Area mountain bikers give back

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Last month, Orange County Mountain Bike Association (OCMBA) supported one of the area’s largest charity bike events, the Good Dirt Ride: “a community event for a good cause.”

Left to right, Hans and Carmen Rey of Wheels for Life, Mike Soursby, treasurer and David Browning, president of Orange County Mountain Bike Association. Photo/OCMBA

This year, over 700 riders took to the dirt together, riding 10, 25 or 50-mile distances as a community.

Afterward, everyone gathered for food, fellowship and an opportunity drawing.

Several material contributions for this year’s drawing came from Laguna’s own coastal village. Troy Lee Designs, CrankBrothers and Laguna Bike Shed donated sport-specific clothing, parts and labor, and The Ranch at Laguna Beach provided a coveted grand prize, “staycation.”

Laguna’s businesses set the tone for one of the largest prize collections to date. As a community event, approximately twenty percent of the $34,000 in net proceeds will go directly to Orange County Mountain Bike Association to be put right back into local trails.

A majority of proceeds will respect the 16-year legacy of what was originally the Ride for Rwanda, with funds delivering programs via Team Africa Rising. OCMBA also brought in Wheels 4 Life as a ten percent partner to align with this history.

Wheels 4 Life is a Laguna-based charity operated by Laguna’s celebrity resident rider, Hans Rey. It has delivered over 18,000 bikes in the last 15 years to those in need in 32 different countries and, most often, in Africa.

“We were beyond stoked to hand Hans and Carmen a check for $3,400 today,” president David Browning said.

Orange County Mountain Bike Association is the local representation for the many social clubs comprising its subscriber base of nearly 6,000 in Orange County.

The association’s goal is to unite the mountain bike community in the pursuit of the mission to protect and expand trail access for responsible recreation. The non-profit is based in Laguna Beach.

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