We welcomed a larger group of riders than originally anticipated on Saturday at Falling Creek for the first Annual Gear Grinder 6-Hour Endurance Mountain Bike Race. All proceeds benefit the Henderson County Young Leaders Program. Camp provides unique opportunities for building character, leadership, and resourcefulness in young people. For Henderson County children who would otherwise lack such opportunity, the Henderson County Young Leaders Program provides a progression of residential camp, mentoring, and monthly education experiences. Many thanks to Pardee Hospital, Sycamore Cycles, and Foxworth Advisors for their primary sponsorship of the event. We also want to thank all of the riders and volunteers who made the event outstanding!

FCC Staff member Allison Jones (3rd from right) and Annie Pharr (2nd from right) represented on the podium in the open women's race.FCC Staff member Allison Jones (3rd from right) and Annie Pharr (2nd from right) represented on the podium in the open women's race.

Marcus Jones, Director of Engineering for Henderson County, and Terry Foxworth, of Foxworth Advisors served as race directors. Diane Jacober, executive Director of the Henderson County Young Leaders Program, and Marisa Pharr, HCYLP Board member and Falling Creek Camp Director, were key organizers of the event. Will Hendricks, HCYLP Board chair, was among many who volunteered for this event. Many thanks to everyone who made it happen.

Marcus Jones (left) and Terry Foxworth serve as race directorsMarcus Jones (left) and Terry Foxworth serve as race directors

Marisa Pharr (left) and Diane Jacober award one of the top racersMarisa Pharr (left) and Diane Jacober award one of the top racers

Will Hendricks, HCYLP Board Chair, signing in a racerWill Hendricks, HCYLP Board Chair, signing in a racer

Falling Creek Camp's Ken Johnson, Raybot Hailey, and Dewayne Maynard take the top prize in the men's team race.Falling Creek Camp's Ken Johnson, Raybot Hailey, and Dewayne Maynard take the top prize in the men's team race.

Todd Branham took time out of his busy schedule to come out and race. Todd is the chief designer/builder of the Falling Creek Camp trail system through Long Cane Trails, and race director for Blue Ridge Adventures, organizer of some of the best mountain bike races in the country. Todd mentioned that it was nice to be able to race today and enjoy the event that Marcus and Terry organized so well. A quick plug: The Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League – CYMBL races have also been hosted at Falling Creek for several years now. The next race in the series is next weekend, May 5, at Camp Greer in Old Fort, NC, so plan to come out and ride and support.

Hubba Hubba Smokehouse served up their famously delicious BBQ and cuisine. What a way to top off a fantastic day indeed! If you missed it, it’s worth a day’s drive to travel to Flat Rock, NC to enjoy this amazing food, venue, and the people who make it happen.

Starr and his daughter Virginia Frances setting up their famous Hubba Hubba Barbque feast for all the racers, volunteers and supportersStarr and his daughter Virginia Frances setting up their famous Hubba Hubba Barbque feast for all the racers, volunteers and supporters

All racers gaining important pre-race instructions on this beautiful sunny morningAll racers gaining important pre-race instructions on this beautiful sunny morning
Falling Creek Camp is well representedFalling Creek Camp is well represented
Two racers pushing hard up the 1.5 mile climb at the beginning of the 8 mile loop.  They don't call it 'Gear Grinder' for nothing!Two racers pushing hard up the 1.5 mile climb at the beginning of the 8 mile loop. They don't call it 'Gear Grinder' for nothing!
Half way up the big climb at the beginning, you pass the cascading Falling Creek FallsHalf way up the big climb at the beginning, you pass the cascading Falling Creek Falls
Payoff view from near the top of the mountain on Reptar TrailPayoff view from near the top of the mountain on Reptar Trail
All racers could see the beautiful Green River valley from this gorgeous viewAll racers could see the beautiful Green River valley from this gorgeous view
Riders passed the Overlook shelter on Reptar TrailRiders passed the Overlook shelter on Reptar Trail
These guys make this uphill switchback on Toad's Turnpike trail look easyThese guys make this uphill switchback on Toad's Turnpike trail look easy
Arriving at the lower of the two lakes on top of the mountain in the main campus of Falling Creek CampArriving at the lower of the two lakes on top of the mountain in the main campus of Falling Creek Camp
Major speed on Falling Creek Camp's 2.2 mile Ridgeline TrailMajor speed on Falling Creek Camp's 2.2 mile Ridgeline Trail
At the bottom of the Ridgeline Trail, riders passed the Green River Pasture and the Falling Creek Camp HorsesAt the bottom of the Ridgeline Trail, riders passed the Green River Pasture and the Falling Creek Camp Horses
Donnie 'K-wood' Kirkwood, of Sycamore Cycles, is served some delicious food from Hubba Hubba SmokehouseDonnie 'K-wood' Kirkwood, of Sycamore Cycles, is served some delicious food from Hubba Hubba Smokehouse