"Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own Generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those not yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground"

Words spoken by the peacemaker, American Indian prophet and founder of the Iroquois Confederacy Circa 1000 AD

About Us And Our History

(Written 10/12/23)

The US Forest Service recently honored us with the 2002 trail advocate award for region 5, which includes the state California.

The Warrior's Society mountain bike club is based on the traditions of American Indians, particularly the plains tribes. For plains tribes, the Warrior's Society was made up of warriors/braves that had proven themselves courageous in battle and thereby shown they placed the protection of the tribe and their lands above all else.

The Warrior's Society Mountain Bike Club honors that American Indian tradition by protecting the responsible recreational access of our National Forest and fighting against those who would limit that access. The Warrior's Society has fought several access battles since our founding in 1995, including proposing Wilderness Designations and Forest Plan Revisions that would have banned mountain bike recreation in our, and other Southern California National Forests. With the help of the "mountain bike tribe," AKA the public, we defeated these proposals and let those that would try to limit our access know they face a powerful "tribe" that is not afraid to to face them in the battle for mountain bikers responsible access to their National Forests.

The second way we honor this tradition is by hosting our events, providing a challenge that tests the endurance of those up to the challenge. In the beliefs of the Sioux (Lakota) and other American Indian tribes, a young brave would go on a Vision Quest as a rite of passage to adulthood and becoming a warrior. The brave would fast and face Mother Nature alone on her terms - "only the strong survive," The Vision Quest would last for days at a time with the brave seeking to bond with nature the spirit world the created her. From the spirit world would come a guide in the form of an animal that would show the brave what direction his life would take - and inspire him to great deeds and accomplishments.

Our Vision Quest event is based on this tradition, testing the participants endurance and fortitude in one of the toughest mountain bike events in the nation. This year the Vision Quest course will take riders up Black Star to the Main Divide, then North to Sierra Peak, then turn back on the Main Divide to the Silverado Motorway, up Maple Springs to Santiago Peak, then down the Main Divide to the Holy Jim Trail then out to Parker Ranch on Trabuco Creek Road. Participants will receive an event jersey and lunch and finisher will be awarded a beaded coup feather, "eagle wings" arm warmers, finisher's stickers, beaded finisher key chain. They also qualify to purchase a finisher's jersey. We estimate this new course to be 50 miles with 9,500 feet of elevation gain.

$100 entry fee - 100 person participation limit

For more info visit the Vision Quest event page.

Our second event, Counting Coup, is based on the tradition of the tribal chiefs/elders watching the braves in battle and noting acts of courage. The leaders counted blows against the enemy, also called "Counting Coup," which is the name given to this tradition by French explorers who were the first to witness that act. The Counting Coup course will be up Black Star to the Main Divide, then South on the Main Divide to the Silverado Motorway, up Maple Springs to Santiago Peak, then down the Main Divide to the Holy Jim Trail then out to Parker Ranch on Trabuco Creek Road. The Counting Coup is 40 miles with 8,000 feet of elevation gain. In addition to the event shirt finishers received a finishers Coup Feather.

$75.00 entry fee - 100 person participation limit

For more info visit the Counting Coup event page.


The first Vision Quest occurred 29 years ago when the first two founding members of the Warrior's Society, Chris "Dances With Hornets" Vargas and Pete "Shares The Vision" Allen, decided they wanted to challenge themselves by riding across the Santa Ana Mountains. From this first ride the Warrior's Society was born. Protecting our access to our public lands also means preserving and maintaining the trails. To be a member of the Warrior's Society you must show your worth by "protecting our mountain bike tribes" land, in other words, by maintaining the trails, the Warrior's Society member honors the traditions in which the Warrior's Society was founded. We are not a "paid" membership organization.

A person must be nominated to become a member based on their willingness to volunteer. Once granted membership, the member is awarded a Warrior's Society beaded coup feather to signify his membership. Several Warrior's Society members have proven themselves not only by their dedication to maintaining our trails, but also by their achievements in our events. Club member Calvin "Keeps One Horse" Mulder not only rode the Vision Quest, he also ran the course in reverse after finishing taking him over 20 hours to complete. Calvin also holds the rigid single speed record. Club member Bob "Wise Owl" Haislett has the record for the oldest person the finish the Vision Quest on both a geared and single speed bike (70 and 72 years old respectively). Bob has passed away but his memory lives on through the "Bob Haislett" award given to the most inspired rider in the Vision Quest.

For 28 years we have maintained the trails in the Trabuco District of the Cleveland National Forest and have fought to protect the public's responsible access. It is our hope to continue these goals in the future.

If you would like to donate to the Warrior's Society, click the button below:

We thank all those who have supported us over the past 28 years.

Chris Vargas - Founder and Co-Executive Director
Keith Parsons - Co-Executive Director
Keith Eckstein - Founding member and Trail Work Director

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