John Allen

John Allen

President, Owner

HOMETOWN: JOHNSON CITY, TN
PROFESSION: CUSTOM HOME BUILDER

I began riding on the track with my wife Lesley in 2003. We started as customers just like everyone does, attending as many track days as we could. Eventually I became an instructor, and that led to a role as an event director with NESBA in 2010. Since then I’ve run hundreds of track days at tracks like VIR, Road Atlanta, CMP, NC Bike, NOLA, and Barber.

The motorcycle related accomplishment I’m most proud of is being one of the founders of the Annual Airfence Fundraisers. Together with my business partner Mike Ruhe, and our friend Kenny Walsh, we began holding these fundraisers in 2012. Since that time we’ve raised in excess of $225,000 and provided more than 110 Airfence modules to Road Atlanta, VIR, and NC Bike. We’ve also constructed three mobile storage containers at VIR to make deployment and retrieval of the Airfence easier. This Airfence is used by many organizations to help make motorcycle events safer, and because of these efforts we’ve made a big difference in enhancing safety at these tracks.

Our emphasis at PRE is on making our events the safest track day experience you can have, and our goal is to make every customer feel at home each time they come through the gate. We strive for a friendly paddock atmosphere where everyone feels welcome. Our events are professionally staffed by the best instructors in the business who are there to help you have a great time, as well as to help you become a better rider. If you think this sounds like the kind of environment you’d like to be a part of I invite you to give PRE a try. I think you’ll like what you find.

Mike Ruhe 52

Founder Owner

Hometown: Canton, GA

Profession: EVP Regional Director at CRC Group a Truist Company

I got into bikes like many with my first mini bike, which was a ’72 Honda QA50. Destroyed that, then moved on to bigger and better toys.

My wife, being the smart, sexy, intelligent woman she is, bought me my first experience on the track, which was Kevin Schwantz Superbike School at Road Atlanta over the 4th of July weekend of 2006. To say I was hooked was an understatement. From there I did a handful of days with STT and then found NESBA and the SE Crew of riders and instructors.

In August of 2009, Jeff Pitzer tossed me a CR shirt. Over three years I rode just about every event in the SE, worked booths at IMS shows, and when the chance came to get involved in fund raising, I had the honor of working with John Allen and Kenny Walsh to plan and operate the Airfence Fund events. These events have raised over $225,000 and deployed air fence at Road Atlanta, NC Bike and VIR to make all riders safer.

Joe “Joe Dirt” Basim

Director, Lead instructor

HOMETOWN: Kernersville, NC
PROFESSION: JPI Coastal

I have been riding sportbikes for over 14 years now but found my addiction to the track back in 2005. Since then I have met and become friends with countless folks that have grown to be family to me over the years. I have ridden several tracks across the country and briefly did some racing with the CMRA during my short stay in Dallas, TX but I have always enjoyed the tracks and camaraderie on the east coast. I currently race several classes with CCS where I’ve had a lot of success, but I have found that I have the most fun riding with my family at PRE and working with everyone to better their skills as an intelligent rider.  I live in Winston-Salem, NC  and Marshal for Virginia International Raceway in my spare time……..Joe Basim is the name my mother gave me, but everyone at P.R.E. and V.I.R. know me as the one and only “Joe Dirt”!!!!!!!!

Jonathan Shoaf

Director

Hometown: Kernersville, NC

Profession: Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician

I started racing motocross at 13.  I got my first street bike at 20 and started doing trackdays in 2008.  I became a CR with PRE  in 2016. When not riding motorcycles I enjoy snow boarding, shooting, and beer.

Taylor Wells

PRE Customer Service

HOMETOWN: West Union, SC

As a kid I was into BMX bikes, raced a little, and did a lot of jumps and half pipes.
Then, I got into dirt bikes for a couple of years. After that I took a little hiatus. When I was 28 I bought a street bike and was in a bad accident that messed me up “real good.”
After a few years, I was able to ride again, and in ’04 I did my first track day at Summit Point and have been hooked ever since.

