I picked myself up quickly, pedaled hard for a few strokes to gain some speed, and promptly clipped a pedal on a rock and flew over my handlebars – over the exposed edge of the trail – into a thicket of willows. It was like landing on a mattress! I peered over the edge of the willows and said a little prayer to the Goddess of Mountain Biking – it was steep!
You’re going to hate me for saying this. The Telluride 100 climbs 14,000 feet up and over some of the biggest mountain passes in Colorado and my body didn’t hurt during any of it. A half mile from the top of Last Dollar Pass, no more than 30 minutes from the finish line, I started
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” – Gloria Steinem
Grassroots mountain bike racing is the shit. No entry fees. No cut off times. No schwag bags filled with a million advertisements that spill all over your car, get stepped on with muddy cleats, and make it even harder to find that one thing you really need just minutes before the start of the race. No hypoxic dudes trying to run you over at the start because you are a woman and–because they are not a woman–they know they must be faster than you. No bizarre rules like”anyone caught peeing in public will be disqualified” or mass starts where you are forced into a conga line and unable to pass for the first three miles.
Once in the spring, and once in the fall, I ground myself in Northern Arizona’s seasons by riding my bike around the San Francisco Peaks. In the spring, my mind wanders as I ride through tunnels of bright green aspen, meadows dappled with lupine, poppies and Rocky Mountain iris, and views of shrinking snowfields plastered