LUCERNE VALLEY — Some walked or ran, but most participants in Saturday’s 5th Annual Ride in the Rocks event soaked up the desert scenery on their mountain bikes.

A record 156 people participated on a glorious fall day that started and finished at Lucerne Valley High School.

“God gave us perfect weather,” said co-organizer Millie Rader, an avid mountain biker who spent the morning encouraging participants and ensuring that the event went smoothly.

“It was great, really fun,” said Derek Hermon, 44, the first finisher of the grueling 22-mile (some said it felt longer) race through arid landscape to the foothills and back. “We had a group going, but then I went to the front and just hammered out the rest of the course.”

Hermon, who owns Bear Valley Bikes, finished in 1 hour, 50 minutes and 21 seconds. His riding partner, John Nobil, finished 8 seconds back.

The first to finish the 5-kilometer run was Jason Hart in a time of 39:10.

The fastest 10-miler was Koby Lopez, who was clocked in 48:28.

The first 5-mile bike ride finisher was Trish Grubbs with a time of 50:31.

Pastor Richard Wood of Lucerne Valley Community Church survived his first mountain bike event, but not without a sizable scrape on his leg.


Proceeds from the event went to the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides funding for Lucerne Valley schools. The Daily Press and the Lucerne Valley Leader newspapers also were event sponsors.


“It’s so much fun,” said local teacher Cory Velasquez, who brought along several students and their families. “But the lunch (provided by Out of This World Barbecue) is the best part.”