Dave Harrell started out with the typical childhood sports — baseball and soccer. In high school, he jumped over to wrestling, but back injuries forced him out of the sport prior to college. From there he picked up running primarily because it was easy on the budget for a college student.
For ten years, running was a daily thing, and he raced in a number of 5-10 mile events. Chronic knee and ankle pain required a re-thinking of how he could stay fit. A co-worker and running partner was big into mountain biking, so at his urging Dave gave it a shot. The mountain biking period lasted several years until his roommate suggested he join a group road ride. All Dave had available was a mountain bike. There were a few snickers, but he earned some admiration when he was able to finish a 50-mile ride with the lead group, despite knobby tires and mountain-bike gearing!
From that point, he was bitten by the roadie bug. Soon thereafter, he met a bunch of local racers and joined the racing scene. Since 2002, Dave has been a member and officer of Whole Wheel Velo Club. While he has a number of top-10 finishes to his credit, he revels in playing the role of “domestique” and has supported teammates in winning individual races, stage races, and regional championships. He recently began time trialing, where his best finish is 4th place in the Masters 30+ category. He has also served on the Board of the Mid Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association, and he is currently the MABRA competition coordinator.
December Weight: 138 lbs.
Race Weight: 138 lbs.
Birthdate: August 22, 1970
Childhood Heroes: “Is it odd that I never had one?”
Hobbies and Interests: “Woodworking, gardening, home improvement.”
Favorite Movies: “Geez, there are a lot of possibilities. My favorite genres are comedies like Monty Python, Office Space, and Austin Powers, and action movies like The Mummy, Indiana Jones, Bourne, and Heat. Then there are the unexplainable favorites like Bedazzled.”
Musical Tastes: “Classic rock, metal.”
Favorite TV Shows: “At the moment, Game of Thrones and Big Bang Theory. Honorable mention: Mythbusters and How It’s Made.”
Favorite Meal: “BBQ and corn bread.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Oatmeal or homemade granola.”
￼Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Oatmeal and almond milk. Yes, I am in a rut.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Used to be cinnamon… but that lactose-intolerance thing…”
Childhood Dream: “Honestly, I can’t remember if I had one or not. I’m pretty sure it was not a computer programmer.”
First Car: “1988 Acura Integra.”
First Job: “Paper route delivering the Pennysaver when I was 10.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Mountains of southwest Virginia.”
Pre-Race Feeling: “Calm, as long as I stick to my pre-race routine.”
Early Racing Memory: “Starting my first race, the Bethesda Grand Prix, a 1 kilometer tri-oval with awful pavement and 125 entrants. All I remember is it was fast. One-third of the field was pulled in the first few laps. I just pedaled as fast as I could and survived until the last pull. It was enough to tell me that I wasn’t awful and could get better.”
Funny Racing Memory: “Lining up for a start and watching the guy next to me urinate on himself because he didn’t want to lose his starting position. Then watching him realize he just peed on his food. That had to be a tough choice to make when it came time to eat.”
Greatest Racing Moment: “Individually, it was my finish at the National Capital Criterium.”
Most Painful Moment In Life: “I’ve been pretty blessed that my painful moments have been of the broken-bone variety.”
Worst Injury from Racing: “I was caught behind a wreck and while trying to chase back to the lead group, I hit a pothole coming through a corner. I was launched into the pavement, must have put my arm out to break the fall. I got back in the race, but afterwards discovered I had a broken frame and would need shoulder surgery, which kept me out of racing for most of 2010 and 2011.”
Closest Racing Friends: “My past and present Whole Wheel teammates.”
Funniest Racer: “Gus Grissom. He just has a knack for saying or doing the most awkward thing at the perfect moment.”
Favorite Race: “Reston Grand Prix. It is fun to race and watch.”
Embarrassing Racing Memory: “See Worst Injury. I was just careless and went down solo.”
Toughest Competitors: “Bo Lee. That guy can swallow pain like nobody I have ever seen and still have enough to sprint for a win.”
Favorite Athletes to Watch: “Domestiques. Without those guys, the sprints and climbs just wouldn’t be as exciting to watch.”
Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Honesty and integrity.”
What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “Being with friends and challenging myself to achieve goals.”