Brad Cobb – Ultra-Endurance Gravel & Mountain Bike Racing
Brad competes in gravel and mountain bike races – the endurance and ultra-endurance sort – events for which completing a course can take upwards of 8-12 hours or even 7-8 days to complete. He has raced all over the US, and in Europe, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and Iceland. Brad has so far not only finished every race he has entered, but he consistently meets or betters his goal of placing in the top five percent, frequently winning his age group. At the time of this writing, he also holds at least one single-speed course record.
Among his long list of racing achievements, Brad lists the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, and the Cape Epic among the toughest competitions that he has tackled to-date.
The Leadville Trail 100 MTB is known as one of the toughest races in the world, and Brad has five belt buckles to show for his five efforts – two of the small silver buckles for finishing in under 12 hours, and three of the coveted large silver and gold belt buckles – awarded to those who complete the course in under 9 hours.
The Absa Cape Epic is an 8-day mountain bike race across South Africa’s Western Cape. The event is a two-person team race, in which both members must finish all stages. The race attracts some of the world’s strongest pro and elite cyclists. In 2017, Brad and teammate Carla Williams placed 6th out of 50 in their category of mixed (1 male + 1 female) teams.
The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI); this official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. (https://www.epic-series.com/capeepic-event-overview)
Key Competitive Results
- Leadville Trail 100 – five time finisher with three sub nine hours
- Cape Epic 8 Day Stage Race – 2017 Mixed (Co-ed) Team – sixth overall
- Trans Andes- top seven overall
- Shenandoah Mountain Bike Race – first several times age group
- Fools Gold – first several times in single speed and age group
- Five Points Fifty – first several times single speed and age group
- Pinnacle Punisher-raced twice, first and second in age group
- Race to Vahalla – first in age group
- The Rift – 2022 – second in age group, ninth overall (open)
- Breck Epic – first in co-ed all race days and first overall
- Rule of Three – first (Team Race)
- Ouachita Challenge – first in age several times and first single speed twice
- Southern Cross – first and second several times in age group
- Big Frog/Cohutta – first (and podium) several times single speed and in age group
- Snake Creek – first (and podium) at least a dozen times over the years in the trio/duo of races
- Hardford 50 – first and second over two years (age group and single speed)
- La Ruta – second place two times in age group
- Rocky Revenge – first – single speed
- Haute Route Asheville – second place age group
- Dirty 130 – fastest known single speed time
- Trion Gravel Gallop – long course – first in age group
Motor Mile Racing – Promoting Youth Cycling
Giving back is important to Brad. As founder of local cycling team Motor Mile Racing, he is particularly excited about a newly-launched youth mountain biking team. The program strives to help the seven members of the team develop competitively by learning from the experiences of the adult team’s veteran members. In working with the youth, Brad stresses three rules – the first two of which can be summarized as “be nice to everyone” and “do your best”. It is the third rule which epitomizes Brad’s enthusiasm for his chosen sport:
Rule #3 - Have fun and enjoy your sport - 'cause its awesome!
The most exciting thing about Motor Mile Racing today is giving back to the kids who wanna race – especially in the sport that’s given us so much. (Brad Cobb)
Cobb has served on the board of several local business and nonprofit organizations including Better Business Bureau, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Lula Lake Landtrust, McCallie School, Girls Preparatory School, TC Thompson Foundation, Erlanger Baroness Foundation, and more. In March of 2022, he participated in an aid mission to Ukraine, delivering food and medical supplies.
Brad plays things low key and doesn’t say much about all that he does but the guy does incredible things such as the Ukraine trip. He’s always one of the first people to not only sponsor but also show up to serve meals to the Howard sports teams etc. (Jay Young)
Brad’s personal and business sponsorships in support of cycling include:
- HBC Cycling – Youth Cycling Team – presenting sponsor
- Three State Three Mountain – multiple years – presenting sponsor
- Big Frog/Cohutta Mountain Bike Race – multiple years – presenting sponsor
- Hincapie Grand Fondo – multiple years – main sponsor
- Village VW-Scenic City Velo – multiple years – presenting sponsor
- Prison Prevention Ride/Race – multiple years – main sponsor
- Five Points Fifty – multiple years – main/presenting sponsor
- Sequatchie Century-multiple years-main/presenting sponsor
- Cycle Sequatchie – title sponsor
Cycling keeps you in shape, lets you see places that you probably wouldn’t see otherwise. It’s healthy, and…you know, you get to drink beer after you’re done….
The friendships that I’ve got and that I’ve made all over the world, and the local folks that I ride with all the time – they’re like family. It’s been the biggest blessing of all. (Brad Cobb)
Joe Nivert – Recreational Cyclist
Joe Nivert, aka “Jittery Joe”, took up cycling while living in Connecticut. He started out doing casual rides with a friend, but was quickly bitten by the bug, purchased a road bike, and in 1994 began riding with the Sound Cyclists Bicycle Club. Joe logged 5 centuries in his first year with the club. Twenty-nine years later, he has completed a total of 150 centuries – 25 of those in a single year, and has participated in 70 multi-day events.
