“It’s not too long, but it’s not easy by any means,” says Todd Branham, founder of Blue Ridge Adventures. Depending on your point of view, his statement could be ominous or merely invigorating. Plenty of fledgling mountain bikers heeded the challenge — the company’s fifth annual Couch Potato Race, scheduled for Saturday, November 4, was well sold out by press time. Branham calls the amateur trek through Pisgah Forest “a great first race for mountain bikers” — hence the sassy “Couch Potato” designation, although navigating 25 miles at 3,200 feet in elevation means racers typically have more skills than a catatonic TV binger. “Most riders are intermediate level,” confesses Branham, adding that the average participant’s age is 40 and that about 20 percent of entrants are women. Given the event’s popularity, it’s probably best for aspiring Couch Potato cyclists to start planning now — or at least after digesting Thanksgiving dinner.
For more information, see blueridgeadventures.net.