The Khare family is one of many cycling families in Brevard. “Shrimper” and Noelle Khare moved here 12 years ago to surround themselves with like-minded people. Cyclists, nature lovers, small-town southern folk: they’re all here.
Friends affectionately refer to the Khare’s home as the “gnome dome,” with a network of hand-cut singletrack zig zagging all over their property in the East Fork area of Transylvania County.
“My boys have a choice of doing trail work or house work for their chores,” said Shrimper. “You can guess what they choose to do.”
The result is the narrow moss-lined ribbons that cut through the trees bringing smiles to his guests’ faces. If you get an invite from Shrimper, consider it a privilege because you won’t find any finer
singletrack in the county.
His kids, Henry, 16, and Bergen, 14, have the mountain biking bug just like their parents. Bergen has taken to the competitive side of mountain biking, with a recent sponsorship from Beech Mountain Ski Resort, and being a threat on the downhill scene has become a goal.
Bergen and Henry can often be found at the dirt jumps along the bike path after school with any number of their friends, all of whom spend hours digging and sculpting the jumps.
The Khares encourage their boys’ passion, and take it one step further. Noelle, as well as being a middle school teacher, is the director of the Transylvania County Schools Mountain Biking Club and team.
They meet every week and usually ride in Dupont, where the kids can get a feel for how to read a trail. The club meets once a week for rides after school and the team practices three days a week after school. The team also rides in Pisgah.
Noelle may do a lot of the groundwork, but she is thankful for community support.
“The reason the club works is because of our community. We have such a strong community involvement, otherwise there would be no club or team,” she said.
“I’m involved because I get this incredible joy when I’m on a bike and I want to share that with others and I love giving kids the opportunity to experience it too. It’s been really cool seeing how many people want to be involved in it there’s nothing but smiles and good vibes and that’s why most people ride, for the social aspect of it. I’m not kidding. It’s so cool to go out there with these kids.”
The TCS Cycling team consists of middle and high school kids. Noelle made note that the team is “boys and girls together, and everyone is on neutral ground.” They are learning and having fun, she said, and the positive energy is “incredible.”
Shrimper is the owner of Headwaters Environmental, a trail contracting company and one of six members of the Professional Trail Builders Association based in Transylvania County. Shrimper has led and assisted in the design and completion of a number of trails in the area, including the recent “Big Dig” on Lower Black Mountain, a road-to-trail conversion that brought the community together to fix the popular trail that had become a gutter.
The Khares can be found at either of the local bike shops, for coffee in the morning at Sycamore Cycles, and for beer in the afternoon at The Hub. If you bump into them, take the time to get to know them.
People can get in touch with Noelle about the bike club by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. More can be found on their Facebook page: TCS Cycling Club.