The day after the Anaheim 1 Supercross feels like a hangover for almost everyone involved. Racers, team personnel, journalists, sponsors – it doesn’t matter in what capacity you were at the opening round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series – A1 is a butt-kicking good time that leaves you whooped the next day. Perhaps that’s the reason for the play on words in the name of the event – A1 Ride Daze – that has traditionally lured much of the sport’s elite out for a good time the Sunday morning after the most anticipated race of each year. Sponsored by Specialized Bikes and hosted by Rock N’ Road Cyclery, the A1 Ride Daze is a giant group mountain bike ride that is now six years strong. Led by former 125 National and 250 Supercross Champion Johnny O’Mara, this year’s ride led a massive group of over 200 riders up Santiago Truck Trail and down The Luge, a popular route in southern Orange County.
For O’Mara, mountain biking became a way of life after his professional motocross career ended, and the SoCal native has gone on to accomplish many great things and championships in the saddle. O’Show remains one of the fastest riders on the trails, regardless of his age or racing division.
Rock N’ Road Cyclery is a multi-store chain of bicycle shops in SoCal, and the ride started at the Missio Viejo store. “Mountain biking is the hottest branch of cycling right now,” said owner Matt Ford. “MTB sales are growing at the moment and road bike sales are declining. There’s a massive crossover of mountain biking and motocross, and of course, we all love Supercross and Motocross, so hosting the A1 Ride Daze is an absolute no-brainer for us. It’s awesome to see so many of the sport’s top racers and industry players come out to support the event, have a good time, and get some exercise while they’re at it!”
The A1 Ride Daze attracted riders of all ages. Ten-year-old Reese Neuer came out to pedal alongside some of his Supercross heroes. (Left to right) Blake Savage, Adam Cianciarulo, and Ken Roczen all hammered out the 14-mile loop at top speed.
Anaheim 1 winner Ken Roczen was among the Supercross racers who showed up to participate in the event. One might have assumed that he would be resting after the clinic he put on the night before. “It’s only an hour ride and it’s not like we raced two National motos in 100-degree weather; it was a Supercross!” said Roczen. “This was a super fun ride and I am glad we came.”
The trails were in awesome shape, thanks to the recent rainfall in SoCal, and the entire group made it up STT and down The Luge without incident. One woman’s crank fell off her bike, but thanks to some better-prepared riders with tools handy, she was able to complete the ride without further incident.
Jeff Ward and Chad Reed. Yoshimura R&D’s Erick “Big E” Bartoldus. RCH/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Justin Bogle and GEICO Honda team advisor Wil Hahn carpooled from Corona to participate. Both are also members of the Baghouse MTB Team that is captained by Johnny O’Mara. Multi-time MTB World Champion Brian Lopes came out to show some dudes the fast way down The Luge. Anaheim 1 West Coast 250 winner Shane McElrath.
Like Roczen, GoPro/Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath came out for the ride, still buzzing from his win in the 250 Western Regional Supercross main. With trainer Tyla Rattray at his side, McElrath spun his way around the course and used it as a recovery ride.
Of all the attendees at this year’s A1 Ride Daze event, 11-Time All Japan National MX Champion Akira Narita may have traveled the furthest for the ride. Narita flew into LAX on Saturday morning for the A1 Supercross, joined several of his Honda teammates for the ride in the morning, then returned to Tokyo Sunday night on a 10:00 p.m. flight. Talk about a whirlwind trip!