Nicole DelToro

PRE Staff

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Profession: Business Analyst

I learned to ride in the dirt in 2004. Bought my first street bike in 2010, hit the track in 2013 and have never looked back. After riding with other organizations, thankfully I found PRE … and again have never looked back!

With the guidance of awesome PRE CRs, and a goal of Advanced group, it’s been a great journey full of sweaty leathers, duct taped body (bike and me) and yes, tears at times. I’ve been athletic all my life, but this sport has been my biggest challenge and greatest personal reward. The mental aspect of riding is like no other and has taught me a lot about myself.

I had been a group fitness instructor for many years, thus after achieving A group, my next natural aspiration was coaching on a motorcycle and giving back to the sport and to PRE. I am truly honored to be a PRE Control Rider!

As I always say … PRE is THE best place to be! So find me in the paddock or on pit lane, let’s chat … then let’s ride on!

Andrew Gold

PRE Staff

HOMETOWN: Chesterfield, VA
PROFESSION:Service Manager and Corporate trainer Marten Transport

I am married with one son named Everest and also a chocolate lab named Hank. I started out on motorcycles a little bit late in the game, I bought my first bike while I was in College in 2006 and just rode on the street until 2011 when a buddy talked me into coming to a track day. After that first day I was hooked. I immediately went and sold my street bike and bought a dedicated track bike. I was at the inaugural PRE event and haven’t missed many between then and now. I began racing with CCS in 2017. The 2018 CCS racing season ended with 5 South East Regional Championships. 2019 I received my expert racing license with CCS. Un-motorcycle related I enjoy playing golf and mountain biking in my spare time when I am not working around the house. My wife and I also enjoy traveling and spending time at the beach. We have a goal to fill up our passports with stamps. Some of the noteable places we have travelled were the Dominican, Jamaica, Thailand, Spain, Greece, Bermuda and Bahama’s.. Look forward to seeing everyone out at the track at a PRE track day soon.

Bukasa “Kas” Tshibangu

PRE Staff

Motorcycles and I have had a long and twisted relationship.  They encourage me to push my mental and physical boundaries and in return, I promise to ignore just enough of their “evil whispers” so we can stay together for as long as possible.  First “bike” was a Honda Spree in 8th grade – once it was proven that you couldn’t bury the needle, next up was finding ways to make the rear lock easier. . .sand was the solution – first bike scar immediately followed.

Rode on the street for years. . .found the track in 2012 and immediately got my first of many doses of humility (several of the photos you see on this page were directly involved with many of those “doses”) – been hooked ever since.

I like to say riding motorcycles is a highly emotional experience. . .riding motorcycles on the track is a highly technical one.  Being able to ride at the track with your friends and family is the best of all words.

If you see me in the paddock (just look for #29 and the Grinch on the tail section). . .don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.  We’ve all be “raised” with the same principle in mind at the track. . .this sport is all about continuing the cycle of giving back.

Look forward to seeing you there!

John Thornton

PRE Staff

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Occupation: Project Manager for General Contractor

I’ve been into bikes and racing as long as I can remember, and after a number of years street riding I did my first trackday in 2011.  Since then, I have participated in many trackdays each year to focus on improving my technique and to become a safer rider.  I started racing in the South-East region with CCS as an Amateur in 2016.  I look forward to continued improvement and the opportunity to share some knowledge as a CR with PRE.  When not at the track, I live in Richmond, VA and work as a project manager for a general contractor

Adam Elkins

PRE Staff

Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Occupation: Corporate pilot

I got my first motorcycle, an Indian 50, when I was 6 years old. Rode dirt all the way up to college when I got my first street bike, a Honda Hurricane 600. Had that a few years and then life and family, so I sold it and took a hiatus for several years from riding. Purchased an 06’ GSXR 600 new, kept it a year then got the 1000 when it came out in 07’. Now the story begins, I did my first trackday at Road Atlanta with the Kevin Schwantz school in 2008 and I was hooked. Sold the 1000 and bought an 06 750 for a dedicated track bike, which is what I still ride today. I did three days in 2009 and have done 10+ days every year from there on. I love the challenge that track riding gives and how there is always ways to improve. I enjoy being at the track with some of the best people on earth and sharing great times both on and off the motorcycle with them. I was asked to become a CR in 2012, which I gladly accepted. Now, along with riding with the Advanced guys and still looking to shave off that half second here or there, I enjoy working with newer riders who are eager to learn and improve themselves to be safer, faster riders. See you on the track soon

