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Parity

#SBTPARITY

Parity is important to SBT GRVL and to our community and it is our responsibility to influence it.

We asked for feedback from the awesome women joining us in August and are thrilled to share some of their amazing thoughts on gravel, racing, food and why they think more women should join them on race day!

Rose Grant

Montana

Mountain Bike

Goal for SBT GRVL? 

To have a smooth and solid race, that will have me heading home with 5 G’s.

This is actually the first gravel race that I have registered for.

Suzanne Wheatall

Alaska

Where will you do your training?

I returned to Anchorage from Houston this fall, so winter training will happen mostly in Alaska on Nordic skis and my snow bike. My son lives in Colorado so I’m gonna try and get down there during our Spring break up season when conditions make it hard to ski or bike in Alaska.

Caroline Esch

Wyoming

Why gravel?

I live in Wyoming and as it turns out we have more gravel roads than paved. Gravel is a natural option for exploring the state.

Alison Powers

Photo credit: Mahting Putelis

Colorado

Retired from Road Racing 2014

Goal for SBT GRVL?: Win!

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

I think SBT GRVL is going to be a top notch event. With the length of the race and prize purse, they have shown that they support women and realize the untapped potential in women’s bike racing.

Paige Figi

Colorado

Why gravel?

I am pretty fortunate, where I live gravel is pretty easy to find and I have some great rides right out my front door. I like mileage, speed and dirt and prefer to be far removed from traffic. I can’t always fit in a more committing mountain bike ride when you factor in getting to the trailheads.

Amity Rockwell

Photo credit: Andy Chasteen @Andychasteen

California

I’ve been labeled a lot of different things but I think the overarching theme is grit. I thrive in challenging situations, whether that means super long or climby or technical or all-around crazy.

Favorite type of training?

Long and questionable adventure days in the middle of nowhere!

Nina Laughlin

North Carolina

All-rounder. I am a roadie who fell in love with the peaceful and technical nature of gravel.

Why should other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

SBT GRVL is making a huge push for equality in cycling, with an equal payout for men and women; I strongly believe in supporting events that support and showcase women’s talent and give us an equal chance to shine. Also, the course looks both challenging and breathtakingly beautiful, so you can’t go wrong with that!

Reese Ruland

Colorado

Why gravel?

Before I starting riding bikes, I was and still am, an avid ultra runner. My days are consumed with far away trails and remote mountain peaks. So you’d think mountain bikes would be my next logical step. But I managed to get into road cycling. But once I discovered the gravel roads near me in Fort Collins, CO, I was hooked. Riding or racing gravel roads has a similar feel to trail running. You get to see remote areas in solitude (or with a good group of friends.)

Laura King

Vermont

Road/gravel/mtb

Why should other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

I hope other women join so they can experience the elation, joy and confidence that comes from accomplishing something that you weren’t sure you had in you. I am most attracted to events that stretch me out of my comfort zone and make me ask, “can I?”.

Karen Jarchow

Photo Credit: Andy Bokanev

Colorado

Mountain Bike

Number 1 goal for SBT GRVL?

My number one goal for SBT GRVL and any race I enter is to give 100%, to leave every ounce of effort out there, and to learn something about myself and my ability along the way.

Why gravel?

I threw my hat into gravel last year because I wanted to try something new. Riding gravel roads is not anything new, but racing it is. The atmosphere, community and vibe it attracts is top notch. It reminds me of why I started riding. I like the group atmosphere, I like the fact that it provides what everyone is looking for, from the beginner to elite rider. Everyone is getting the challenge they are seeking, everyone crosses the same finish line, and everyone walks away with a story.

Melissa Westergard

Colorado

What 1 thing are you looking forward to most immediately after the race?

Soaking in the Yampa River immediately after the race and then heading to Strawberry Park Hot Springs later that night all for the sake of muscle recovery. Aaahhhhh! Already excited about this!

Leah Thorvilson

Arkansas

Rider type…. I like a long road race with some good drags in it. I can’t say climbs, because I’m too heavy to race the true climbers, but I think my strength is in my ability to lay down some power long enough to hurt some folks. (this is a terrible answer, but “all-arounder who is just all around okay” doesn’t sound good. LOL)

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Women should join me at SBT GRVL because the world needs more women on bikes!! It doesn’t matter if you come to race or just come to ride. COME PLAY BIKES with a bunch of other like minded adventurous women. You just might fall in love with it, and if not, I bet you still come away with new friends and amazing memories.

