Archive for February, 2009

2009 Vision Quest and Counting Coup Event Update

To all our Vision Quest Participants

This update will give you the information you need for the 2009 Vision Quest and Counting Coup Events.


So far the long-range weather forecast for the day of the event (Saturday, March 7th) is calling for sunshine with high temps in low 60’s. There currently is 12 to 18 inches of snow on portions of the course above 4,500 feet and snow and ice on the back side of Saddleback Peak. A chance of showers is predicted by the end of next week before the event. These will be warm storms and most likely will wash off some of the snow currently at the higher elevations.


Due to the highly technical nature of the course, with fire roads and trails bordering on steep slopes and cliffs, we highly recommend that all participants purchase a compact “space blanket” and whistle in case you suffer a crash off trail. The space blanket will provide warmth and the whistle will help us locate you (your voice will not carry like a whistle).

Remember the fire roads and trails are still open to vehicles and hikers during the event. Control your speed on the Holy Jim and Trabuco Canyon Trails and ride down in a safe manner. Hikers and bikers will be on this trail and you will be responsible for harm caused to yourself and others. Course Marshals will penalize unsafe riders.

The Silverado Motorway (the downhill trail before Aid Station I) is very technical and has two sections that are very narrow near the bottom of the trail. Also near the bottom are two metal barriers that are installed to keep motor vehicles off the trail.

The water crossings on Maples Springs Road and Trabuco Creek Road can be very slippery. Use caution when traversing these crossings.

Upper Holy Jim has some rutting so use caution and walk your bike if necessary

For Vision Quest participants once you pass Aid Station two and start up the Trabuco Creek Trail, and when you are on the final leg back on this trail, watch for cross traffic and use caution.

The Trabuco Trail, the last trail down from the Main Divide on you way to the finish, has a highly technical shale section next to steep slopes/cliff. Use extreme caution.


The first cut off time is 9.30 a.m. at the bottom of the Silverado Trail and Maple Springs at Aid Station 1. The second cutoff time is 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Maples Springs Road and the Main Divide. The third cutoff time for Vision Quest Participants is 12:00 p.m. at the bottom of Holy Jim Trail at Aid Station #2 for Vision Quest participants.

If you do not make the cut off times your number plate will be removed (you can retrieve it at the end of the event). Further more, if you do not make the cutoff times and refuse to return to the staging area you have violated the terms of your participation and the Warrior’s Society will no longer responsible for your safety. Your emergency contact will be called and notified that they will be assuming all responsibility your safety. We are required by the Forest Service to have all participants off the mountain by sunset and these cutoff times allow us to mount a search and rescue operation if a rider is injured on the last part of the course before the sun sets.


If you want to bring your own supplies to have at Aid Station 2, there will be a drop off at the Warrior Trailer at the start of the event. We must be able to throw way any left over contents and the bag they are in. All bags will be thrown away after the event. No Aid Station bags, disposable or not, will be taken to Aid Station 1. Water, E2 Hydro, Hammer gel and bars, Bananas and oranges will be provided at each Aid Station.


Those registered for the event may pick up their packet (number plate, event t-shirt, etc.) at Switchback Cyclery in Orange from Saturday February 28th through Friday March 6th. Switchback Cyclery is located at 3436 E. Chapman Avenue, Orange Calif. 92869 (on the southeast corner of Chapman and Prospect one mile +- east of the 55 Freeway).

You will also be checking in before you line up for the start at a designated spot the morning of the event. You must check in the morning of the event so we know who is and is not on the trail.

Registered riders may also pick up their packet the day of the event at the start from 4:30 am to 5:00 a.m. – but we highly recommend you pick up your packets at Switchback to save time.

Beginning ceremonies will start at 5:15am at the Black Star Gate.
The start will commence at 5:30 a.m. sharp whether you are there or not.


Once you finish you will be awarded with the Vision Quest participants will recieve a finishing feather, a 4-inch feather sticker for your car and a 2-inch feather sticker for your helmet at the finish line. Counting Coup participant will recieve a non-beaded finishing feather. At the finish line area our club photographer John Early will be taking a finishing portrait of Vision Quest Participants that will be provided to them for free via our web site after the event.

If you have family that wants to wait for you at the finish line PLEASE HAVE THEM PARK AT O’NEILL AND RIDE OR WALK TO THE FINISH LINE. Parking is limited and we have had a tremendous amount of problems with too many vehicles blocking the road.

There will be a shuttle running from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm from O’Neill Park to the start at Black Star for those that left their cars there in the morning.

Don’t forget to bring a beach chair for use after the event. There are picnic benches provided but a beach chair is more comfortable. The park also has showers.

