With the AMA Supercross series in the midst of its California leg, Shimano hosted its sponsored motorcycle athletes and industry friends on a road bicycle ride from its U.S. headquarters on January 18, the day after the Anaheim 2 Supercross round. The second annual Shimano Moto Athlete Road Ride attracted an impressive turnout of participants who took part in the 20-mile ride before enjoying lunch in Shimano’s showroom.
Concluding the event was a screening of the new movie “The Rise of Enduro”, with cast member and enduro racer Kyle Warner in attendance.
“Moto athletes are getting more and more involved with cycling,” said Joe Lawwill, Shimano mountain bike marketing specialist and son of former professional motorcycle racer Mert Lawwill. “Some of these guys are more interested in learning about Di2 or our 11-speed drivetrains than the latest factory race bikes. These riders have a lot of fans who look up to them and may not be exposed to Shimano on a regular basis. It makes sense for us to share the brand with a new crop of people. This event is a really good opportunity for the moto athletes to see what happens behind the doors here at Shimano and get in a little ride. Hopefully they have fun and stay excited about Shimano.”
Prior to the ride, the turnaround of which was at the popular motorcycle hangout Cook’s Corner, a moment of silence was held in remembrance of Tommy Aquino, a former Shimano moto athlete who lost his life in a motorcycle crash a couple of weeks after the inaugural Moto Athlete Road Ride.
The list of Supercross racers on hand included Cole Seely, Justin Barcia, Broc Tickle, Cooper Webb (who had won the previous evening’s West Region 250SX main event), Marvin Musquin and reigning East Region 250SX Champion Justin Bogle, along with legends from the past like Jeremy McGrath, Jeff Ward, Mike Bell, Micky Dymond, Jimmy Button and Phil Lawrence.
“I always do a little recovery ride on Sundays, so it was nice to link up with a bunch of friends and have some fun,” said Seely, who had finished sixth in the 450SX main event at Anaheim 2. “Cycling is a passion of mine, and I’m thankful to have Shimano support me.”
The Team Honda racer had ridden to the event with his trainer Brian Lopes, a multi-time mountain bike champion. In addition to the supercross crowd, attendees included 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden and his brother Roger, Josh Hayes, Melissa Paris, Chris Fillmore, Eric Bostrom and Jake Lewis. Surfing legend Sunny Garcia and watercraft hero Victor Sheldon also participated.
“It was a really nice event with a great group of people,” Nicky Hayden said. “Shimano has nice components and takes good care of us. It was fun to do a nice ride and to get to check out their facility.”
Aptly highlighting the moto/cycling crossover were a host of mountain bike athletes, including trials pioneer Hans Rey, trials rider Ryan Leech, multi-time world champion Jill Kintner, downhiller Bryan Atkinson, enduro racer Cody Kelley and BMX Olympians Robert de Wilde and Joris Daudet.
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