Kaysee Armstrong

Tennessee

Mountain Bike

Number one Goal for SBT GRVL?:

Well… number one would be the number one goal! However I strive for fun whether I’m last or first.

Favorite race food?

I thrive on Sour Patch Kids

Jen Roberts

Colorado

Why gravel?

Gravel is my ‘Dirt Church.’ I love being on my bike and personally love being on quieter roads. I get to discover places that I would miss only riding pavement. The community of people on and off the bikes are amazing! The gravel events are typically longer endurance courses. Each ride I meet great people and learn a little bit about who they are and why they are there. In some instances, we form friendships over a particularly grueling section of the course.

Daphne Karagianis

Colorado

Road Cyclist

Number 1 goal for SBT GRVL?

Meet new cycling friends!

Favorite food for racing/riding?

Homemade cookies and sugar gummy worms and bears.

Natalia Ptas

Colorado

Why gravel?

I love dirt!

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Because suffering, I mean having a blast on a bike, together is more fun.

Lauren de Crescenzo

Colorado

I was a pro roadie for DNA p/b Visit Dallas Cycling Team in 2016 . . . until disaster struck. At an early season race, I crashed in the final sprint and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spent 3 weeks at the ICU and 2 months at a rehab center.

Your number 1 goal for SBT GRVL? Win

Favorite race food?

When not drinking electrolytes, I am usually eating meatballs. The way grandpa makes it.

Jes Walton

Colorado

Why gravel?

I’m predominately a mountain biker (gasp!), but I picked up gravel riding this past year as a way to stay fit in the snowy winters and as a way to get more miles in. I love that I can actually “get places” on my gravel bike. It’s a challenge, it takes me new places and it’s introduced me to people I wouldn’t have met on my mountain bike.

Polly BeeBout

Wyoming

What’s the biggest obstacle, personal or physical, you’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

The biggest obstacle I have overcome as a cyclist would be finishing the Dakota 50 when I was 55 years old. I had never done a race over 30 miles on a mountain bike and set myself a goal of finishing the race in under 7 hours – I finished it in 6 hours and 15 minutes.

Kimberly Nuffer

Colorado

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

The gravel roads of Steamboat are amazing, and this looks to be a first class event! But more importantly, we need to grow the community of women riding gravel! Once you drink the crunchy gravel Kool-Aid, you will be hooked!

Andrea Schroeder

Washington

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

I have invited a few women friends to join me in the race. I really look forward to riding with other women and encouraging each other along the route to keep pushing until the end and put there first pedal forward.

Meredith Miller

Colorado

Gravel, road, cyclocross and mountain bike

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Steamboat is a destination for bike riding and this gravel race is going to be a challenging but beautiful event. And let’s see how many men we can “chic”.

Lacey Scott

Colorado

Biggest SBT GRVL race day fear? Insufficient bacon.

Your number 1 goal for SBT GRVL? To finish another awesome gravel race alongside my dad!

Michelle Hildebrand

Colorado

What’s the biggest obstacle, personal or physical, you’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

When I first began cycling I was nervous about not being fast enough to ride with the group. Over the years, I’ve gotten faster but also realized that you just have to ride at your own pace and through consistency and hard work, the speed will come.

Lauren Costantini

Colorado 

What’s the biggest obstacle, personal or physical, you’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

Leaving the race world. It was such a big part of my identity, that it was very difficult to finally ‘retire’ a few years ago. I’ve found my path since then though, and it still involves 2 wheels! But I had to re-adjust my mind and my body to make that happen.

Kelly McCreary

Colorado

Where will you be doing your SBT GRVL training?

Right here on the gravel roads surrounding Steamboat and also spin classes at OTHS, where I work!

Susie Bockard

Colorado

My post race vibes are usually highlighted by fresh watermelon, a salty kiss from Cliff, and lots of tired happy cyclists reliving their own personal glory with a beer and some music.

Sweat, smiles and a sense of accomplishment – who wouldn’t be intrigued?!

Kirsten Alder

Colorado

Why gravel?

Gravel is the perfect mix of mountain and road biking, both of which I love. I can ride out my back door to some of the best dirt roads on the planet! The views and peace and quiet are pretty awesome too.

Lisa Schneider

Florida

Why Gravel?

Because I LOVE Gravel. It’s car free care free, with so much to see. I live is south Florida and ride on gravel roads all over the Everglades, lots of gator and deer here. AND miles and miles of great gravel training, at Sea Level!

Betsy Welch

Colorado

Why gravel?

Because gravel is what riding bikes was like when we were kids. It’s no holds barred, anything goes, and really – anything does go.

