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Seeking Professional Bike Help

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It does not take a newbie mountain bike rider long to realize the value and importance of having a good connection with professional bike mechanics and coaches.  Since most bikers are always looking to improve their bike riding skills and fitness, it is a huge benefit to have a good relationship with a potential biking coach and consultant.

If you live in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area, I want to recommend an experienced coach and mechanic who has been a helpful consultant for me in many areas of biking.

Todd Hunter is a USA Cycling certified coach with over 25 years of racing experience in mountain bike and cyclocross. Todd started racing BMX in North Carolina at age 11 and quickly established himself as a fast rider, winning many regional and national events across the US. He is also a former NC Cyclocross State Champion and places consistently in the top 5 in the Southern Classic XC MTB Series, Cat 1. As of the last few months, you will see his consistent top placements in the North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Series.

You can read more about Todd and reach him from his Wenzel Coaching page.

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First Dirt-Date with Warrior Creek

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I have always listened in envy to my biking buds talk about riding some legend trail named Warrior Creek.  Even more amazing was the recent 38 minute sell out for the 6Hours of Warrior Creek Endurance Race.  I kept studying my friend’s Warrior Creek Strava feeds dreaming of what my own first dirt-date would be like.

Much to my excitement, while visiting family in the Triad, I was invited to an Warrior Creek early morning post-Thanksgiving ride by Eric Phillips at Skinny Wheels Bike Shop in Mocksville, NC.

Eric was a very patience bike tour guide as not only was I limited to a riding a Single Speed (geared bike down), but I was often caught stopped and drooling at the breathtaking scenery of the Kerr Scott Reservoir.

Much to my riding pleasure, Warrior Creek has recently cut some new trail on their main loop and it seems to have added several miles now totaling to 14 miles of flowy single-track.

Some have bragged that these trails are the one of the best in North Carolina, and although I am still growing in my single-track exploration, I agree.

My hope is that WC will be open to more dirt-dates in the future and hopefully this is only the beginning of long lasting relationship.  Oh yeah, hoping that maybe I made such an impression with WC, that she will introduce me soon to her close friends- Overmountain Victory & Dark Mountain.

First EVER CycloCross Race in Leland, NC

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Here is some great video of the first ever cross event held at the newly constructed Brunswick Nature Park in Leland, NC. Cross is not a “new” sport by any means but seems to be increasing in popularity and gaining lots of momentum thanks to Port City Velo Origin8 and Bicycle Gallery-Jacksonville.

Waccamaw Trailblazers Host FIRST MTB Race

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ImageThe Trail Mayor is all about supporting new bike clubs in our region that are busting gears to promote similar core biking values.  Waccamaw Trail Blazers is one such club located in Myrtle Beach.  They have been over-the-top supportive of other surrounding bike clubs over the last years and I certainly want to encourage you to be a part of anything they are doing.

I am excited to see they are hosting their FIRST EVER MTB RACE so below are the details from their page.  Also, keep in mind this is going to be a new race location for our upcoming CCORS 2013.  What a great way to pre-ride the trail!!!!

“We will be hosting our first mountain bike race ever this November 24 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Known as the Stache & Dash, the race aims at raising both funds and awareness of prostate cancer. With a large tie in with Movember, riders are encouraged to participate in the month long mustache growing event and wear them with pride on race day.

There will be two different categories of races. Category A will be a 6 lap race around the newest trail in Myrtle Beach know to the locals as “The Hulk.” The category B race will feature a 3 lap race with a mass start along side Category A. Each laps is aprox. 3.33 miles in length giving Category A an aprox distance of 19.98 miles will category B will be aprox. 9.99 miles.

This should be a changeling and fun race to raise awareness about the affects of prostate cancer. Prizes and awards will be given in both divisions. All proceeds of the Stache and Dash race will be donated to Prostate Cancer research. The winner in each category will be awarded with the donation check to the Prostate Cancer Foundation presented on their behalf.

Registration is now open online and all riders are encourage to register. This will help us out tremendously. Pre-regestration is $25 for Category A and $20 for Category B. Day of race registration will be available at an additional cost of $5 per race.

Date: Nov. 24, 2012
Location: Horry County Bike and Run Park (The Hulk)
City/State: Myrtle Beach, SC
Race time: 10:00am
Race Day Registration: 8:00am
Start: Mass Start
Categories: Cat A – 6 Laps (20 miles) / Cat B – 3 Laps (10 miles)
Cost: Cat A – $25 before, $30 day of / Cat B -$20 before, $25 day of
Trail Conditions: Sandy, Small Hills, Flat, Fast and Tight”

Ride For Someone Besides Yourself

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I have really grown to love riding endurance races, time trials, cross country races, etc. that benefit a good cause besides myself.  Yes, I began biking for my own exercise, health, and well-being, but over the last years, I have realized that nothing can replace the feeling of riding in hopes of raising awareness or helping grow the cash pot for a good cause.

