12/03/06 Warrior’s Society News

In this issue:

1. The Sho-Air / Rock N Road Fall MTB Classic write-up

2. Follow-up; Dustin Ojeda’s wheel found and returned

3. The mountain biking community loses a member


The Sho-Air / Rock N Road Fall MTB Classic write-up, which includes the crowing of the Male and Female Orange County Series Champions, is posted on our web site at:


The write-up has links to the final standings in the event and the final standings of the Orange County Championship Series.

Thanks to the participants, volunteers and sponsors for your support of the Orange County Championship Series.


Last week we sent out an email asking for help in finding Dustin’s wheel, which he lost on his way to a ride up Harding. Luckily Dustin’s wheel was found and returned. Below is his message of thanks to the mountain bike community:

“Dear Warrior Society and biking community:

It makes me proud to belong to such a great community where honesty and a sense of brotherhood exist, as it does in mt. biking.

I had contacted the Warrior’s Society to help try and locate my wheel and he was able to get my email out in the next Warrior Society newsletter. I received several emails from people who had seen or knew where and how to locate the wheel. Mark Cluttey found my wheel turned it over to Rock N’ Road Cyclery and followed up with a call once the newsletter had been sent out.

I want to send my deepest thank you to all of those who helped locate my wheel. To the response I received from the Warrior’s Society, fellow members and Mark Cluttey, I say thank you.

I appreciate the response from everyone and can’t wait until the day I can be the one to give back to the group. Thanks again.

Dustin Ojeda”


Last Tuesday evening mountain biker Christy Kirkwood was hit by a car and died the next day. Christy was my son’s Jr. High School science teacher. I first met her at the school’s open house where she was wearing a knee high skirt. I immediately noticed the cuts and scratches on her legs; she was obviously a mountain biker, which she confirmed when asked.

Christy took the technical skills class we offered at the Flying B Ranch. I was always impressed with Christy’s happy demeanor and athleticism. We talked about our kids and how we hoped to set an example to them about keeping active.

Her death truly saddened me and hit me like a ton of bricks.

We are driven to challenge, driven to find heaven on earth; as humans that is our nature. Like Christy, our shared love of mountain biking gave us a small taste of heaven.

I some times question God’s wisdom when tragedies such as this occurs – but deep down fully understand that he never promised us heaven on earth – only the promise of heaven once we disappeared from earth; that gives me comfort in the sorrow that life confronts me with.

All God offers us is Grace until the time he calls us home – and I am more than willing to accept it – and the gift he gave me of knowing Christy.

Life is precious; value every minute of it.

The following was written by Mark Warrick. He’s the originator of the 3FBicycling Club – Chris

Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport. We know each time we ride that our lives and the lives of our loved ones can be seriously or gravely altered without notice. We cheat injury and death every time we ride, perhaps to remind ourselves that we are alive.

When I hear things like this, I sense feelings coming from all directions and I can almost feel inside the other person. Call it empathy, telepathic connection, or perhaps a spiritual connection. But it’s something. And I know it’s real.

I thought first about Christy. I doubt she had any fear. I doubt there was much pain. I sense just a brief moment of confusion followed by nothing. Is grim as it sounds, she’s lucky in some regard that she was knocked out instantly. I believe that she didn’t fight for her life. Rather, I believe she embraced her own death.

I thought next about Chris. His pain will last forever. And I thought about Corey. He’s so young that he probably can’t even comprehend death. Holidays – ruined forever. They’ll need all the support they can get from their friends, family, and the community. They’ll need reassurance that God is with them even when they lose their loved ones.

Lastly, I thought about my mom who will undoubtedly be reading about this story soon in the paper or perhaps seeing it on TV tonight. She once told me that she’s so afraid I’ll die while mountain biking that she can’t bear to look at the photos of my trips. Imagine how afraid she must feel that I might slip away without notice. I’ve told my mom time and time again that if I should happen to die while mountain biking please know that I was doing what I love to do with friends that share the same passion.

Are we selfish to dare our lives every time we ride? Should we restrict our activities to less risky things? Perhaps. Will it stop me from riding though?

Absolutely not.

I lost a friend many years ago to a heart failure. He was only 27 years old. He was a postal carrier that walked all day long, every day. And when he got home he and I would work out together. One day he was working out with a friend and just collapsed. He was dead before he hit the ground from a genetic defect: a small tear in his hear ripped open causing an immediate and fatal cardiac arrest. I stopped working out that day. I sold all of my weights and I told myself that I would never put myself in the face of that kind of danger again. It took me a good 7 years before I would ever work out again. In that time my health deteriorated and my lifestyle deteriorated. I gained weight, took up smoking, and drank too much. I should have never stopped doing what I loved to do for fear that a loved one might lose me while I was working out.

At the same time though today, I definitely feel a bit of guilt knowing that the people around me might suffer in the way that Chris and Corey are suffering now. My prayers are with them. I have no answers for my mom though. I can only try to reassure her that I’m coming back whether in this life or the next.


Manitou and Shimano are the Major Component Sponsors of the Warrior’s Society

Cytomax is the official fluid replacement drink of the Warrior’s Society

Clif Bar is the Official Energy Bar and Gel of The Warrior’s Society

The Warrior’s Society
A Tax-Exempt organization under 501(c) 4 of the IRS Code

An MTBAccess and Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) affiliated organization

“Some Americans need hyphens in their names because only part of them has come over; but when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name.”

Woodrow Wilson

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