Favorite food for racing/riding?

GORP w pretzels and m&ms. Homemade coconut banana bread. Espresso. Salt n vinegar chips. Cheese, mustard and pickle sandwiches.

Julie Stokes

California

What’s the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

Confidence. I’m not a lifelong athlete, growing up 30 minutes from NYC I only got into cycling 10 years ago at the age of 40. I’m riding with people who are very athletic or did lots of sports since they were kids. If I put in the training time and effort, I can complete these events. I may not be a fast racer but I get it done, with a smile on my face and hopefully with friends along for the ride.

Wendy Culp

Kansas

 

Why gravel?
Riding on gravel roads is more peaceful to me.  The areas are more remote, you don’t deal with heavy traffic and impatient cars, the scenery is always beautiful, and the same road you travel may actually be a different challenge from week to week depending on road maintenance. The atmosphere at rides and races is much different than triathlon or road events too.  They feel more laid back and have
beer!

Karen Borgstedt

Colorado

Why gravel?

I’m a former Road racer and current mountain bike racer, and gravel is the best of both worlds.

Favorite food for racing/riding?

Yams

Betsy Williford

Colorado

What’s the biggest obstacle, personal or physical, you’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

I think for me, it is appreciating where I am in my journey. I’m still so new to endurance riding and part of me is so excited for every success I have…but the slightly competitive side of me just wishes I was better or faster.

Kat Salthouse

Arizona

Favorite food for racing/riding?

Pasteries and Snickers ice cream bars.

Number 1 goal for SBT GRVL?

Kick some ass, even if it’s just my own.

Micheale Koch

Colorado

Biggest SBT GRVL race day fear?

My greatest fear and worry is that I won’t finish because I’ll be too exhausted or not able to breathe. The whole idea of entering this race is not to race per say, but to know I have parameters and to know I did something of this magnitude, out of my comfort zone, and finished it. I’m not a quitter, even though some rides I should have, but I am persistent and for me this will be the end of my summer.

Karin Budding

Colorado

What 1 thing are you looking forward to most immediately after the race?

Shower and a beer!

Barbara Tardiff

California

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Gravel rides and races are truly awesome way to experience this country. I discovered the diversity of Vermont doing gravel events all over the state, and appreciated how truly beautiful (and not flat) Kansas is through Dirty Kanza. SBT GRVL is an opportunity to gain a truly special perspective on the Steamboat area.

Jennifer Ahern

Connecticut

Where will you do your SBT GRVL training?

We live in Connecticut where there are some nice gravel forest roads nearby and we have a second home in Vermont which has a ton of fantastic gravel back roads…if you love climbing, which I do.

Cindy Copley

Pennsylvania

Your number 1 goal for SBT GRVL?

Finish in the top ten and know I gave it my all throughout the ENTIRE race.

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

An entire day on a bike, a challenge to overcome, a fun day, feeling empowered by our own accomplishment. There are so many reasons, but in the end, we all find our own.

Anne Schroll

Illinois

How did you hear about SBT GRVL?

I saw a video on Gravel Cyclist about this new race. The scenery floored me. I sent my husband a link to the video and we decided that this was a race we would like to get into.

Meigen Thomas

Colorado

I got my gravel bike two years ago because I wanted to bike pack and get off the increasingly busy roads. I discovered Adventure! I love the flexibility that gravel riding allows.

When I’m tired I think of Dori, the fish on Finding Nemo and say to my self “Just keep spinning, spinning, spinning.” I try to look around and take in the beauty that is around me.

Elizabeth Burgess

Colorado

Why gravel?

Road riding terrifies me for some reason. I didn’t grow up riding bikes and never got used to riding next to cars. I did some mountain biking out east, but again, I didn’t grow up riding, so it didn’t feel natural. I’m a bit of a fraddy cat (sp) when speeding down hill (memories of a bad accident when I was kid the one time I road) and then had a bad spill and shredded the skin on my leg (grown men even cringed looking at it, I did feel slightly bad ass 🙂 ).

Kelly Parcell

Colorado

Why gravel?

I LOVE TO RIDE THE DIRT. IN THE OLD DAYS THE ‘HARD CORES’ WOULD HEAD OUT ON THE DIRT ROADS IN THE WINTER ON OUR ROAD BIKES FOR TRAINING. NOW ITS A THING WITH ITS OWN SPECIAL BIKE! How did you hear about SBT GRVL? MY TWIN SISTER WHO IS ALSO GOING TO RACE IT!

Cherell Jordin

Utah

Why gravel?

