Blue Ridge Outdoors names The Bike Farm as a summer road trip must. Camp and go mountain biking with a guide while not breaking the bank.
As we recover from the Inaugural Trans BC Enduro powered by Stages Cycling we reflect on a week of great times and some of the steepest and rowdiest terrain we’ve ever ridden. We are both super grateful to have finished in one piece and had as much fun as we did along the way. A week spent pushing ourselves physically and mentally, laughing with old friends and making new friends along the way. It was a week we’ll not soon forget.
Cashion learned a lesson in poor tire choice on day two when he brought a carrot to a gun fight which led to three flats. Otherwise his bike held up to the punishment all week long.
Guides & coaches Eva Surls and Bernadette Merriman having a blast in the woods. Come ride bikes with us!
We’re excited to be curating a sampling of the best trails in Pisgah and DuPont for The Cyclist Menu‘s inaugural Mountain Bike Camp in Brevard, North Carolina. Coaches Sue Haywood and Heidi Rentz will be working with clients to hone their fitness and skills, Chef Z will be providing gourmet meals, and the The Bike Farm will provide guide and concierge services for this exclusive offering.
August 31st – Sept. 5th, 2016
Check out the www.ridebikeseatfood.com for more details and to save your space.
I am not really the type to post photos of my new gear on social media, it walks a line of braggadocio, and frankly I believe it sends the wrong message to young riders. I guess I could be considered a soul rider, a 21st century hippie on a carbon horse. For me it is not the bike that matters, it is what the bike is a conduit for. Herein lies the mission of The Bike Farm; To foster a connection to one self and the natural world via the bicycle for as many people from as many walks of life as humanly possible. This is in an effort to leave this world a little better than we found it. We pay the bills hosting new friends (and some strangers) at our Pisgah mountain biking base camp, and taking folks on guided rides of Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Recreation Forest. We check the marketing box by working with companies like Red Bull and Oskar Blues. But most importantly we fill our soul cup by introducing those who may not other wise have the opportunity, to mountain biking. As we look to the future our goal is to act as a catalyst to those who may really need a ride to heal deep wounds, or really need an opportunity to check out of the day to day hustle and tune into the natural world. This is our mission, this is why the bike farm base camp, guide and concierge services exist.
As we look to the 2016 season, we are excited to welcome new friends to our Pisgah mountain biking base camp, and show riders new to the area all the best Pisgah and DuPont have to offer. We are most excited to continue our work with the Transylvania County Schools Cycling Club as well as explore opportunities to work with NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association). We look forward to providing a natural retreat for our dear friends providing wilderness therapy offerings to their clients, and we are beyond excited at the prospect of getting to work with an incredible group of folks at Peace of Adventure.
Our bikes are delivery vehicles to peace of mind, light hearted child like laughter and play, that on occasion provide us with some much needed healing and/or grounding. Our bikes are also the tools of our trade and as such we are eternally grateful for those who provide support for our mission. Without them it would not be possible. We depend on our bikes to be ridden hard, put away wet, and rolled out of bed ready to rumble. We require reliability as well as peak performance, and our current bikes are the best we have ever ridden. So while it is not “about the bike” I must say that mine is as good as it gets and I am grateful.
There is a theme developing in our blog at the moment. You could call it a look to our past and where we have come from. Perhaps when these old stories are told we can move on to current events. In 2014 Eva and I had the ever so surreal experience of working with Red Bull and in so doing saw the realization of dreams; appropriately by hosting Red Bull Dreamline a Signature Series Event. Red Bull told the story of how it all came to be in this article Dreamline Lands Down on The Bike Farm.
After Dreamline, Eva and I handed off the reigns of the old Shoal Falls Farm to the Katechis family so that we could build our own brand and pursue a second project, a Pisgah mountain biking retreat with unprecedented proximity to National Forest, exactly what we had been dreaming of. Bike Magazine told the story here The Bike Farm’s New Roots.
A story that was not told and is long overdue is how Dreamline actually came to be in Western NC. Red Bull did their thing to put on an incredible event, Adam Aloise and the boys at Dirt Factory built an incredible set, Oskar Blues and the Katechis family hosted, The Bike Farm lined all the players up, but there was another person in the crowd that day, and he was the unsung and unidentified man who actually brought Dreamline to Western NC. That man is Evan Voss. More than a year before the riders took to dirt, Evan having heard of what The Bike Farm was trying to create, asked me if I knew of a chunk of land in the Brevard area where a Red Bull dirt jump event could be held. Evan explained that he had a friend that worked with Red Bull and they were looking for a place to hold the event. I said, uhh yeah, I know a chunk of land. I took Evan out to the old Shoal Falls Farm. A beautiful piece of land near DuPont State Forest. We had been working to broker a deal between the current owners of the land and the Katechis family that founded Oskar Blues brewery. Evan dug the spot and made the connection. Soon, Luke Seile from Become Co, Adam Aloise from Dirt Factory, and Jason Hines from Red Bull came out to see the farm. They loved it, we all high fived and I said there is one problem. We don’t own this spot and neither does our POTENTIAL partner. They looked a little puzzled, scratched their heads and said potential partner? I said yeah. They said ok, we have some time see what you can get done. That was sometime in the summer of 2013. For the next six months or so we worked hard to get stars to align, tried to get a property acquisition to happen, as well as get the folks from Oskar Blues to sit down with my new friends at Red Bull. I had the previous owners of the farm agree to letting us host Dreamline (and then scrape it) regardless of a sale just to hedge our bets. The rest of that story is history, the land was purchased, we got Dale at the table with the folks at Red Bull and the dreams came true.
