The Riveter Trains for Outdoor Adventure - TribPapers

The Riveter Trains for Outdoor Adventure

Even kids can hang out at the Riveter's climbing gym. Photo courtesy the Riveter.

Asheville – On the surface, the Riveter is, to say the least, intriguing. Outside is a one-of-a-kind bike park. To the layman, it looks like a desert full of 10-foot-tall dunes. To the cyclist, it’s “rollers, berms, gap jumps, tabletops, etc.” The dunes aren’t obstacles in a course; cyclists travel the ridgelines. More amazing, the Riveter webpage has photos of cyclists on the course airborne and upside-down.

Asked how many people do this, founder, managing partner, and acting general manager Elizabeth Jackson said that they have courses for all abilities: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pro. She said people come to the Riveter from all along the East Coast to check out the dirt jumps.

Indoors is a world-class climbing gym with 16,000 square feet of walls and boulders. The tallest walls are 55 feet high, and Jackson said the next closest walls that height are in Charlotte or Atlanta.

Climbers can find rope climbing, bouldering, and a kids’ zone. Rope climbers will need a partner to control the rope as they descend—unless they use one of the Riveter’s autobelays, which Jackson says are amazing because coordinating schedules with a climbing partner can be more challenging than the climb itself.

For those who prefer something more relaxing, the Riveter offers yoga classes. The yoga studio features floor-to-ceiling views of preserved farmland and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Jackson speaks dreamily of the far infrared heating panels and how the human body absorbs IR to a greater depth than it does heat absorbed by warming the air.

“It helps with loosening up the body and increases sweating,” Jackson said. All classes in the yoga studio are warm or hot, and classes in the fitness studio are not heated. “The goal is to provide something for everyone.”

Then there’s the taproom. In a fitness utopia combined with sports bordering on the extreme, it didn’t sound like a great pairing.

Jackson explained that people get a wristband upon admission. It allows them access to all the Riveter has to offer, but when they get their first drink, the wristband is cut off. No wristband, no activities. (The libation station also serves nonalcoholic beverages and snacks.)

That segued into Jackson’s vision for the Riveter. The bar wasn’t an end in itself. It was an excuse for people to linger with friends old and new and build relationships.

Jackson wanted the Riveter to be a place where people, “from kids to pros,” could watch each other push their limits and learn from each other. She said mountain biking and wall climbing are not something people generally feel comfortable doing—and shouldn’t be doing—the first time alone in Pisgah National Forest. The Riveter is a supportive space.

“It’s a “positive community and an inclusive space to play, learn, and connect. Deep friendships have been formed at the Riveter, and that is something often lost in the outdoor industry today. Climbers, riders, yogis, and general outdoor enthusiasts can all come together to share stories. It’s a beautiful, positive culture that we’ve built,” said Jackson.

“The crew members are at the core of the culture. They are all really passionate humans who create the comfortable atmosphere that the Riveter offers when you come through the doors.” Many have been with the Riveter since it opened.

“The Riveter offers afterschool programs and summer day camps for youth, instruction for all ages, discount opportunities, and events for everyone to enjoy whether they ride or climb,” Jackson said. “Some people just come to spectate while enjoying a drink with a friend or their family.” They can pay for a day pass, or they can buy a membership with a monthly fee.

Among other things, members get access to the fitness studio, which features Pelotons, treadmills, weights, and more. The Riveter opens to the general public at noon daily, while members can start their activities as early as 6 a.m. during the week and 8 a.m. on weekends.

People attending the Riveter can rent gear. If they bring their own, it is subject to inspection. Persons participating in activities must be outfitted with safety gear specified in the Riveter’s policies. The website states that climbing and riding are “dangerous and cannot be made safe.” Participants in these activities must sign a waiver acknowledging that they understand the risks and agree to abide by the facility’s policies.

Even though its website is, Jackson assures that this is the only one. She invited readers to check out the website for more information.