Satkiewicz and partners Amy Charity and Ken Benesh founded the gravel event in 2019.

SBT GRVL co-founder Mark Satkiewicz died of suspected cardiac causes while on a bike ride near his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado Saturday. He was 52.

Satkiewicz and business partners Amy Charity and Ken Benesh launched the SBT GRVL bike race in 2019, and the event was a wild success in its inaugural edition, selling out more than 1,000 spots. It was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, yet Charity says that Satkiewicz was never fazed by the challenges of pivoting to virtual, or planning for the future.

“I’ve never been around someone more driven with a vision of where he was going and how to get there,” she said.

When it was launched, SBT GRVL boasted a vision that might have seen like a pipe dream to some — a huge cash purse, parity among the sexes, selling out in its first year — but not to those who knew Satkiewicz well.

“Mark was always moving forward, with a gusto and passion that could at times be awe inducing,” said friend Bernie Doering, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Stages Cycling.