The part that was left out of that history for far too long is Evan Voss. These words can’t express our gratitude and explain just how pivotal he was, but it is better than nothing I hope, and better late than never.
Rider: Evan Voss
Photo credit: Todd Nichols
You will have to bear with a little redundancy, also known as a nostalgia trip. Eva and I spend our winters in Colorado. For her it is the keystone to her ability to run her “other job” from NC (or wherever else she finds herself with an internet connection). It is her time to get in the studio with her father, James Surls to clean up from the year prior and plan for the year ahead. It is not much different for me. I set up my office and watch the snow fly as I force myself to sit at the computer. I know this comes as a huge shock but I have a hard time sitting at the computer when I could be in Pisgah mountain biking. In fact, I am the master of finding a reason to go outside. It is early winter and the snow in Carbondale is not good enough to ski, board, or bike and it is plenty cold enough to make sitting inside a little more tolerable.
In the past two years I have rarely slowed long enough to take in all of the incredible moments that Eva and I have experienced on this ride known as The Bike Farm. No less than four thousand three hundred and twenty two times I have said I need to write about this, I need to slow down and take it in. The secret is out, I move fast, I keep myself busy, and I suck at Social Media. It is now time to reflect.
Eva and I have been humbled constantly that people found our dream compelling enough to come visit, and in some instances even write about us. Bike Magazine is the holy grail of publications in my world. We were floored when Bike Magazine sent Mr. Graham Averill to come tell our story back in Jun of 2014 (The Bike Farm – farming for the future). At that point we were still trying to align stars for our first project. We were rolling the dice, doing a little gambling, and trying to swing for the fences. We were able to broker a land deal with Oskar Blues Brewery founder Dale Katechis, line up Red Bull and Oskar Blues, and turn a historic NC dairy farm into a bike playground where we hosted a Red Bull Signature Series Event, Dreamline. (Dreamline lands down on The Bike Farm)
That could have been enough to keep us satisfied for a year or two at least, but that is not how it played out. We were presented with an opportunity to develop yet another incredible Western NC property, this time adjacent to my favorite playground of Pisgah National Forest. We have been incredibly fortunate to work on not one, but two beautiful properties all in two years time. There was much speculation and small town rumors about why we were moving on from the Katechis’ property now known as The REEB Ranch, but the truth was as simple as for us to grow our own brand we needed to keep on moving, and develop our own brand completely independent and unencumbered. We had been in conversations with the owner of the 440 acre piece of private Pisgah forest with 800 vertical feet to dream and play with for close to two years, and were able to start development last Spring. Incredibly, and once again completely humbling, Bike Magazine saw fit to send Graham back out in September of 2015 to catch back up and tell the world about our progress. (The Bike Farm’s New Roots)
The Bike Farm started with a dream drawn on a sheet of paper. All I can say is thank you to those who have thought our dream worthy of telling or seeing for themselves.
The trail misters are on Pisgah Singletrack today, with more sun in the forecast for tomorrow. The leaves have been compacted nicely mating with the moisture content to create the perfect Pisgah Brown Pow riding experience. Pisgah does not see nearly the crowds that visit all summer during its cooler months, but those who know enjoy long range views, cooler temps, drier air and excellent trail conditions. In fact, the winter months are some of the absolute best for riding your mountain bike in Pisgah.
Probability for fun is: 100%
Chance of regret is: 0%
Perhaps holiday plans are bringing you to the area, or maybe you need to shed the fat from all the egg nog you drank at the holiday party. Whatever the reason, book your winter ride or skills clinic with The Bike Farm now www.thebikefarm.com.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for gift certificates or Bike Farm gear for those riders on your holiday shopping list.
Photo credit: Derek Diluzio
Men’s Journal recommends you stay at the bike farm during your next mountain bike adventure in Pisgah! We agree.
We always have a great time guiding the beautiful trails of DuPont State Forest. These kids loved mountain biking!
From a recent ride, Cashion says,
These wild boys have their “all business” look perfected. They were tons of fun to ride with and kept me laughing for three hours straight in DuPont. I heard some of the funniest lines I have heard in a long time (Think Ricky Bobby). Days like these make my job the best on earth.