Raymond Harner,owner of CG Pro Bikes in Columbus Grove will be racing in the Granfondo in Italy on April 28.
Raymond Harner,owner of CG Pro Bikes in Columbus Grove will be racing in the Granfondo in Italy on April 28.
COLUMBUS GROVE- Raymond Harner,owner of CG Pro Bikes in Columbus Grove has been a serious cyclist since he was 13 and has always had a dream of one day racing in Italy. On April 28 he will recognize his dream as he rides in the Fizik Grandondo race located in Marostica, Italy.

The Granfondo race is 154 km and 2970 elevation meters in the Alps of Italy which is hosted by Fizik, an Italian manufacture of racing shoes and saddles. Fizik chooses a handful of their shoe dealers to take part in this race and Harner was chosen. Harner explains that he has never done a race like this before, although he has participated in many races over the years.
It all started when he was about 13 years old, Harner began fixing up bikes and he would ride them back and forth between his parents houses. When he was fixing bikes he would change the speeds and always be riding at different speeds. He credits this to how he became faster on the bicycle.

"I didn't realize it at the time, but it was kinda like speed training. Because of that I trained myself to go fast," said Harner.

Harner read different books about cycling and learned how to change gears to increase speed. It was not long after that when Harner purchased his first professional racing bike, which was sold to him from a friend. After experiencing the difference between riding a professional bike he was able to increase his speed on the bicycle even more.

"When I was riding I was able to keep up with the cars next to me on the road, I felt empowered and free," remembers Harner.

Harner recalls his first group ride which was the American Youth Hostel Ride, he did really well for it being his first ride. Shortly after, he heard of a race called the Midwest Double, which he did the first 100 miles in six hours and 20 minutes.

Harner has been training a lot over the last few weeks in preparation for the upcoming race in Italy. Since November, he has rode approximately 1,200 miles by now. He explained he has a GPS system which he puts on his bike and it will tell him how far he has rode, his heart rate and other factors while riding. "Using the GPS helps me to train because I can see when my endurance levels are best and keep it consistent throughout my rides," said Harner.