Mix one amazing bike company, a national champion and a 50-something technology entrepreneur and voila! Jonny Brown, 3T and I are launching a special new cycling experience. It may be late in the season, but there will be some great fall color-filled miles for our first camp here in Asheville at the Applewood Manor.
So, let me tell you the story so far…
What do professional cyclists do when a pandemic gets in the way of racing? Why launch a B&B with a cycling program, of course! Earlier this year, I approached Jonny, the 2018 American road race champion about partnering with me to build a world-class cycling experience.
The program, based at The Applewood Manor, our boutique B&B in Asheville, North Carolina, would give Jonny a way to navigate the pandemic. He would lead and build the program into the cycling hub we’ve dreamt of. I’ve known Jonny since he was about eight years old and then later as a young junior with my team TriStar Cycling. So it’s been amazing to see him grow into the role as national champion, ambassador, and ultimately the father he is today.
My journey with cycling started as one of these special experiences. I attended a Carmichael Training Systems Tour de France camp on a whim after seeing a banner ad online. But that experience was so memorable that I know the right camp can make you fall in love with the sport.
Cycling has changed my life for the better and I’ve been working to support the cycling community ever since. Over the next twenty years and with the support of many friends, I co-founded two cycling teams. We also sponsored dozens of juniors and U23 cyclists, including both Jonny and his brother Nathan Brown.
For me, nothing is more special than the annual pro-style training camp I host in Roussillon, Provence. The camp takes place only 25 miles from the infamous Mont Ventoux. Each year the group of almost 40 friends and colleagues tackles the ascent from Bedoin as part of a week-long trip. So, I wanted to bring the vibe of our French camp to the USA and offer similar experiences year-round and to a larger audience.
But to really do this right, there are other critical deliverables including an amazing bike partner. Thanks to Jonny, I connected with the team at 3T and they agreed to be our exclusive bike partner. Providing us with a fleet of their amazing bikes so we can provide guests with the best equipment available and offer them experiences on the road, mixed surfaces and gravel.
My wife, Robin, and I acquired The Applewood Manor in August of 2020 with a vision to create a highly curated and differentiated B&B guest experience. Our goal is to create a destination focused on experiential programs across the areas of cuisine, cycling and business leadership,.
We’re in downtown Asheville so guests can enjoy the luxury of the historic Applewood manor as well as branch out to visit the best of what this town has to offer. The atmosphere in our slice of North Carolina is one of relaxation, comfort and a safe environment that is matched with incredible food and drink.
Our first camp offers riders an opportunity for valuable late-season base miles to prep for the year ahead. Jonny will be joined by co-hosts Nathan Brown of Rally Cycling, and Vitor Schizzi of EvoPro Racing. Nathan has competed in all three Grand Tours as a member of EF Education First and wore the Polka Dot jersey for several stages in the Tour de France and Vitor is the reigning 2019 Brazil Pro National Road Race Champion
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