2010 Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race

After a brutal test last year at the inaugural Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, David and Chris are out to prove that they haven’t learned their lesson. On September 14th they will return to Brevard, NC to once again test their mettle  over five days on some of the most difficult terrain this planet has to offer (in the fabled Pisgah Forest).

The 2010 Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race is a whole day longer than last year, plus features over 9000 feet of climbing and between 35-40 miles per day…  except for Stage 1.  So this first stage must be a nice way to ease into the race then, right?  Try again – it’s a 7 mile “warmup” descent followed by a 12 mile hill climb with 2000 feet of elevation gain.  This is Pisgah after all.

Chris and David Cresting Laurel Mountain in the 2009 race

There may not be any snow in the forecast this year, but there will still be plenty of epic singletrack, gnarly downhills, and, of course, stream crossings to keep things challenging.  Since this fantastic event takes place in our proverbial “backyard”, we’re sending David and Chris back to the race to report on the experience and meet the fun-loving folks who like to test themselves with this kind of adventure (definitely post a comment if you are headed to the race).

GT Sensor 9er Mountain Bike

Once again, David and Chris will be torture-testing one of the GT bicycles that we carry, and what better steed than the brand new GT Sensor 9r Mountain Bike.  With a thru-axle front fork, 120mm of travel and 29″ wheels, the GT Sensor 9er is the perfect bike for the rugged Pisgah trails.

But we also want use the attention from the race to raise money for a very good cause – Wheels For Life, the nonprofit organization started by mountain biking legend Hans Rey to provide bikes for people in developing countries (to help them get to work, school or medical care).  To this end we’re going to auction off one of the same brand new GT Sensor 9ers that David and Chris will be riding during the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race (but if you win the auction you’ll get one in the size of your choice, of course), with all of the proceeds going directly to Wheels for Life.  So you can read all about David and Chris’ adventure, then bid on a brand new GT Sensor 9er that you can use to create your own adventures, all while supporting a great cause.

In addition to amateur riders, like our team, there will also be a number of pros at the race dueling it out for the richest cash purse of any mountain bike stage race in the US.  On the women’s side of things, mountain biking Olympian Susan Haywood will be back defending her win from last year against Carey Lowery, who would love to be one step higher on the podium this time.  In the men’s race, Colby Pearce will be there showing people that he can handle his bike even when he’s not riding in banked circles (he’s a track rider who went to the last Olympic Games); Evan Plews is an experienced mountain bike racer who would probably crush most of the field riding singlespeed; and it looks like multiple-time national champion Jeremiah Bishop will be back to defend his title from last year’s stage race (you may have seen Jeremiah placing 5th in the fabled Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race or winning the Breck Epic and Trans-Sylvania Epic stage races earlier this year!)

So look for updates from David and Chris as they get ready for their racing adventure, plus posts and pictures live from Pisgah with highlights of the week’s action.  Our team will give their insight into what it’s like to race in a stage race like this, and hopefully inspire you to get out there and tackle your own epic adventure!

Hotter ‘N Hell 2010

The Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred is one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation, held each year in Wichita Falls, Texas. Riders and racers come from virtually every state and several foreign countries. This year they had another record-setting ride with 13,067 participants lining up for the 29th 100 mile Endurance Ride on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010 (see the picture below to see what that many cyclists look like on a start line!)

Photo from Torin Halsey/Times Record News

But more than just the Endurance Ride happen during the Hotter ‘N Hell weekend, as there is also a Consumer Show, Spaghetti Dinner, USA Cycling Criterium Race, USA Cycling Road Race, the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred Endurance Ride, an Off-Road bicycle race, off-road trail run, plus entertainment, food and fellowship at the Finish Line Village.  The local Wichita Falls newspaper, the Times Record News, has a great photo gallery of all the weekend’s festivities, plus a video of the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred experience.

Now of course it takes an army of volunteers to help the cyclists face the wind and heat out on the roads (and trails), so we here at Performance Bicycle were more than happy to send out a crew (from some of our 8 stores in Texas) to the Hotter ‘N Hell Finish Line village and to 2 rest areas along the route.  They had a great time (as they always do) meeting, greeting, and otherwise helping people out at our hospitality tent.

We also kept riders hydrated at our hydration station, and entertained & informed guests during our hourly giveaways.

We fine-tuned and provided on-the-spot repairs for those last minute rider needs.

Our guys also surprised guests with free swag bags with water bottles, Power Bar nutrition products, and $5 discount cards.

We registered several hundred guests for peopleforbikes.org and for our free bicycle giveaway.

And provided on site repairs at 2 rest areas – #16 on the 25 mile route and the infamous Hell’s Gates rest area.

All in all, it was another great Hotter ‘N Hell weekend (even if the temperature didn’t quite live up to the name, not that anyone is complaining).  Maybe next year we’ll see you out there on the road!

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