If you plan on camping out at O’Neill Park the fee is $15.00 dollars a night and are available by reservation (which we suggest you make ASAP before they sell out if they aren’t sold out already). The day use fees at the park where we are staging at are $5.00. For more information on O’Neill Park see their web site at:

No alcohol allowed.


Check our web site at:

Next week for any event updates.

02/11/09 Warrior’s Society Weekly News

In this issue:

1. Switchback Cyclery to stay open!

2. “The Traverse” event update

3. Toad Festival event update

4. Event Refund Policy

5. Rwanda Ride Update

6. Black Star Canyon Road planned to open for vehicle/equestrian use


We have good news regarding Switchback Cyclery, one of our long-term sponsors.

If you haven’t already read about it in the OC Register…Switchback Cyclery is going to keep its’ doors open. After the decision to close the store the regular customers pleaded for a way to save the shop. Customers wanted Tim to continue working on their bikes no matter where he ended up..even if it was in their garage. So they felt they owed to the customers to negotiate with the landlord for a year hoping that the economy will pick up.

Between negotiations with the landlord and a home loan modification for Tim and Sherry’s house they were able to pull it off. The shop is going to continue to sell Santa Cruz Bicycles, Felt and KHS. The Trek and Fisher line have not been decided on as of yet. The main focus of the shop is going to be the Service Department. They rearranged the store to accommodate more bike for labor each day and are focused on having the quickest turn around on service. As well there will also be product in the store on blow-out to help everyone during these tough economic times! Tim, Sherry and the rest of the Switchback Crew feel they were blessed with being able to keep the shop open and look forward to a better year in 2009!!!

Packet pick-up for the Pow Wow will be held as originally planned at Switchback Cyclery.


“The Traverse” is a race to benefit the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund:

The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund honors the bravery and dedication exhibited by Americans in our Armed Forces who have sacrificed life or limb defending our country by providing educational scholarships to their children.

We expect this event to sell out (we have 28 spots left in the event) so if you are serious about participating register quickly. We will have no mail in registration and you can find the links to register on the event web page at:

Event Date: May 9th, 2009
Event Start: 7:00 AM
40+/- miles, 8,000+/- feet elevation gain

Starting Location: Black Star Canyon Road

Finish Location: Trabuco Creek Road and Trabuco Canyon Road Post-event staging area: O’Neill Regional Park

There will be no same day registration.

The race will have Intermediate, Expert and Pro classes with the Pro class men and women racing for finishing cash. There must be a minimum of 5 participants in each age group or the age group will be combined with another age group.


PRO OPEN ($95)

EXPERT ($70)
18 to 30
31 to 45
46 to 59
60 +

18 to 30
31 to 45
46 to 59
60 +

The event fee includes awards for top finishers, finishing ribbon for all participants, t-shirt and food catered by El Pollo Loco.


The Toad Festival is a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Program. The Wounded Warrior Program works raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, helps severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.

We have a participation limit of 175 for the long ride and have 102 spots left.

Short Ride: 10 miles, 500 feet of climbing. This ride is a great beginners and kids ride through the beautiful tree-covered trails of O’Neil Park.

Long Ride: 27.5 +- miles, 5,000 +- of elevation gain

1. Start at O’Neill Park Picnic area and ride to Holy Jim Trail Head – a small amount of pavement with 5 miles of fire road.
2. Holy Jim Trail Head to Main Divide – 6 miles of steep single track climbing with multiple stream crossings.
3. Holy Jim Trail to Trabuco Canyon Trail – 6 miles of rutted fire road with steep climbs and descents.
4. Trabuco Canyon Trail to Holy Jim Parking area – 5 miles of down hill, technical single track with stream crossings with 1/2 of a mile of fire road
5. Holy Jim Parking area to Picnic area – 5 miles of fire road and a small amount of pavement.

The Long Ride is not for beginning or novice riders. Participants will be responsible to carry all food and water needed to complete the ride. There will be no sag support (except in case of total breakdown or emergency). Support personnel will be stationed at 5 rest stops along the course.

Riders in the fun rides will compete in games of chance and skill (darts, horseshoes, helmet toss and Blackjack cards). Those with the highest combined score will win prizes. You must make the checkpoints in a reasonable time or you will not be allowed to continue.

175 for the long fun ride
No limit for the short fun ride


Adults ($55)
Kids 13 and under ($25)

To register go to the bottom of the event web page at:


We do not offer refunds to those that drop out before the event – but we do allow them to sell their spot to someone else UP UNTIL TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE EVENT (February 20, 2009). After this date you will not be able to transfer your spot and we will not give refunds. This policy of transferring spots and no changes two weeks before the event will apply to both “The Traverse” and the Toad Festival.