Alan-Knitter

Alan Knitter

PRE Staff

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Residence: North Carolina, since 1992
Employment: Ford Motor Company, Field Service Engineer
Family: Two daughters

My passion for riding began before I hit my teens, racing BMX, then graduated to motocross and eventually street bikes, track days and racing.  I began with NESBA in 2006 and have never looked back.  I hold a CCS expert license and won the Southeast Amateur Formula 40 championship in 2012.  Life has gotten in the way of racing, but that’s ok.  My interest in honing my skills and sharing what I learn with the members of PRE is a desire that will never die.  As a former technical training instructor, it’s ingrained in my DNA to teach/coach and share my knowledge.

As many others have said, the track is my favorite place to be.  I feel “at home” when I’m the track and feel riding is something I was meant to do all my life.  I just took me a while to get there.

Mike Kuhno

PRE Staff

Hometown: Youngsville, NC

Occupation: Software Product Manager for Avery Dennison, occasional exotic dancer

After 20 years of riding on the street I took the Kevin Schwantz school at Barber Motorsport Park for my first on track experience. Despite two days of steady rain it was an amazing experience and I knew before my first lap was complete that I was completely hooked. I’ve been riding with PRE since moving to the Raleigh area and have loved every minute of it! Half way through the 2017 season I started racing the WERA series with a couple of close friends and we’ve had one or more of us on the podium at every round we’ve attended. In addition to my own hard work and perseverance I believe the solid foundation that has been established through riding with PRE has been fundamental in my development as a rider.

To fund my on-track adventures I work for Avery Dennison as a Software Product Manager where I lead the worldwide development team which prints Identification, Brand Protection and Care labels for the major clothing brands. Don’t worry – when we’re at the track I won’t bore you with the details about the day job – so feel free to stop by and say hi for a chat about anything motorcycle related. My wife Pam and our yellow lab Molly usually accompany me to all of the rounds and if we’re all lucky, and ask nicely, Pam might make some sausage stars or other tasty treats for the meat-n-greet!

One last thing; as Taylor’s buddy Casper would say “Whooooooooooo!!!!!!” – because if you’re not having a great time at a track day you’re clearly doing something wrong.

Nick Munson

PRE Staff

Hometown: Somewhere in Florida

Hi, I’m Nick. I was born and raised in Indiana. I bought my first motorcycle in college in 2006. I discovered the track in 2009 with my wife Ashley. I still rode on the street until 2014 when I got my first dedicated track bike. I’ve always loved going fast and when I found the track that’s the only place I wanted to be. I was fortunate enough to discover P.R.E. during their inaugural season and have attended every event I could since.

I am married and have three Great Danes: Rossi (after Valentino), Idgie and Shogun. Also two cats a Syphnx named Drakula and an Oriental Shorthair named Igor. They are my babies.

I enjoy helping people discover their passion for the track. P.R.E. is like a second home to me so being a CR is a huge honor to me. I can’t wait to see you on the track and help hone your riding skills.

Jim Eglinger

PRE Staff & Trackside Support

Hometown: Kernersville, NC

Owner:  Max Speed Cycles

I was a member of NESBA since 2001 and a control rider since 2006. I spent a few years racing including a bit of time vintage racing a Honda VFR 750. My wife Wendy (who also rides) and I are the owners of Max Speed Cycles in Kernersville NC, so you could say we really love motorcycles. I got my first bike, a 1974 Suzuki TS125 when I was 19 and my first streetbike, a1984 Honda Interceptor 700 when I was 21. Now I ride a CBR 600 F4i and a GSXR 1000.
Not relating to motorcycles, I have been married to Wendy for 20 years and have 3 children, Will, Aubrey and Emilie. You will usually see Aubrey with me at the track. I love music and have played the guitar for a bit and with the help of John Chalk will annoy people late into the night playing music at the track.

