It’s days like today that I pat myself on the back for a decision made 13 years ago.
I’d just finished a gorgeous day on the groomed trails at the White Grass ski touring center in West Virginia and was returning my rental equipment.
“How was it?” asked the ski rental guy.
“Incredible!” I oozed. “I can’t wait to go again.”
“You know,” he said, “Our rental skis are for sale.” At a price, it turned out, that was more than I could afford but too good to refuse. I’ve used them a dozen times since; I’m hoping to make it a baker’s dozen tomorrow.
As Winter Storm Leon (sheesh) makes its way up the coast, the prospects are good for cross-country conditions, from the Triangle into the coastal plain. As of this morning, parts of the Triangle were expected to get up to six inches of snow — with points east forecast to get 10 inches or more.
On the right kind of trail, six inches is all it takes to make or decent cross-country conditions. Where might one find the right kind of trail?
Glad you asked.read more
Sunday, Dec. 14, is the fourth running of the Tour de Toys, a unique charity ride in the world of two-wheel fundraising. Unique because it’s in chilly December, typically a slow month on the cycling calendar. Unique in that whereas the long option in a typical charity ride is 64 miles and the short 32, the hardcore at Tour de Toys will be going 12 miles, the recreational riders 6.read more
I wrote the following for The News & Observer, where it appeared Monday, Aug. 19, 2013. It appears here with links. If you live in Charlotte and wonder where your town fared in the American Fitness Index ranking of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas, come back tomorrow for that report.read more
The Triangle Rock Club is expanding — again.
In May, the TRC announced plans to add 16,000 square feet of climbing wall to its existing facility in Morrisville. The addition, scheduled to open in January, will boost the gym’s total climbing space to more than 24,000 square feet and introduce 50-foot walls, twice the height of the gym’s current walls. It will be the largest climbing gym in a five-state area.
As managing partners Andrew Kratz, Luis Jauregui and Joel Graybeal were unveiling those plans, they were working to finalize a deal on a second gym, in North Raleigh. Announced yesterday, the new gym will have 13,500 square feet of climbing area, a
30-foot free-standing climbing pillar and more than 74 climbing lanes. The new facility is at 6022 Duraleigh Road, just off Glenwood Avenue/U.S. 70.
“We understand our customers are only willing to drive a certain distance to work out at the gym, climb, take an instructional class, or drop their children off at a climbing camp,” said Graybeal. “We are comprehensively serving the Morrisville/Cary area, but feel there is a distinct need in North Raleigh for another TRC facility.”
From a demographic standpoint, the gym is well situated between high-density apartments to the north, west and south, and miles of single-family homes to the east.
From a recreational standpoint, the gym is less than a mile as the crow flies from Umstead State Park, creating any number of climb combos: climb-run, climb-bike, climb-hike. There are also several bars and restaurants nearby.
The North Raleigh facility will be especially popular with boulderers. Two features in particular will prove challenging: the Grenade and The Beast, which features a severe (to GetGoingNC’s V1 skill set) overhang. Eldorado Climbing Walls of Boulder, Colo., is installing the climbing walls in both gyms.
The North Raleigh facility is a former gym and is scheduled to open Sept. 1.
Not long ago, indoor climbing gyms were typically low-budget affairs in abandoned warehouse space that attracted mostly hardcore climbers. The TRC’s rapid expansion has been driven in part by those same devout climbers, but also by families and recreational athletes. Along the way, climbing gyms have evolved into bonafide businesses. TRC was named Morrisville’s Small Business of the Year for 2013, and even the president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, weighed in on TRC’s North Raleigh expansion.
“The growth in climbing for sport and recreation has exploded in recent years and we are excited to have Triangle Rock Club open a premier facility in Raleigh,” said Harvey Schmitt in a release issued by TRC. “TRC also has a strong focus on civic engagement and will be an excellent addition to our business community.”
TRC isn’t done yet.
“Now that we have secured our second site location in the Raleigh-Durham market,” said Graybeal, “we are moving quickly on a third site to better-serve the Durham/Chapel Hill area. We are also planning to open up additional locations in Charlotte and the Triad.”read more
Adam Spisak had an “ah ha!” moment when most of us would be having an “oy vey!” moment.
“It was last fall and I had run the Tough Mudder in South Carolina earlier in the day,” says Spisak, who lives in Raleigh. “It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m up with my daughter, trying to get her to sleep.” The obstacle race is going through his head, he’s experiencing the joys of fatherhood, he’s reflecting on his active past — he played soccer through his freshman year at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia and has since evolved into a runner — and he’s contemplating the future.read more