The second annual 50-Mile Ride for Project Rwanda in Trabuco Canyon, California will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 29. The event will again be staged at Cooks Corner, despite the recent southern California fires.
“People have been asking me if we’re still having the event, even after the recent Santiago fires,” said Doug Grant, event co-founder. “We answer them - absolutely YES. We need this event now, more than ever before.” The Santiago fire was devastating to some of the area’s favourite trails – including the Harding Truck Trail - which was the intended “Upper Rwanda” first half of the ride. This year, event organizers intend to divert a portion of funds raised in the ride to help with local trail rebuilding. In addition, all local riders are encouraged to watch for and participate in volunteer trail work opportunities. Trail advocacy groups at SHARE and Warrior’s Society will post volunteer opportunities as they become available.
“We’ve mapped out a new route, and we think it's even better than last year’s crowd-pleaser,” 50-Mile Ride organizer Roger Toubeaux said. “We'll offer two ride options, a 50 miler and a 25 miler.” The 50-mile route will start at Cooks, enter the back side of O'Neill, proceed out of the park near the RSM lake, head to the Dove Canyon waterfall, and ride the ridge trails all the way to Caspers Wilderness Park. Then it drops down Star Rise, for a few fun loops inside Caspers to reach the outer checkpoint and refueling/aid station.
According to Toubeaux, from there the trail heads back and up Star Rise, tracing the original route all the way back to the waterfall at Dove Canyon. From the Dove waterfall, riders head back out to what was basically last year's second leg. "(The riders) will pass the Coto main gate, traverse Chiquita Ridge, head down Tijeras Creek trail to Arroyo Trabuco Trail, turn back to O'Neill, through the park and back to Cooks Corner for the full 50 miles," he added. "The 25-mile route will start at Cooks an hour after the 50-mile route commences. This shorter route will be basically the same as last year's second leg, with some fun single-track added for this year."
Last year’s 50-Mile Ride event started out as a 50-mile mountain bike ride in honor of co-founder Doug Grant’s 50th birthday, until Grant and his friends heard about Project Rwanda. The 2006 50-Mile Ride ended up with 247 registered riders and raised over US$30,000 for Project Rwanda, a non-profit organization assisting native Rwandans through utility bicycle development. Registrations are currently being accepted for the 50-Mile Ride for Project Rwanda event.
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