Kyle Mathews 33

PRE Staff

Current Residence Washington, DC or wherever the RV is parked

Occupation: Hair Stylist, Secret Agent, Daddy

I got my first motorcycle in 2006 (2002 R1) as a college graduation present and quickly realized I needed to go to the track to enjoy what a bike could do. I started riding with the North Eastern Sport Bike Association (NESBA) in 2008 and was instantly hooked. With the help of my friend, riding partner, and co-founder of Irish Racing, Kenny Walsh, we began doing handfuls of track days each year. By 2012 I was a Control Rider (CR) for NESBA and was riding even more. I was honored to continue that role when PRE was formed in 2014.

I now focus on refinement of technique and what tools can assist a rider in that quest. Much of what we do out there is muscle memory, and when you need to make a change, how can you go about implementing, evaluating, and refining that change further. These details excite me, and the relatively cheap data acquisition tools at our disposal intrigue the tech side of my brain. Action without direction is not progress; it’s just movement.

Matt Spinak

PRE Staff

Hometown: East Windsor, NJ

Current Residence: Raleigh, NC

I was born and raised in NJ. I moved to Raleigh, NC in 1999 where I currently live. I work for Lexus in Durham, NC where I’ve been since 2008.  I discovered the racetrack in 2005 after only about 1 year of riding a motorcycle for the first time. I was instantly addicted and knew that this was something that I wanted…something that I NEEDED… to get better at.  It quickly became my passion/addiction in my life and something that I took very seriously. I rode as much as I could and eventually made it up to the Advanced group to ride with and learn from the fast guys.

In 2013 I was asked to be a Control Rider with the Southeast NESBA organization who was being run by John Allen…which eventually became P.R.E in 2014. This was an important goal of mine so I was honored to be asked. I became addicted to CRing just as quickly as I had become addicted to the racetrack. In 2014 I started racing with CCS and eventually earned my Expert license so that I could get spanked by the super-fast guys…but also learn what I could from them.

I love helping people that are passionate about learning how to ride and improving their skills, so being a CR with such an amazing organization as P.R.E. is a very important thing to me. The members and especially the staff are family to me. I believe that the PRE staff is the best in the business and I am proud to be a part of it. I look forward to the opportunity of riding with and helping as many P.R.E members as possible. I hope to see you out there soon.

Mike-Branson

Mike Branson

PRE Staff

Hometown: Mechanicsville, VA
Profession:  Computer Programmer/ Systems Analyst for Dominion Electric

I’ve been riding motorcycles all my life, but I started late on this street bike thing. I purchased my first street bike when I was about 34 years old, after several years of street riding, I crashed on the street and was very fortunate to walk away with minor injuries. I made the decision at that point to head to the race track where I could ride my sportbike in the safest environment possible. No gravel in the turns, no oncoming traffic, no guard rails… etc. I started by getting my race license with CCS, and after my first weekend at the track, I was hooked. I’ve never been back to the street. I’ve been racing for about 12 years and had an incredible year in 2003 winning the Heavyweight Superbike, and Heavyweight Supersport championships in CCS.
I started riding with NESBA around 2006 and a year or two later I became a control rider for them. I enjoy hanging out at the track with all the new and avid track day junkies. Nothing is more fun than meeting new people that love to ride and seeing the track day “family.” I’m looking forward to continuing this incredible experience with the Performance Riding Experience (PRE) family.
I am married and have one son. He is 10 years old and is passionate about baseball. We have our own Little League regulation field in the back yard with its own batting cage. You can find us practicing almost every day. Maybe someday he’ll make the big leagues and he can support my racing habit – LOL
Always looking forward to the next track day – see you out there, and remember “Smooth is Fast!”

