride through Aliso Woods Canyon in Orange County. Today we had over 300 riders! I'm completely floored by the support of everyone and I'm sure it will continue to grow each and every year."
The road ride kicked off from Surf City Cyclery in Costa Mesa the Friday before the Anaheim race with handmade coffee provided by James Coffee Co. The ride itself was lead by MotoGP rider Nicky Hayden and the peloton included motocross greats Jeff Ward and Jimmy Button, road racer Cal Crutchlow, as well as a bunch of industry types of varying levels of fitness! The idea was that the ride would stick to a casual pace down to Dana point and back, with a sprint and KOM section to keep all the Strava heads happy. It was certainly an impressive sight to see over one hundred riders heading down So Cal's Pacific Coast Highway. After gathering for a group photo by the beach in Dana Point, the riders turned around and headed back to Surf City Cyclery for some complimentary beverages from Muscle Milk and Cytomax.
"Looks like a good turnout this year!" said the King of Supercross himself, Jeremy McGrath, as he pulled into the parking lot of Laguna Niguel's Rock N' Road Cyclery the Sunday morning after Anaheim for the mountain bike segment of the A1 Ride Daze event. He wasn't kidding! Over 300 people had shown up for the trail ride around the hills of Orange County including the champ himself Ryan Villopoto, Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed, Justin Barcia, Wil Hahn, Justin Brayton, Cole Seeley, Jimmy Button, Jeff Ward, Adam Cianciarulo, Mike Bell, Brian Lopes, Ben Bostrom, and the trail boss and guide, Johnny "O'Show" O'Mara. Keep in mind this event is open to the public, so anyone could come and ride mountain bikes with this impressive stable of two wheel heroes. A dream come true for many fans in attendance.
After some brief instruction on trail etiquette from a local park ranger, the crew lead by Johnny "O'Show" O'Mara then hit some of the well known trails around the Laguna Beach/Aliso Woods area with a little something for everyone to accommodate the many different skill levels along for the ride. After the scheduled 15 mile ride, a few broke away for a little "extra credit" ride which I was happy to jump in on to get the most out of the Specialized demo bike I was riding (see link at the bottom of this article for more info on that). The ride ended back at Rock N' Road Cyclery where riders and fans hung out and bench raced about the previous nights supercross before heading their separate ways.
The Specialized A1 Ride Daze event is a great way of bringing the moto community together and also for fans to interact with some of their favorite riders. Next years event is sure to be bigger and better. "In the three years we've been doing Specialized A1 Ride Daze we've seen attendance double each year." says Specialized's Estes. "We're completely blown away by the massive turnout this year and already looking at ways we can continually refine the format to suit the growing rider base to ensure that everyone has a great time for years to come."
You can certainly count on us being there for next years rides!
Check out my review of the S-Works Carbon Enduro 29
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.