About

Blue Ridge Adventures is a grassroots race production company based in Pisgah Forest, NC. Company founder Todd Branham has been racing mountain bikes for 24 years, and organizing endurance events since 1998. Starting with just 40 entrants at the inaugural Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell, Blue Ridge Adventures now runs five premier endurance races as well as a youth mountain bike race series. Pisgah has developed a growing and well-earned reputation for quality singletrack woven into the tallest and most rugged mountains this side of the Mississippi. Branham utilizes his experience as a professional trail builder in understanding the flow of the terrain to lay out courses that deliver a unique euphoric race experience.

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Blue Ridge Adventures History Highlights:

  • 1st Metric Century on the East Coast with Singletrack – ORAMM
  • 1st Mountain Bike Stage Race on the East Coast – Pisgah Stage Race
  • 1st Kids (K-12) Specific Mountain Bike Series in the Southeast – Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League (CYMBL)
  • 1st Event on Bracken Mountain Preserve trails
  • 1st Event on Brevard’s Greenway

Blue Ridge Adventures Crew

Todd Branham – Race Director

todd-newTodd Branham grew up in Columbia, SC and started racing bikes in his early 20s. He soon secured a job at one of Columbia’s best bike shops, Outspokin’. It is here that he cultivated his love of racing. He has raced all over the country in various race formats and can dissect a race right down to its primary formula. He worked and raced for Outspokin’ while attending The University of South Carolina where he double majored in Marketing and Management. Directing races evolved as planned group rides with friends that got larger and more elaborate and soon Blue Ridge Adventures was born. After graduation, he moved from the sandhills to the big hills of Western North Carolina where Blue Ridge Adventures operated as a mountain bike guide service in Pisgah National Forest as well as promoter of mountain bike and running events in the area. At one point, Blue Ridge Adventures was promoting 18 races a year! Races became so successful, in fact, that the guide service is no longer operational. Now, Blue Ridge Adventures promotes five primary races – The Jerdon Mountain Challenge, The Off Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell, The Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, The Couch Potato, and The Swank 65. In 2009, Blue Ridge Adventures began extending its timing services to other friends that promote races. Todd’s role as Race Director includes the responsibilities of course design, race logistics, sponsorship relations, and competitor relations.

Working with the Blue Ridge Bike Club helped to develop his love of trailbuilding. From there his work was noticed by the trail company Long Cane Trails and he was invited to come build trail with them on a big project at the Forks Area Trail System, referred to as “F.A.T.S.” Todd’s commitment and dedication was appreciated and he was soon offered a partnership with Long Cane Trails. He has since helped the company expand the breadth of their work. He has worked on trails in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon, Guatemala and Costa Rica. As part of the dedication to maintaining trails in his beloved Pisgah National Forest, Todd often leads out trailwork days with a local trail crew to directly benefit the trails he regularly uses.

After a 1st place finish at the 2006 National in the Super D genre, Todd decided to pursue the national circuit in 2007. Since then, he has accumulated a host of National titles to accompany his already vast bike medal/karate trophy collection.

  • 2007 National Mountain Bike Series Super D Champion
  • 2008 National Mountain Bike Series Super D and Expert XC Champion
  • 2009 Kenda Cup East Expert XC Champion, 2nd Unification Cup XC

Amanda McCarson –
General Administration

AmandaAmanda originally began helping Blue Ridge Adventures at rest stops and flipping burgers at the Swank. We noticed her hard work and attention to detail and quickly pulled her out of the grease trap and in to help with registration and results. She’s now fully in charge of registration and results at the races. When not working with us or as a technician at a local veterinary hospital, she frequents the paths of the WNC mountains on two feet usually accompanied by her four legged friends Bo and Dozer.

 

 


Lisa Lowe – General Administration, Race Announcer

LisaLisa comes to us from Wisconsin by way of Colorado.  She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Pharmacy and promptly moved to Crested Butte, CO to pursue a graduate degree in customer service in ski shops and restaurants, snowboarding and mountain biking.  She actually landed this job thanks to her time living in Crested Butte – one of our favorite places!   She moved to Brevard from Durango, CO to remember what humidity feels like and to be closer to family in NC.

 


Chris Baker timingChris Baker – Timing Manager

Chris comes to Blue Ridge Adventures as a racer and as a former race sponsor. Having competed in the Pisgah Mountain Stage Race, Couch Potato and as a former age group winner at ORAMM, Chris brings years of racing and executive level management experience to the BRA team. The retired Chief Operating Officer of a California winery began road racing in the 80’s and has been mountain biking since the early 90’s (Old School).  An avid photographer, cyclist and handyman, Chris is there to make sure your experience at a Blue Ridge Adventures event is a first-class experience. Chris is privileged to reside on 10 acres deep within the Pisgah National Forest with his life partner Tracey and their two dogs, Lottie the Plott hound and Kep, the Mountain Cur.



Jared Vandenbergh – Venue Manager

jaredJared is a Brevard local and has been a part of the mountain bike scene here for 20+ years.  He is the man in charge of venue setup and breakdown, making sure everything is in place before race start.  When not working for BRA he can be found working alongside Todd at Long Cane Trails where he serves as the Crew Manager.

 

 

 


Jonathan Guffey – Venue Setup

JOnathanJonathan has been in the bike world for a long time and spent a lot of time racing in his youth. He’s been helping us for the past couple of years to do all sorts of stuff including help with setup/breakdown, course marshal and sweep.  Although Jonathan is perfectly capable in his positions, we want to share that he has epilepsy and sometimes his seizures can be triggered by stressful situations.  So please be patient with him if an issue arises.

 

 


Walker Lowe – Venue Setup

 

 


Heather Salvo – Registration Manager, Assistant Timing Manager

 

 


AllisonNativeAllison Taylor – Logistics Manager

Allison Taylor found Blue Ridge Adventures through her love of planning and coordinating all types of events and combining that with her passion for the outdoors. Allison is the Blue Ridge Adventures liaison with the Department of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service and other entities for securing the appropriate documents for our races. She thrives on logistics and is well versed on the operations of the company. She is an active volunteer firefighter/search and rescuer, and a single mom to a hilarious 11 year old son. Although not much of a biker, crazy long distance hikes are her happy place.


Seyl Park – Social Media Manager, Photographer

seyl-pic-webSeyl comes from a background of business and education. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a masters in experiential education, he has a natural inclination to learn, educate and problem solve. He loves getting to know people, what they do, and why they do it.  Seyl is an active member of his community. Serving on various non-profit boards and committees over the years, he has been a lifelong believer in the idea of service and “giving back”. When not sitting at the computer, Seyl can be found taking photographs, hiking local trails with his family, or on a bike ride or run.

 


Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 7.26.41 AMLocke Crawford – IT Manager, Web

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