Asheville Mountain Haulers

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It’s finally Thursday night, this has become the night in the saddle that I currently look forward to the most. My friend Chris usually comes over to the McHone household in East Asheville so we can get some extra miles in on our way to meet up with the Asheville Mountain Haulers on the corner of Emma and Craven. The Asheville Mountain Haulers are weekly social ride organized by Pete a fellow bike advocate to bring the various Asheville bike communities together.

Feeling inspired by his recent bike tour through Mexico, Central America and down into South America where Pete had many life changing experiences from behind the handlebars. The strong bike cultures that he encountered during his travels laid the foundation for the Mountain Haulers weekly ride. We ride as a group at a casual pace with a no drop policy. Loose plans are made each week for a new rad route or destination to experience by bike. Riders range in ability, style, bike selection and backgrounds but we are all super stoked to ride our bikes in a group at night. Jorts, flip flops and tank tops are my preferred riding attire. Unlike other group road ride meetups that often have the feel of a training ride the Mountain Haulers keep it super casual and encourage riders input on the route. If someone in the group knows a rad overlook or secret cut through thats on route we might make a detour from the original plan. 

As a fitness professional and cyclist I love linking up with so many people celebrating their fitness by riding bikes. Asheville, NC is located in the middle of the Western North Carolina mountains. The streets in downtown and surrounding the city have short punchy climbs and rippin descents so the base fitness level for riding is higher. Our meet up spot across from New Belgium Brewery is down by the French Broad River, which means climbing out of the River Arts District(RAD)to get into downtown or West Asheville.The only flat miles around Asheville are along the river so if you show up for a ride expect some climbing. Breaks are taken often to make sure we all stick together after a tough climb to recollect the group. No glory for getting to the top of a tough climb but if the spirits move you crush it and chill at the top. There have been weeks where I have missed a training ride earlier in the day so I go hard on the climbs to get my push but still get the social aspect from the group 

Thanks Mountain Haulers for bringing leisure back into my riding without expectations of me nor do I set any on myself. I don’t think about hitting a specific mileage or cadence but instead I engage with new faces and take in my surroundings. I have met some really awesome people that I might not have connected with otherwise. The group continues to build each week with the vision to continue linking up the bike community and showing Asheville that there is a strong diverse group of cyclist using the streets and greenways. Thanks again Pete for being the spark that brings us together!

Check out our adventures on IG @AshevilleMountainHaulers


Katie Coburn