A waiting list for people who want to get in the events has been created on the SoCal Trailriders message board for those who drop out of the events and want to sell their spots. This list is not controlled by the Warrior’s Society but is offered as a service by the message board for their members. Those who decided to drop out are not required to pull someone off this list.

Here is the direct link (if the link does not activate cut and paste the whole link in your browser):

If for some reason that link doesn’t work go to the forums section and then look for racing-training and I think it is at the top of the list there under VQ/CC waiting list.

We will be directing all those dropping out to go to this waiting list. They will have to contact us to let us know of the change and it is up to them to handle your payment to them. We must be notified of any transfer of spots in the events and people looking to buy spots should be sure we are cc in any email exchange with the seller to verify it is a legitimate spot.

If you transfer your spot to someone else we their following information before we make the change:

Email Address
Phone Number
t-shirt size
Emergency contact person
Emergency contact number

As a reminder, We will be having registered riders packet pickup at Switchback Cyclery located at 3436 E. Chapman in Orange (on the southeast corner of Prospect and Chapman) beginning Saturday, February 28th through Friday March 6th.

We will also be emailing all participants updated event documents one week before the event.

Registered riders not picking up their packets at Switchback must arrive at the start at the end of Black Star Canyon Road at 4:45 a.m. to pick them up.

See their website for shop hours:


This is not a Warrior’s Society event but one put on by Doug Grant and friends (the Warrior’s Society assists with communications and medical support.)


Saturday, March 21, 2009
50 mile option starts at 7:00am (check-in at 6:15am).*
25 mile option starts at 8:30am (check-in at 8:00am)
5 mile fun ride starts at 10:00am (check in at 9:30am) *FastTrack
check-in available the day before the event at Rock N Road Cyclery in Mission Viejo. Sleep in and avoid the long lines on ride day!


Staging and post-ride party at Cook’s Corner
19152 Santiago Canyon Road Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679

Entry Fee:

25 or 50 Mile Option – $40 before March 19 ($50 on-site)
5 Mile “Fun Ride” – $25
All entries receive free t-shirts. Children’s sizes available.


To raise funds and build awareness for Project Rwanda:

50 mile ride – Route

Starting at Cook’s Corner, this full route will climb into the back side of O’Neill, proceed through and out of the park near the RSM lake, and make its way to the Dove Canyon waterfall. Then we’ll ride the ridge trails all the way to Caspers Wilderness Park, dropping down Star Rise and catching trails including Bell Canyon, Oso, Cougar, and back to Bell Canyon. At the end of Bell Canyon we arrive at a parking lot and rest rooms that will be our outermost checkpoint and refueling/aid station. From there we proceed up East Ridge all the way to Cougar/Oso, back on Bell Canyon and up Star Rise, tracing our route all the way back to the Dove Canyon waterfall (an aid station will be there as well). After refueling, we ride past the Coto main gate, climb and traverse Chiquita Ridge, head down Tijeras Creek trail to the Arroyo Trabuco Trail. Then we turn back to O’Neill, climb through the park and head back to Cooks Corner for some well-earned rest and recreation.

25 mile ride – Route

This ride shares the same beginning and ending route as the 50 miler – but it skips the entire middle Caspers section. It starts at Cook’s, climbs through O’Neill and on to the Dove Canyon waterfall. However, instead of riding out to Caspers, this group will head directly over to the Chiquita Ridge trail, down Tijeras Creek to the Arroyo Trabuco Trail, back through O’Neill and finish up at Cook’s for some post-ride fun.

5 mile fun ride

New this year! This fun ride is open to riders of all ages. It’s an easy route, travelling along the paved Aliso Creek Bike Trail from Cooks Corner down to Saddleback Church and back. Enjoy fun games for riders along the way.

For more information and links to register go to:


The County of Orange is tentatively planning to open Black Star Canyon Road to vehicle and equestrian use in 2010. They are currently in the process of replacing the bridges since they currently are substandard and cannot hold the weight of fire emergency vehicles. Repairs to the road are planned for this year but no date has been set.

We look forward to having all those new recreational users give Black Star Canyon resident Art Tuttle a big “Hello” as they pass his house and access the soon-to-be opened Black Star Canyon Road.

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Shimano is the Major Component Sponsor of the Warrior’s Society

Rock N Road Bike Shops, Sho-Air Racing, El Pollo Loco and Switchback Cyclery are Major Sponsors of the Warrior’s Society

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

E2 Hydro is the official hydration drink of the Warrior’s Society

The Warrior’s Society is a Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) affiliated organization

The Warrior’s Society is a Tax Exempt Organization under 501 (c) 4 of the IRS Code

“Far better it is to dare mighty dreams, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take the ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat!”

Theodore Roosevelt