COLUMBUS GROVE— Raymond Harner, owner of CG Pro Bikes in Columbus Grove, has been a serious cyclist since he was 13 years old and has always had a dream of one day racing in Italy. On April 28, he will realize his goal when he rides in the Fizik Granfondo race in Marostica, Italy.
The Granfondo race is 154 km (a little more than 95 miles) and 2,970 elevation meters in the Alps of Italy. The event is hosted by Fizik, an Italian manufacturer of racing shoes and saddles. Every year, Fizik chooses a handful of their shoe dealers to take part in this race and Harner was chosen for 2013. He told the Vidette he has never been in a challenge like this before, although he has participated in many races over the years.
The story leading up to this chance started when he was young teen. Harner began repairing bikes and then he would ride them back and forth between his parents’ houses. When he was fixing the bikes, he became fascinated about changing gears and was always riding at different speeds. He now credits this to how he became faster on the bicycle.
“I didn’t realize it at the time but it was kind of like speed training. Because of that (experience), I trained myself to go fast,” said Harner.
It was not long after that when Harner purchased his first professional racing bike, which he bought from a friend. After experiencing the difference between riding a professional bike and a normal one, he was able to increase his speed even more.