Steven Cooke

PRE Staff

Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Profession:  Financial Services

I started riding later in life, buying my first street bike in 2011.  I primarily rode on the street however I did some track days in 2013 and 2014.  I started riding track again in 2019 with PRE and for me it quickly became the addiction we all love.  There are few things in life that force you to focus entirely on where you are in that moment and riding on the track is one of them.  When I started riding track with PRE, I was open-minded and learned everything I could from the CR’s.  I asked a lot of questions and took in as much as I could to continue to improve my riding.  I hope to be able to help others in the same way.  In addition to riding track, I also ride enduro/dual sport bikes.

I also have my pilots license, and while it has been a while since I have flown, it is a hobby I plan to continue with.  Like riding on the track, flying offers an opportunity to get the mind off of everything else in life, you just have to be in the moment every minute you are doing it – no time to think about work or any other distractions.

My life outside of the adrenaline rush of track days consists of a career of over 25 years in the financial services industry.  I have been fortunate to be in a career I love.  Prior to my career in financial services, I served 3 years in the US Army with one combat tour of duty in the first Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Dean Bosch

PRE Staff

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Profession: VP of Indaux USA

Motorcycles touched my life before I even knew they touched me. My first encounter on a motorcycle was when I was a little child.

My father was shipping a Harley to Europe and before loading it on the container took me on a spin around the company property. I remember the thrill of sitting on the gas tank and feeling the wind in my eyes.

In 2005  I had a dream of riding a sport bike. When I woke up from the dream I decided I would learn how to ride. In November of 2006 I purchased the first sport bike, a 2006 CBR 600RR. 1 week after owning the bike I met a fellow rider at the gas station. He told me on the weekends they meet up and ride the mountains. When I showed up and felt very out of place. Every rider was in a 1 piece leather suit and I was in jeans and a jacket. It was a very welcoming group and we set off.

I’ll never forget approaching the first set of curves behind the riders. It looked fake how their knees skimmed across the pavement. I decided I wanted to learn how to do that witchcraft. It felt surreal.

Less than 6 months later I showed up to CMP and felt my jaw drop when I saw the A group riders flying past me on the straight away. I thought to myself ” I don’t think I can do this” I stuck it out and by the first couple laps I was hooked. Late 2007 I entered my first sanctioned race in Ohio with a group called FastTrax.

I have raced and ridden the track every year since 2007!

I became a Rider Coach with PRE in 2014.

2019 was my first Expert podiums!

Come find me trackside! I don’t bite

Joel Abernathy

PRE Staff

Hometown: Stony Creek, VA

Profession: Police Sergeant

I never had a motorbike as a kid; “too dangerous.”  That all changed in 2005 thanks to my best friend and thus began a love affair with two-wheeled death machines.  April 2006 was almost the end of that due to a major crash and a broken neck during a mountain ride—I got a helicopter ride so it was totally worth it and now I have a cool bar story.  Six months later, to the day, I replaced the bike, eventually making it to the race track the following year with NESBA at VIR.  My second track event was shortly thereafter at Summit Point and while watching the advanced group roll by, I heard a single bike go by that was different.  It was a Ducati. That sound. No idea what it was and I never got to see it up close but that was it—I had to have one.

Track days took a hiatus after 2009.  Finally got that Ducati in 2014 and found PRE in 2015.  I’ve met some of the best people in my life riding and working with PRE.  I’m proud of my career but I’d never felt more accomplished than when I was handed an orange shirt at the beginning of the 2018 season. I enjoy teaching at work but to be able to do it on a bike with PRE has been surreal.

In real life, I’m in my 18th year in sworn law enforcement.  Currently assigned as a patrol division lieutenant, I’m a watch commander for night shift.  Never a dull moment there. Otherwise, I’m a certified firearms instructor and I teach in my department’s academy when time permits (firearms, fair and impartial policing, criminal law). When I’m not at work, I maintain a small cattle farm in Dinwiddie County, VA and I usually have a wrench in-hand working on bikes, tractors, and trucks.

