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From Bend > Iceland > LeadBoat and beyond, we are in it now!

We are off! Well, we have been off for a while now, which is why I am just now getting around to a recap of racing and adventure. This season has rolled by faster than my little bike across the line and here we are, about to enter September already!

So far the bus has driven over 4,000 miles to races, events and adventures since May, and there is even more fun to come. The bus has been such a great way to connect with fellow racers, followers, fans and newcomers. It's really fun to watch people taking photos of it and throwing a peace sign from their cars as we drive by.

A (short and sweet) Race Recap

  1. Co2Ut - Fruita, CO: 190 miles, 2nd place

  2. Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder - Bend, OR: 5 days, 350 miles, 1st place

  3. The Rift Iceland - Hvolsvöllur, Iceland: 200k, 2nd place

  4. Leadville 100 Mtb - Leadville, CO: 100 miles, 3rd place

  5. Steamboat Gravel - Steamboat, CO: 147 miles, N/A (flatted and rode 'er in with a crew of ladies)

  6. LeadBoat Challenge - 2 days, 250 miles 22k+ elevation gain (MTB + Gravel), 1st place

  7. Last Best Ride - Whitefish, MT, 90 miles, 1st place

200k Gravel racing in Iceland
The Rift Iceland - A lot happens in endurance racing. And this post is the endurance race of IG posts, so buckel up… You’re out there for hours and and hours, whether it’s inside your head or on the course there is so much that can tip you towards or away from success. The little things like taking wrong turns, wrong lines, eating too little, self defeating, or being alone on the wrong sections. The list can go on and on and on, that’s why we do this sport, every time we ride we try to improve on one of those things, be better somehow. And sometimes it works! My time racing @therifticeland was mainly spent recovering from small mistakes and pushing through them mentally, I knew a 200k rugged course like that I’d be far from perfect out there, and I certainly was. I’ve been questioning every little mistake I made, feeling dread as I playback the moments I lost time and ultimately the win. I was leading for 8 hours, constantly wondering how close 2nd place was behind me. Turns out she was over 10 minutes for most of the race. Now I know how quickly that time can evaporate, ultimately stopping for a crashed rider and legs cramps forcing me to walk did me in. Am I bummed? Absolutely. This was the first time 2nd place has felt like losing. But I am proud of my character out there, I’ve been the crashed rider and when you’re out in the middle of Iceland, crashed out and in pain, you’d want someone to stop with you too. And leg cramps? Guess I am a human after all, I was really hoping for Icelandic Pony but I’ll settle for a crampy human I guess. So here goes my public pep talk to myself via an IG post (good job if you’re still reading this)…there truly isn’t a finish line. It’s not just the theme behind my kit. It’s all one big ride, so you’d better be ready to endure those ups and downs. And if watching these amazing athletes at the @olympics put it all out there has taught me anything, it’s that those days where it all lines up perfectly are so rare so you’ve got to be okay with being 2nd, or last, or whatever. Thank your family and your supporters, be grateful for the opportunity, laugh with your competitors, be a good sport and enjoy the shit you get to see out there!
147 miles of gravel racing and riding in Steamboat, CO
Steamboat Gravel - Last week I left Leadville with some major stoke, landing 3rd next to some insanely strong women was a feeling of great accomplishment. We all want to win a race like that but in some ways I’m happier about how dynamic and competitive the racing was all day. That, to me, means something bigger is happening. Women have arrived. We are here to race, to win, to compete and to bond through this wild sport. I arrived in Steamboat the next day, I lined up to race 140 miles of gravel with another deep and competitive women’s field. With an untimely flat I found myself much further back than I’d like, and what a stroke of luck that turned out to be! I was surrounded by a LOT of women, we rode the rest of the race together, pushing each other, stopping at aid stations and making sure everyone ate and drank. As the day went on we rode on, eventually crossing by the line TOGETHER. We finished way further back in the race than any of us had wanted but I’m not sure that mattered to any of us at that point, we bonded out there. We finished with something far more important than money or a medal, true camaraderie and friendship. Winning the inaugural #LeadBoat challenge was simply a cherry on top of an amazing weekend! Then there was a rush of negativity weaving its way through the social veins on the internet, and the victim? Women. And no surprises here, we weathered that storm. There were gravel races all over the continent last weekend and we SHOWED UP! We spoke with action and community. I had the opportunity to connect with the women at @thelastbestride and it was just what I needed. I was ready to go back to mountain biking and give up on this new weird world of gravel. But then I was shown the power of bikes and community. What a special weekend it was for all of us! We have connected with each other in a deeper way now, we are reminded of our power on and off the bike and we are ready to take it ON!

A Few Extra Fun Bits

Between riding, training, coaching and racing we had some fun with a few projects along the way! From bike checks with Specialized and Sram to riding in the cold 'how to's' with Hydroflask and all of the podcasts, we've stayed busy...and chatty!

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