What’s your favorite GW experience?
I had one of the best days ever on the bike at Gravel World’s in 2018. It was magical. Everything worked perfectly. I still dream of this day where my body was on fire, the fellow gravel pirates were fun, and we soared. I can’t quite describe it, but it was pure bliss. We crushed the course record, and the miles floated by with giggles, rainbows, and unicorns. I also sang songs the whole time. Nothing could go wrong. Do you ever feel like that on your bike? I don’t know if I can ever repeat this day, but I sure set sail on my bike looking for another moment like this.
What’s your funniest Gravel event story
I was riding along with a fellow attendee at the 2019 Gravel Worlds. The day was getting long and it was windy. I had been alone for miles. I was in a dark place but was trying to navigate as boldly as possible to the finish. I was furiously pedaling to garner another win as I dreamed of the sword and celebration. He apologized for not pulling through as we proceeded to storm the headwinds. His explanation was that he was too small to battle the conditions and was not strong in the rolling terrain. I responded, “wait, you’re too small to come around me so… are you calling me fat?” We laughed and he stumbled over his words to correct his response. It is all good. We are in this together. No one is alone at Gravel Worlds. Even if you are.
How long have you been riding? Has gravel changed your perspective on riding, and if so, how?
I have been riding a bike for 12 years. I started cycling when I was 23 years old and within months was a professional cyclist on the USA National Team and a professional contract. I played collegiate tennis and grew up on a cattle ranch in California. I rode a horse long before I rode a bike. I raced as a professional road cyclist for 8 years before I found gravel. My first gravel race was in 2017 at the Dirty Kanza 200, and I won! It wasn’t my result that got me hooked on gravel, it was the community and gravel family that I met. I finally found my people. Gravel is my home. It is why I ride a bike. Results be damned. Get out and ride your bike and have fun with your friends.
Has gravel brought you closer to your community and if so, how?
After racing road for so long, gravel really allowed me to become engaged with my community. I was embraced by my gravel family. I no longer needed to ride around in circles for fans. I wanted to ride with my people. I found my community and where I was always supposed to be. Gravel encompasses the pure zest that riding bikes should be about. We are all out there challenging ourselves to be better or just enjoying the day. If you are on your bike and riding gravel, you are winning.
What does #GravelFamily mean to you?
#GravelFamily is my life. It is a vibrant group of like-minded people who hug you regardless of your wins or losses. It is about encouraging more people to get on bikes and celebrating the day. It is about being raw and vulnerable and finding that soft place to land when you need it, and a raging after-party when it is time. Gravel family brings a bike party every day