Gravel racing represents one thing totally different in biking. It’s newer, much less staunch on the principles, and all in all, extra welcoming.
Maybe that is what first drew me to the game. As a brown girl, I had by no means considered myself as somebody who can be accepted into the bike neighborhood, however with teams like RAR (Radical Journey Riders), I noticed the best way gravel using welcomed folks of various genders, physique varieties, ages, and pores and skin colours— all on bikes and having enjoyable.
I grew up working monitor and subject, working the 400-meter hurdles at Iowa State College. I by no means had entry, time, or cash for out of doors sports activities, and biking by no means made its means onto my radar. The one sort of competitors I had identified was drilled into me from years of monitor and subject: run as quick as you may, each second (and tenth of a second) counts. I needed to look a sure means, prepare a really intentional means, watch once I ate, and by no means let monitor off of my thoughts. Competing as a D1 athlete left me with an entire lot of trauma and stress when it got here to enthusiastic about competing once more, so signing up for a motorcycle race was a frightening process in itself.
However gravel racing’s inviting nature helped me battle by way of the anxieties. I discovered The Rad Dust collection and was drawn to use once I noticed that the race provided a scholarship to permit riders who didn’t have the means to race on their very own to be part of the occasion, so I utilized. I don’t have a protracted background on bikes, I simply began mountain biking in Could and obtained my first gravel bike in August, so fairly than hoping for the rostrum I set the objective of deconstructing poisonous concepts that I held about what it meant to be an athlete and to compete, and as a substitute to try to have enjoyable and cross the end line.