Mark Warrick is the owner of XEN MTB and a native of Southern California. He first started biking as a child, building and racing BMX tracks around the neighborhood. He always enjoyed exploring, and would often ride many miles away from home to other neighborhoods in search of more tracks. There were no maps, no guides, and there certainly weren’t any computers. All he had was a keen sense of direction and an ability to memorize routes and put together fun rides. Mark would then convince friends to join him on these journeys and before you know it, the kids were having cross town races going on every week.
In his teens, road cycling was Mark’s primary form of transportation. But he still had a love for dirt and would ride the BMX bike around just for fun once in a while.
In his early 20’s, Mark became a mountain biker. It started around 1993 with a buddy, Stu. There were no guide books for Orange County mountain biking at the time. In fact, it wouldn’t be until three years later that the first guide would be published, “Mountain Biking Orange County” by Randy Vogel. So without guides to lead the way, Mark started plotting routes the old fashioned way: by reading topographical maps and reading hiking guides. Mark soon discovered that many hiking routes were perfect trails for mountain biking as well. And so the years of trail exploration and plotting routes began.
In his early 30’s, Mark started organizing mountain bike rides for a bike club he founded. In it he found a new way to make friends and show them everything he had learned. But the learning didn’t stop there. He became a docent mountain biking tour guide for the Nature Conservancy and later for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. He learned from leading the rides how to be prepared for anything in the great outdoors. He also adopted the “Nobody Gets Left Behind” policy that wasn’t a policy of many mountain biking groups at the time; even some today. He became a leader not just of his own bike club, but to the entire community, most of whom learned from him and built up their own mountain biking groups following the same principles.
After 10 years of leading about 1,000 rides for others for free, and after so many people told him, “You should get paid for this”, Mark finally listened. And so in 2014, the XEN MTB Southern California Guided Mountain Biking Tours business was born. Mark can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form.