Gravel combines my favorite aspects of road cycling (covering many miles and seeing the world) and mountain biking (trees, mountains, and no cars). After a 4-year hiatus from competitively racing Ironmans, I got the itch to race again this Fall but wanted to do something different. One week before a race in Sun Valley, ID, I ordered a Canyon Grail, did my first ever gravel ride that week, and then showed up to race. I had a BLAST!

Micah Ling

Colorado

What’s the biggest obstacle, personal or physical, you’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

I was a runner in college. For most of my life running wasn’t just part of my identity, it WAS my identity. Then I had a series of injuries that kept me from pounding the pavement. That’s when I picked up a bike. Five years later, I still run a bit, but now I think of cycling as my identity, and I love it even more than running.

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

The more women out there, the more comfortable we all feel. Teamwork!

Alison Dickson

Colorado

Number 1 goal for SBT GRVL?

My goal is to stay adequately hydrated and fueled. Immediately after the race, I will be looking forward to chocolate milk, a shower and maybe fried chicken!

Melissa Hylton

Colorado 

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Typically, the biggest barrier for women on bikes is convincing yourself to put you first, just get out there and do it. Sometimes just the mental block that it’s ok to try something new and challenging. We should work together to increase female representation on bikes – all disciplines, at all ages! You can meet great people and see great sights from the saddle!

Connie TenNapel

Iowa

What 1 thing are you looking forward to most immediately after the race?

Great beer!

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

New adventure, new challenge, new friends!

July Hogue

Arizona

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Because we’re badass! And we know a good time! We are strong and fierce! We are dynamic and powerful. We gonna make it SBT GRVL WMN 😃

Courtney

California

Biggest SBT GRVL race day fear?

Deciding I like gravel more than triathlon.

What’s the biggest obstacle, personal or physical, you’ve had to overcome as a cyclist?

Last June, I was in a cycling accident resulting in a half dozen fractures. I rode inside, in a sling for months. Getting back outside and returning to racing took courage, patience, and the support of the teammates I’m riding with at SBT.

Stacey Scherer

Missouri

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

Like a lot of other cycling events, you mostly see male participants. I feel like that is somewhat changing with gravel. I liken it to the comraderie of trail running. Our group of 5 racers will have 3 women, it wasn’t hard to convince everyone to travel to an amazing place like Steamboat! I love that the race director is a female – I, too, am (co)race director for a gravel race in Missouri (the Opal Wapoo Gravel Grinder). I think it helps a race appeal to more women.

Bridgette Enarson

Colorado

Why would other women join you in August for SBT GRVL?

They already have! August seems like a ways from now, but signing up with my teammates and training together from now until 8/18 will help build support and relationships. 100 miles on gravel is challenging and a long day in the saddle, leading to potential bonks and discouragement. Nothing brings you back in the game like another female rider pulling you along and providing encouragement. Your body can do it, but your mental game needs the support of a fellow female rider. If you see us on course, come ride with us!

Tracey Jacobs-Haimann

Colorado

 How’d I hear about this race?

One of my riding partners mentioned it and said it’s new, it’s in Colorado, I love the terrain in Steamboat, it’s one of my favorite mountain towns in Colorado, I’ve never raced this distance before and I needed something to reach for later in the season-allot of ‘firsts’ and that’s exciting to me so I signed up. Also my twin sister is racing so, any opportunity to race with her is the best!

Kae Takeshita

Photo Credit: Lee McDaniel

Illinois

Why gravel?

I found gravel to be very serene, and at the same time, it also can be challenging and demanding.  I live in the Chicago-land area which is grid-locked and does not yield itself to long stretches of intervals or hills, so we have to drive an hour plus to get semi-rural. It is not easy to find good training roads, not to mention gravel roads. It is certainly nice to be away from vehicles, except of the occasional farm traffic, and the occasional farm dog, which may help you with your sprints.

Another plus about Gravel is that it  welcomes all types of riders and it is easy to make friends. The atmosphere is so friendly and relaxed and it is always a good time.

Becky Loeffler

Colorado

What is your goal for SBT GRVL?

My goal for this race is to ride as hard as I can, to leave nothing out there; to do my absolute best!

Why gravel?

 

I love gravel!! Why?  I am in the wilderness, I see so many amazing sights such as bear, deer, turkeys, hogs…..and rarely a car.  It is challenging because where I live you have to pedal constantly, there is rarely a large downhill to recover and you just endure!!! I love that the only thing limiting my ride is
the amount of time I have available that day, gravel goes on forever!  AND, I am not squished into a single track with 100’s of other riders……