Testimonials

“As a coach, former team director, and continuing mentor, Russell’s cycling knowledge and expertise is top notch. Russell has played a big role in my career as an amateur and now professional cyclist.”

MORGAN S.
Seattle, WA

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My coach is fantastic to work with – clear and precise. He gives great direction on training plans, and asks a lot of questions. Recently at some major races I was doing, he was right there to answer questions and get feedback about the course, prep, and any last minute details. I would highly suggest him to any riders looking for solid direction in their training plans and goals.”

JIM A.
Portland, OR

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“I just want to say thanks for keeping me motivated. It’s ridiculous how much better I feel both off and on the bike. . . I’m excited to see how far we can take my training. I’m one satisfied client!”

JOE K.
Portland, OR.

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“Being a custom frame builder, customer fits are very important to me. Sending customers to Upper Echelon Fitness for preliminary fittings has been fantastic! With the customers fit information Russell provides I can design a dream bike. I have every bit of confidence that Russell’s fit is a solid base to build a custom bike from.”

BRIAN M.
Hood River, OR

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“The support of Russell as team manager helped me attend races nationally in an organized and professional manner so I could perform to the best of my rock-star ability, ultimately allowing me to secure a position as a professional cyclist, the next step in my quest to rule the world.”

TOM P.  
North Bend, WA

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“After a 20 year layoff from bicycle racing, I dove back in – head first, quickly realizing how being a career holding, single full-time dad of two short-circuited my old-school training experience. Frustrated, I sought help from Upper Echelon Fitness who worked diligently on making the little, sporadic training time effective – effective enough for me to get my first ever CAT 4 win, and compete top-10 against the 3’s. I simply could not have accomplished so much my first year back without Will’s experience and patience.”

JOHNATHAN W.
Portland, OR

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“Russell is hands down the best source for training. As a dedicated recreational athlete Russell provided me with a complete picture of my fitness but also the road map to efficient training. With Russell’s help my husband and I successfully trained to ride the HAMMER Highline. It was no small feat to complete the four day ride easily and to share the company of extraordinary endurance athletes. Russell does an extraordinary job of balancing scientific information with the realities of training with a busy lifestyle. I have recommended Russell to a wide range of friends, from bike racers to recreational riders with specific goals. The feedback is all the same, ‘Russell is the best!’”

MARY M.
Bainbridge Island, WA

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“After switching to new shoes and cleats, I was never able to get the same comfort and feel as before. Russell was able to get them, as well as my position on the bike, dialed in only one short session. Everything felt perfect after that and he definitely has all the latest tools to get the job done right with educated answers, no guess work going on here.”

CHRISTIAN M.
Vancouver, BC

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“The quality of the people I’ve met at Upper Echelon is unparalleled. They’re knowledgeable and professional and manage to be simultaneously casual and friendly.”

KATE A.
Portland, OR

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“I started training with Russell in February of 2012, I weighed 196lbs and frequently got dropped on group rides, my body and riding both needed a lot of help. Russell tailored a work-out plan and we put goals into place, modest ones at that. By July I had lost 30lbs and road at the highest level in our club group rides. I should mention I was 38 years old, a full time businessman, father and husband. With Russell’s guidance I went well beyond what I thought even possible in terms of my riding and body physique, the sacrifice was minimal, the dedication was 100%. My results might not be typical but if I had to sum up the time I’ve spent with the Upper Echelon team I’d use the word priceless. If you want to improve you’re riding skills, body physique or just need additional training or guidance Upper Echelon should be the first place you look.”

DEAN F. 
Beaverton, OR

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“My first year of Enduro racing, I found I had good skills but I didn’t have the stamina to finish the stages as hard as I would have liked. I had to take more risks to close the gap on the racers in front of me.  After a year with Upper Echelon, I’ve been able to balance my fitness with my technical skills. I’m hoping to finish towards the front of the pack this year and hopefully make the jump to Pro in the year that follows.”

JESS P.
Salem, OR

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“Russell has worked with me on two bike fits in past 3 years and the results were incredible. My last bike fit was in preparation for a 363 mile tour along the Oregon coast.  The fit was exceptional and allowed me to complete my coast tour pain-free.  In addition to bike fits, I’ve attended multiple cyclocross clinics ran by Russell and Upper Echelon at Alpenrose.  I highly recommend anyone from recreational cyclist like myself to the pro to work with UEF.”

AARON M.
Portland, OR

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“I met with Russell in Feb 2012, with a goal of completing Cycle Oregon. At this point I had been riding bikes for about 2 years and my road bike was just over a year old. I knew very little about cycling and nothing about training, and to be honest most of what Russell told me about in that first meeting either made no sense (I didn’t admit that at the time) or I didn’t believe it; in my mind pacelines were just scary and no amount of fitness was ever going to change that!

Whatever I felt, Russell was always calm and understanding. I wasn’t fit enough but I would be. I would fall off my bike but that happens.  I couldn’t stand up but you will learn.  I couldn’t climb hills without asthma attacks but there were ways around that too. Whatever obstacles I would find, Russell would find a way of making sure they no longer existed. It felt really good to have someone with experience guiding me through my training and my journey of learning to road bike. It turns out that what Russell says is true; pacelines do get easier with fitness, interval training does make a big difference and going up and down hills does get easier with practice and guidance.

I was most impressed with Russell’s ability to meet me where I was, however silly I thought something was he would take it in his stride, add something into the training plan or our rides that dealt with it and we would move on to the next thing.

In August my back decided not to like me, walking was a challenge and Cycle Oregon was only three weeks away. Russell was the voice of calm and reassurance whilst everyone else at UEFR worked to fix my body and build up my new bike!! By this time I trusted the UEFR to know what I was capable of and to help make a good decision. I went to Cycle Oregon, I rode comfortably, never the fastest but not the slowest either. But more importantly, the training paid off. I was fit enough and confident enough to enjoy riding and to keep smiling up hills and down them. SAG was not an option and rest stops were longer to fit in the heaps of stretching to keep my back happy. I came back from an amazing experience still loving my bike and looking for my next challenge.

If you have a goal however big or small and want to have fun achieving it then come to UEFR and don’t get too caught up on the grown up-ness of having a coach, it’s a lot of fun and you will get more out of it than you think possible.”

JOANNE E.
Portland, OR

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“I’ve been working with Russell Cree for cycling coaching for nearly 4 years now: he is extremely knowledgable, highly professional and has all of the resources available to provide a huge range of services within the Upper Echelon network from testing to physical therapy to acupuncture. Russell has gotten me ready for some incredibly challenging events, including completing the entire 2012 Tour de France course (2,200 miles in 3 weeks including 25 mountain passes and a traverse of both the Alps and Pyrenees). His patience, expertise. commitment and sense of humor are always appreciated. I look forward to many more years of intervals, adventures and new personal bests!”

HEIDI S.
Portland, OR