Today, I have the privilege of riding in the 3rd race of the Fall Time Trial Series where all proceeds are going to assist Bradley Clark and his family while recovering from a serious biking accident.  I have been greatly encouraged by Brad’s family during these last few months.

During the 6 mile ride, I will be keeping Brad fresh on my mind in prayer and thoughts.  And I will cherish the fact that I have the health to pedal each stroke while Brad is improving fast.

Looking forward to pedal again one day with Brad and his boys!

Bike For Tots MTB Race & Road Ride

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The Bike for Tots event is back for its 7th year!!  Bike for Tots consists of 2 separate events. A Cross-Country MTB Race and a Road Ride starting and ending at the same location (the Bicycle Post Trails, Falkland NC). The entry fee is an unwrapped toy with value greater than $15. Without a toy donation the entry fee is $20 – so bring a toy!! This is meant to be a fun event to help make Christmas a little more special for some local children while getting those of the athletic persuasion outside for healthy competition. In the end we all win!

Knocked From My Bike to My Knees

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You are invited to be a part of this coming Saturday’s Time Trial Benefit Race for Bradley Clark.

I have only had a few passing “race-day” interactions with Bradley Clark before his biking accident, but those conversations were enough for me to realize that he was different than most off-road bike riders.

Being a pastor, it often caught my attention when I would see the Clark family arriving to the Coastal Carolina Off-Road Series races in their Sunday duds and quickly making a wardrobe change into their race gear.   I knew there was a deeper truth than what I had observed on the surface, but I was not prepared for the bulwark of Christ-centered faith I have seen in the Clark family over the last few months.

As you may or may not know, on Sunday night, August 26th, Brad was in Charlotte for business.  As an avid cyclist, he rode his bicycle to dinner. On the way home, in the dark, he hit a curb and Brad went over the handle bars.  Upon landing on the pavement, he hyperextended his neck and was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.  Later, they discovered that he could not move or feel anything.  Results from an MRI showed a disc in the neck (approx. C5-6) pushing on the spinal cord.  Ultimately, he was taken for emergency surgery on Monday to remove the disc.

The expected time for Brad’s recovery is around six months and he is showing great signs of improvement.  Brad and his family opted to relocate to a special spinal hospital in Atlanta to assist him in his daily recovery.

I encourage you to visit Brad’s Caring Bridge Page and catch up on the journal entries where he allows his children to take turns posting updates.

May I warn you that these journal updates are like none you will ever read from those walking through pain and suffering.

These updates are from a family who has a deep rooted faith in God’s Word and their Lord Jesus Christ.  You might even take a second glance when you realize that many of the journal entries are written from the perspective of Brad and Rachel’s TEENAGE children!  I have told my thirteen-year old daughter that if she grows up with half the spiritual maturity of the Clark kids, I will be a proud father!

Personally, I have integrated these journal entries into my daily quiet time as they have been a rich source of encouragement and strength for my daily walk with Christ.  I remember being on my knees in tears the day I read Brad’s response to the question everyone is wondering but afraid to ask, “Will Brad ever ride a bike again?”  Brad’s personal response,

September 7th, 2012, by Rachel Clark, “Dad wants to make sure that each and every one of you know that it’s okay if he doesn’t walk again. He doesn’t want anyone to be disappointed if the improvements stopped today and he never completely regains his mobility and strength. Dad is resting in God and thankful to be alive and ready to glorify Him. Believe me, he is!” 

I was humbled greatly after reading this because I had just fallen in a rock garden while preparing for the Brunswick Brawl.  Unfortunately, I hyper-extended my left elbow and my first instinct was to whine about whether it would slow down my training.  I was far from the strong faith that Brad had expressed, and my injury was only minor in comparison.  Upon reading Brad’s own words, I realized how selfish I had become in my thoughts and attitudes.  God used Brad’s faith to knock me off my bike and onto my knees for deeper introspection.

The type of deep satisfaction and joy I see in Brad and his family during these times surely comes from a real and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.

I want to thank Brad for trusting, standing, praying, pulling, pushing, and striving to live out his testimony that God is building up day by day.

What a privilege it will be to pedal one more time with Brad and his family!

Ride and support Brad Clark this coming Saturday at the Time Trial Race at Brunswick Nature Park.  RSVP at the MeetUp page.