Tex Trembath

PRE Staff

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Profession: Bio-Pharmaceutical Engineer

I’ve been riding bikes since Santa brought a ZR50 for Christmas when I was 6.  In Australia, I spent many weekends riding bikes in the mountains.  With an Enduro focus,  I raced in a number of Australian Off-road championships throughout my teens and early twenties. Once old enough for a license, I began road riding to save money.  Living extremely close to the Phillip Island GP circuit, I would make the annual trip to watch the MotoGP races. I was in awe of the speed and wanted to experience a track.  I did my first trackway in 2009 at the Phillip Island GP circuit (not a bad first track day).  I moved to the US soon after in 2010 and began riding with NESBA in the Midwest, being based in Chicago. I continued to ride with NESBA and PRE when I relocated to Raleigh

In 2015 I put my track day fun on hold, as I relocated to Italy for 2 years.  Based in Milan I was able to feed my addiction by attending many of the WSBK and MotoGP events at Monza, Misano and my favorite, Mugello.

Returning to the US in 2017, I have jumped back onto the bikes and it’s the priority of my annual vacation allocation.  You will often see my wife and I at the track with my 3 young kids, as they start to form their motorsports addictions. It’s great to be associated with the PRE family.

Andy Crossman

PRE Staff

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Profession: Engineering Consultant (Instrumentation and Controls)

I started riding motorcycles in my early 20s, with my first being a Honda CBR600F3.  After riding just a little more than a year I received the California Superbike School at VIR as a gift.  Being a relatively inexperienced rider and this being my first track experience, it was terrifying yet exhilarating.  A couple months later I did my first trackday with NESBA at CMP to cement the addiction, and then many more trackdays thereafter.  I have stepped away from motorcycles several times throughout the last twenty years due to work and family.  After a seven-year hiatus I bought a GSXR-750 in 2014 with the intention of getting back to the track.  I have been riding with PRE consistently since then, and became a CR late 2019.

Dan Hughes

PRE Staff

Hometown: Wilmington, NC

Profession: Financial Services

I loved things with motors for as long as I can remember. I got my first taste of motorized two wheels when I was a kid and my friend Philip got a moped. My parents wouldn’t let me have any sort of motorcycle, but I was already hooked. When I went off to college and had a job, I bought a motorcycle as soon as I could afford one. And of course, like any responsible child, I hid the bike from my parents. I’ve had a number of street bikes over the years and finally clued my parents in on my new found motorcycle passion. In 2011, my good friend, Justin, talked me into trying out track days with him. I loved the ability to ride a motorcycle to explore my limits, and once again I was hooked, and have been riding on track ever since. In 2019, I started a new chapter with my riding when I became a CR. Now I enjoy learning and improving my own skills while helping other riders advance their own riding. I consider P.R.E. and the track day community my second family, and look forward to seeing you at the track!

Ronald Shoffner

PRE Staff

Residence: Raleigh, NC

Motorcycles are something that I’ve been around all my life. When I was six years old my dad put me on a Suzuki 50cc dirt bike with training wheels and I had the yard ruined within the week. I rode that bike until the wheels fell off. I continued to ride/race dirt bikes until I turned 15 then I started taking an interest in sport bikes. A year later I bought a GSXR 600 and ascended through the levels of squid. I started riding track a few years later and was bitten like we all are, making every event I could from then on. I started racing and won the ASRA amateur national sport bike championship and CCS middleweight championship in 2019 followed by some expert podiums in 2020. PRE is a wonderful origination and there is no one I’d rather share the track with. I know that PRE served a big role in establishing me as a rider and I hope to do the same for others.

Shawn Hall

PRE Staff

Hometown: Abingdon, VA

Profession: Owner Highlands Air Conditioning and Electrical

I have loved all things 2 wheeled since I can remember. Cycling and motorcycles have been an obsession for most my life. Ive raced in endurance sports , bicycles and dirtbikes  for years and got into sport bikes later in life. My first track event was with P.R.E. and I was hooked! Its now an honor to be a CR with P.R.E. and I’m always looking forward to helping other riders improve.