Past Blogs

  • 'Tis the season for giving back - Building bikes for Holiday Baskets


    Community Resource Center offers extensive programs that facilitate the safety, stability, and self-sufficiency of low-income and episodically homeless households – including domestic violence victims. Their Holiday Baskets Program presents a dignified “shopping” experience where these families receive a holiday meal, basic necessities and a few gifts to brighten their holidays.

    This year our effort started with several hours of food sorting at a nearby warehouse.

    We noticed a theme across many of the donated products.

    This food and all other donated products were later delivered to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for staging in departments for the Holiday Baskets distribution event on December 17th. The bicycle department is always one of the more popular stops for the kids - we know how important the gift of a bicycle can be!

    For the 3rd year ZOIC headed to the Fairgrounds to assist CRC with the assembly, repair and cleaning of donated bikes. Our crew of 8 quickly went to work on everything from brake and drivetrain repair to tire inflation and bike wash. We also brought along a dozen bike donations collected from friends and neighbors.

    'Tis the season for giving back - Building bikes for Holiday Baskets
  • 'Tis the season for giving back - Project Bike Love in Paraguay




    Project Bike Love believes that bikes can change the world, especially for the lives of impoverished women and girls. Around the world women are struggling with the basics of life - going to school, obtaining a job and supporting their families. To many a bike is an essential need, providing safety, transportation, access to medical care, access to education, and much more. Locally, nationally, and internationally Project Bike Love advocates for women, empowering them through the gift of a bicycle and the support of a global community.

    Today the Project Bike Love Team is heading to Paraguay to deliver 50 bikes to women in 3 communities over 3 days. The incredible recipients were each identified as needing a bike for transportation to access education, increase income, and add hours back to their days. Two local charities assisted with the screening process and the bikes were purchased from a local distributor, contributing to the Paraguayan economy.

    'Tis the season for giving back - Project Bike Love in Paraguay
  • 'Tis the season for giving back - IMBA & SDMBA cut The Appendix

    In 2008 a popular network of undulating singletrack in northern San Diego known as “The Intestines” was closed off and graded over for development of new home sites. A sign was posted at one of the trailheads suggesting that once the homes were built a trail would one day reopen. Mountain bikers gave little thought to the notice, expecting any developer-driven trail would be a sanitized, wide, flat trail commonly found in nearby neighborhoods.

    Fast forward to 2016, the San Diego Mountain Biking Association announced an IMBA Trail Care Crew visit that would kick off construction of the new trail. Reflecting the interests of trail users and the character of the popular Tunnels trails nearby, tight, twisty singletrack had been mapped out in partnership with land developer Pardee Homes and the land managers of the open space the trail would connect. This approach was unique in that SDMBA had never before worked with a private developer to establish sustainable singletrack in suburban San Diego.

    As a nearby resident and avid trail user, I eagerly volunteered for the trail work session. I also saw an opportunity to showcase the work of the mountain biking association creating and maintaining trails for all users. In San Diego mountain bikers often only make the news when contentious issues over trail access lead to confrontations with other users, land managers, and in the case of one sensitive area, the Marines.

    'Tis the season for giving back - IMBA & SDMBA cut The Appendix
  • Ride Like A Girl

    Do you have a woman in your life? How about a lucky woman who mountain bikes? No? Well unfortunately that seems to be a common answer amongst most folks these days. However, programs like the Ride Like a Girl mountain bike program aim to get more women on mountain bikes because all too often we hear the same refrain that “mountain biking is too scary and hard” from ladies of all ages and backgrounds. Additionally, a lot of women get introduced to mountain biking from their male significant other who makes every ride a mission to shred down the trail faster and harder than their dudebros. That doesn’t always go over so well when their lady is trying to learn a new skill that is already incredibly intimidating and seemingly dangerous.

    With that said, we take a sport that has historically been inaccessible (or undesirable) to women and break it down to a new hobby that they become obsessed with. The truth is, we’d love to invite the guys to ride with us, however, we have found that women feel most comfortable learning a new vulnerable sport surrounded (and taught) by other women. Hence this idea of ladies-only mountain bike programs that are sweeping the nation. Now the guys don’t want to ride with us, because they are afraid of the hurt we will lay down on their next ride.

    Cindy with the lucky RLAG winners of some ZOIC schwag!
    The Classic “I did a Wheelie!”  happy face
    Regrouping after one of our RLAG rides.
    Cindy teaching on the power wheelie at our season opener RLAG ride!
  • Teach, Ride, Repeat

    There are those events that I look forward to every year and then new events that I put on my calendar. Since I'm a Libra, I really like the balance that familiarity brings yet I yearn for some new landscapes and challenges.

    I always like going to Dirt Rag's Dirt Fest. This is a one of the biggest festivals on the east coast. I see tons of folks that I know and manage to see some sponsors like Stan's No Tubes and this year Scot Nicol of Ibis was there. It's important to see, face to face the people that make the awesome biking lifestyle possible. This year, I was going to be the charismatic Leigh Donovan's assistant instructor. Leigh is kinda old school and is in the BMX hall of fame and so SOCAL.

    I learned a lot from teaching and riding with Leigh. She is really into cornering and manualing and made that a priority in her teaching. She brought a lot of personal experience from her riding and also great life lessons. Those personal anecdotes and warm feelings are the things that make the women's skills clinics so much more than technical tips about a bike.