Upon moving to Chattanooga in 2004, Joe joined the Chattanooga Bicycle Club and quickly became an active volunteer, leading club rides and organizing social events. He served as the club’s Ride Coordinator for five years, during which he introduced the use of cue sheets. He also instituted the yearly climbing series as training for the club’s annual 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge. The climbing series continues to this day – a staple for club members preparing for spring and summer cycling events.
My first mountain climb (Suck Creek) was an urban ride that he led from his house. I didn’t know I’d be climbing a mountain when I showed up! He pulled out a Bicycling Magazine and said, “See this mountain? We’re climbing it today!” **gulp** (Peggy Olson)
Cycling Statistics and Goals
Joe is a meticulous record-keeper, and logs his miles with an impressive collection of Excel spreadsheets – one for each year – in which he records the details of each ride. The compiled statistics attest to his enthusiasm and passion for his chosen sport.
A goal-driven individual, Joe has set and reached some very impressive milestones. Upon reaching a goal – be it lifetime miles ridden or number of century rides, he invariably replaces that with a new higher number. Having exceeded his lifetime mileage goal of 200,00 miles, he is now working towards his new goal of 225,000 miles, along with increasing his metric century count from 750 to 800.
- Years cycling – 29
- Total mileage – 208,460
- Century rides (100+ miles) – 150 (6 at 20+ mph avg)
- Most centuries in a year – 25 (2001)
- Most miles in a year – 11,365
- 10,000+ mile years – 6
- Metric centuries (62+ miles) – 763
- States cycled – 33
- Foreign countries – 3
- Longest ride – 206 miles – Longest Day Double Century of New Jersey (2001)
Like many cyclists, Joe enjoys participating in multi-day cycling events, and has been a repeat participant in several, with a total count of 70 to date. The following is a partial list:
- RAGBRAI – 16
- Bike Virginia – 10
- Bike Florida – 5
- Bike Tour Colorado – 2
- Horsey Hundred – 11
- BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia) – 2
Today, at age 77, Joe continues to ride 4 times a week, with an average ride distance of 26 miles.
I’d love to make it to one hundred and ride one mile on my hundredth birthday.
Cycling is an absolutely wonderful sport and activity – and everyone should do RAGBRAI – at least once! (Joe Nivert)
Amy Phillips – Competitive Cycling
A life-long athlete, Amy first became interested in cycling when a rowing teammate invited her to join a newly formed women’s cycling team. She accepted the invitation, and plunged wholeheartedly into training and racing with the team.
Amy raced three years as an amateur with the Mystique Cycling and Hub Endurance teams. A crowning achievement of those early years was her performance in the 2013 – USA Cycling Masters National Championship in which she took 1st Place Criterium, 3rd Place Time Trial, 4th Road Race, Best All-Around Rider 40-44.
From 2014-2015, Amy raced for the Pepper Palace Pro Cycling team. The team raced domestically and internationally, and was one of six women’s teams representing the US in the 2015 UCI Professional Road World Championships.
Amy took a hiatus from racing after the 2016 season, but continued to satisfy her competitive drive through recreational cycling and tennis. During this time, her cycling focus broadened to include endurance gravel and gran fondo racing.
In 2021, Amy took first place overall in the first US Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship. At age 48, she was competing against women half her age.
Most recently, and a highlight of her career to date – Amy represented the US at the 2022 UCI Gran Fondo World Championship in Trento, Italy. She was the top American finisher, taking 3rd place in her age group.
That was just an amazing experience – to be out there with everyone from so many different countries and being able to see other riders wearing USA jerseys and cheering each other on. (Amy Phillips)
Notable Competitive Results
- 2012 – Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD) – 1st Place Overall Series – Women Cat 3 / 4
- 2013 Village Volkswagen River Gorge TT – 1st Place
- 2013 – USA Cycling Masters Criterium National Championship – 1st Place Criterium, 3rd Place Time Trial, 4th Place Road Race, Best All-Around Rider 40-44 years
- 2014, 2015 – Raced on Pepper Palace p/b The Happy Tooth Professional Women’s Cycling Team
- 2015 – Tucson Bicycle Classic Circuit Race – 1st Place Finish – Stage Win
- 2015 – UCI Professional Road World Championship – Women’s Team Time Trial – 12th Place
- 2020 – Tour of Georgia Gran Fondo – 1st Place – Overall and Women 45-54 years
- 2021 – Cheaha Challenge Gran Fondo – 1st Place – Overall and Women 45-49 years
- 2021 – USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship – 1st Place – Overall and Women 45-54 years
- 2022, 2021 – Oregon Trail Gravel (stage race) – 1st Place – Masters Women 45+ years
- 2022 – Belgian Waffle San Diego Dubbelberg Header (2-day race) – 4th Place – Overall
- 2022 – UCI Gran Fondo World Championship – 3rd Place Finish – Women 45-49 years (top USA result)
One thing I love about cycling – you wind up exploring roads that you would never have been on otherwise….. and just being out and being in nature and being out there with great friends – it’s just so much fun. (Amy Phillips)
Amy isn’t your ordinary high achieving “racer type”. She genuinely loves cycling within multiple disciplines. The beauty of her talent shines obvious as one sees how she uses her unique ability to share miles with riders of many levels.
If you’re someone fortunate enough to spend such time, you’ll clearly see her fun, passionate nature and skills on the bike. (Amy Christian)