What have your rides been like during the pandemic?
I am a full-time supply-chain professional and a mom of a 5-year old, so I have always found myself training alone due to my schedule or childcare scenario. Pre COVID-19, my training routine was indoor trainer sessions (even when the weather is nice) or solo rides in the Du Page Forest Preserves (near home) and in the Driftless area. When COVID-19 kicked up, I kept a similar routine. While I am used to riding alone, I did miss the opportunity to socialize with others.
Now is a great chance to re-group, recalibrate and plan for the future. I ’m looking forward to solo gravel rides and finishing the Ten Thousand course this summer. At the same time, I hope to continue to grow the grassroots gravel community, especially among womxn, moms, and People of Color.
What are the bright spots you see that give you hope we're moving in the right direction?
I recently helped answer questions at a virtual FTW gravel clinic, and there were about 6 new faces on the call. The Chicago cycling community is tight, so seeing so many fresh faces was awesome! The fact that there are people going out of their way during a pandemic, joining a Zoom call to learn more about gravel was encouraging for me. Also, I have been returning to the same events year after year and I see the numbers grow. This year at the Frostbite 40 people came in van loads from all over the Chicago area. In early March, (not a warm day either) I showed up to a free gravel training ride in Aurora, IL and the turnout was about 50 people or more. The participants were of Hispanic descent, and a handful didn't speak English, so I was happy to translate. Gravel is growing in all demographics and gender.