    The other new event that I taught at was the Midwest Women's Mountain Bike Clinic. I know, it's a long name! It's being going on 11 years. One of the most remarkable things was there were 22 instructors. It was pretty incredible being around that many MTB instructors. I love the collaboration and feedback that we give each other to make us great instructors. And Indiana actually had some great trails, too!

    Teach, Ride, Repeat
  • New Season, New Bike, and Thank You's!

    Hello, hope everyone is having a good start to the MTB season. As I had posted in my last blog, I was in the process of deciding whether to purchase the 2016 Santa cruz nomad or the 2016 Yt Industries Capra. After much research and indecision, I finally came to the conclusion that the Capra Pro Race was the best bike for me. Let me tell you all this was a decision that had me chomping at the bit because I had to wait for the bike as YT had not received all the parts to put it together. I ordered it on back order the first week of April and picked it up May 27th. Finally the angst of waiting was quickly extinguished and the excitement came over me at the first glance of this beauty. It comes equipped with full fox shocks with Kashima coating and a two tone gloss/flat black frame. To top it off it is full carbon with Dt swiss xmc1200 spine rims.

    New Season, New Bike, and Thank You's!
  • Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

    I've always been a risk taker and throwing myself into the unknown, sometimes its worked, other times it’s been a disaster. Yet I always grow from the adventure. This is the year of change and really moving out of my comfort zone starting with an XC race series called Pedalfest.

    One of the changes for me this year is a new bike, thanks to Specialized and Cynergy Cycles, I have been granted the opportunity and honor to ride a 2016 Specialized ERA Expert for this year. It's changed everything for me. The bike is a machine both in speed and performance. It's made me a faster, more efficient rider that has boosted my confidence and made my rides so much more fun. I can ride much longer and still feel good at the end of my ride.

    When I heard the Pedalfest XC race series was coming back this summer, I thought I would just give a couple of the races a try since I had gotten much faster and my confidence was higher. I am also a firm believer in supporting local business, so it was important to me that I gave a few of the races a go to support the series.

    Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone
    Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone
    Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone
  • Electric Slide

    Learning to mountain bike is a bit like dancing. Let’s go with the Electric Slide. Sometimes you step forward, sometimes you take a step back and sometimes you look awkward and spastic like Elaine on Seinfeld. I write this after experiencing a week of mostly moving backwards.
    I have crashed more in the last two rides than I have in the last 6 months. What makes it most frustrating is that a few days before my string of crashes, I had my best run on the Downieville downhill course. The trails of the Sierra Buttes have become my MTB learning playground. Easy place to learn, right? I am thankful to have this area as my MTB stomping grounds, but it also chews you up and spits you right back out. For those unfamiliar with the area, you get a little bit of everything. Rocky, loose and steep as well as smooth and fast, while descending 15 miles of trail and dropping almost 5,000 ft in elevation. Can I clear everything on my best day? No. Don’t be ridiculous. I just started riding two years ago. That is one of the awesome things about the area. I am far from outgrowing it and relish the days I can clear that next obstacle.

    Elisabeth Johnson
    Elisabeth Johnson
    Elisabeth Johnson
  • The Life and Style of Riding

    This past weekend, over 200 kids raced at the first New Hampshire event for NEHSCA (the New England High School Cycling association), held at Highland Mountain Bike Park. An amazing milestone event for future generations of riders, as well as a barometer for youth interest, the event was a huge success.

    This simple gathering of like-minded people sparked so many thoughts and reactions, all of which were encouraging. Kids who had never been to a bike race were suddenly immersed in the culture and camaraderie of the scene... A scene, which for many; has become their first foray into lifestyle sports.

    For me, it was a bit of a time warp, since 25 years ago, I was much like these kids who have recently found mountain biking. I did the usual sports growing up, but the instant acceptance and support I experienced at my first bike race was simply unmatched. All these years later, I still keep in touch with the guy my parents randomly parked next to at my first race, at age 13. Wrap your head around that for a moment. This random "stranger" took the time to show me where registration was, and pre-rode the course with me, giving me tips along the way. A moment I have never forgotten.

    Ken Avery
    Ken's daughter & ZOIC brand ambassador Tessa riding Highland Mountain Bike Park
  • Big Mountain Enduro

    Well, the season has officially begun with a monstrous one day, four stage, event held in the mountains of Santa Fe New Mexico. We arrived Thursday afternoon, with just enough daylight left to survey the venue of Glorieta Camps and we were not disappointed. The venue is a church based summer camp facility that brings in youngsters from all around the country. These young kids are able to participate in some of the most awesome outdoor activities you can imagine, in an all-inclusive private little compound, nestled in the mountains outside Santa Fe.

    We got up early Friday morning and met up with some of the other Arizona based riders. The plan was to carpool on the shuttle ride to the top of stages 1 and 2. Even in fellow AZ rider Zach Ply’s Ford Raptor pickup, the shuttle ride took nearly an hour to complete. From the first course drop in, I could tell we were in for a great weekend of riding and racing. These courses had all the elements of an epic endure; from steep rocky descents to brutal extended uphill pedaling sections that stretched for miles. By the end of the day we managed to ride each of the four stages only once and it was clear we would need to do more recon.

    Big Mountain Enduro
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