Ashar Nelson, Treasurer
Who are you; family, where you grew up, what you do when you’re not riding?
I am a native Vermonter, growing up in Goshen and Salisbury, with a lifelong love of the outdoors. I have been a skier since the early days at Blueberry Hill, and a hiker and climber, along with a host of other fun outdoor activities, like chain-sawing trees off of local trails. I am an Architect by trade, with a firm that focuses on sustainable design. I am blessed that my wife Amy loves to hike and ski and ride as well, as does our Brittany Cassie.
Are you involved in other organizations?
I have been on many non-profit boards over the years, many within the green design and construction field, and other like the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop that strengthen our community. I am currently on the board of the Town Hall Theater, and dabbling with helping out some other local organizations.
What is your favorite trail/place to ride in Addison county?
Chandler Ridge, hands down. What an awesome trail!
How long have you been mountain biking?
I started riding mountain bikes in college in the late ‘80s, so I guess I’ve been at it a while. I still pull the rigid Salsa out of the shed for a ride every once in a while. Mountain bike riding somehow became my primary sport in the early 2000’s, and continues to be where I focus most of my exercise time.
How often do you ride?
In the warmer months, I’m on the mountain bike three or four times a week. Having an office in Middlebury allows these great lunch rides on Chipman Hill or in Battell woods. I’ll pull off a gap every few weeks with the roadie crew, which helps the climbing muscles. Riding slacks off by hunting season, and generally doesn’t start again until March, which indicates that I haven’t yet joined the fat bike craze.
Do you race?
Not really – I’ve ‘ridden’ the Vermont Fifty a handful of times, but I generally stay away from competing with anyone but myself. And sometime John Ogden, which means I usually lose.
What do you ride and/or how many bikes do you own?
I recently acquired a Santa Cruz Hightower, converting after eight years on Giant Trances. I still have the old Salsa, and a nice Motobecane road bike. And I identify as fat bike curious, but my passion for outdoor platform tennis occupies the non-snow winter sport niche, so I haven’t made the leap yet.
What inspired you to mtn bike?
Initially, speed and flowy descents. Later, pushing myself on climbs. Always, exploration of our beautiful natural landscape, and the camaraderie of this particular sport.
What gets you through that really hard ride?
Usually trying to keep up with someone, or some crazy idea that I should ride this trail in less time than last time.
What do you hope to contribute as a member of ACBC?
Holistic and balanced approach to trail development. Experience with keeping boards focused on the task at hand. Trail maintenance. Making sure there’s beer or bourbon at board meetings.
Share a cool, funny or bizarre story you had while riding.
Somehow the best rides are the ones where it’s pouring rain on you, and you’ve been struggling for 25 miles to keep up with someone who’s twenty years old with a VO2 max of 75, and you flat some many times that you need to use a rubber band to keep your tube from leaking. And you forgot your glasses. Those are the ones that we remember.