The Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, put on by Blue Ridge Adventures, is a big production. For five days, September 14-18, elite riders from all over the world traverse 175 miles of Pisgah singletrack, climbing over 40,000 feet. It is a true test of riders’ endurance. From a Director’s standpoint, “It’s like running five ORAMMS in a row,” said Todd Branham, in reference to the Off Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell, an event that draws 400 participants yearly to the town of Old Fort, NC.
That means a lot of work and a lot of volunteers, with some of them in remote locations on the course. Last year Blue Ridge Adventures partnered with IMBA-SORBA to provide volunteers that in some cases ended up bikepacking to get to their course position on time. In return for the volunteers, Blue Ridge Adventures donated $3,000 to the Pisgah Area SORBA Chapter in appreciation for their efforts for three days on the course. This year they’re teaming up again to supply the 25+ volunteer positions needed each day.
The Pisgah Stage Race encourages community involvement, and is hosting several events open to the public and geared toward kids. To promote health and wellness, Olympic Track Racer Colby Pearce and National Champion Mountain Bikers Jeremiah Bishop and Sue Haywood, and Pro Mountain Bikers Evan Plews and Robert Marion will share their stories with kids at Brevard Academy on the Monday preceding the Pisgah Stage Race. Students will learn about perseverance and dedication and also how to balance work, family and fitness to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Riders will also show off some tricks on their bikes.