Mill Creek's Schroer creates bike racing company

Mill Creek High School tennis coach Tim Schroer has always been an active bike racer.

More than a decade ago when Schroer was a student at the University of Georgia, he spent his time on his mountain bike, climbing and descending the trails around Athens. When he graduated, he participated in 12- and 24-hour mountain bike races.

Last September he took his hobby to the next level when he formed Dirty Spokes Productions, an incorporated racing company, in addition to his jobs as a teacher and coach.

Dirty Spokes' mission is to put on organized and fun 12-hour and 6-hour bike races.

"We are not trying to re-invent the wheel, just trying to perfect the roll," Schroer said.

Last May, Schroer and a platoon of volunteers put on Dirty Spokes' first race at Fort Yargo State Park in Barrow County and the event included more than 200 racers from more than 10 states who rode laps around the 11.4-mile course.

Former Olympian Tinker Juarez won the 12-hour solo race.

"I thought (Schroer) did a really good job organizing the race," Juarez said in a phone interview. "I had a good time with the course."

Juarez said he definitely plans on coming back next year and had no idea that the race was organized as a part-time operation, a testament to how well the event was run.

Schroer says the volunteers and the staff at Fort Yargo were instrumental in having the inaugural race run smoothly.

This was not the first sports competition that Schroer had organized - or the first bike race for that matter. Before he formed Dirty Spokes, he was part of a 24-hour mountain bike company, but he decided to break away from the group and try the work independently with his own company.

Schroer also had other organizational experience before Dirty Spokes including hosting the Mill Creek Tennis Tournament and the postseason tennis region tournament.

"I enjoy organizing and I enjoy doing these types of things," said Schroer.

Dirty Spokes operates from an office in the basement of Schroer's home in Lilburn.

"We are a grassroots company, baby," joked Schroer, a graduate of Shiloh High School.

Despite his joke, Schroer has a serous mindset when it comes to his company's work.

"There is a ton of time that has been put into it," said Schroer. "There is a lot of behind the scene planning that goes on in putting the endurance race together."

The background work includes operating a Web site (www.dirtyspokes.com), organizing gifts, getting riders and sponsors that help advertise and pay for the race.

In directing Dirty Spokes' operations, he has had to balance his roles as teacher, coach, father and entrepreneur. He did his race work in the evenings after his kids went to bed.

"I have a very understanding wife. She is outstanding," Schroer said of his wife, Linda. "She allows me to have my hobbies and it is enjoyable."

Schroer is already planning to repeat the race next spring.

In the meantime, he also is enjoying the summer heat by going on bike rides and running tennis camps at Mill Creek.

When it comes to sports Schroer said, "Tennis and mountain biking are my two of my big passions."

Both keep him very busy.