Fat Bike Fun for All

by Danita Ritter, WomenMTB


Winter has always been one of my favorite seasons to get out and enjoy the snow. I spent many years skiing and snowboarding but once I had a family the increasing cost to play on the mountain had me looking for alternative ways to have fun and that I could also include my whole family. In 2015 I rented a fat bike for 3 days and I was hooked. The following year we bought fat bikes for myself, my husband and son. We spent the winter exploring the groomed trails in the area. My daughter who was 5 at the time did not like the fact that she had to stay home while we were out having fun so she asked for a fat bike last year for Christmas. We are now a fat biking family!


I have spent a lot of time exploring the local trails and have found trails for all levels of riding. One of my all time favorite trail systems is Round Valley in Park City. You have to option of riding wide groomed XC Ski trails or narrow groomed single track. Round Valley is the perfect place for kids or beginners since there aren’t a lot of sustained climbs. Some of my other favorite places to ride are Road to WOS, Millcreek, Corner Canyon and American Fork Canyon. If you really want solitude, throw a light on your bike and go for a night ride.


Knowing how to dress can be a little tricky when riding in the winter. You will certainly work up a good sweat when climbing so I always layer. Start with a moisture wicking base layer and a water repellent top layer. I always like to bring along a puffy jacket that can be stored easily. Most of the time I am taking layers off as I climb and putting them back on for the descent. As for pants, I love my Pearl Izumi thermal barrier pants. They are water and wind resistant with brushed fleece on the inside.  The most challenging areas to keep warm are your hands and feet. I wear Salomon Toundra winter hiking boots with a thin wool sock and never have issues with cold toes. The secret for warm hands are adding handlebar mitts to your bike. I can get away with wearing thin running gloves or regular mountain bike gloves and adding hand warmers inside the bar mitts. I have found that winter gloves and mittens are just too bulky. Buff’s are also great for keeping your face and neck warm and can easily be taken off or on.


It seems like a lot of work, but honestly, it’s such a great twist on not one, but two, of my favorite sports—snow sports and biking! Come out and join us for one of our upcoming fat bike rides through our WomenMTB clubs. We promise you’ll have fun AND meet new friends to ride with!

Bingham Cyclery also has an upcoming ride happening in Ogden this weekend. Find details here and come join us!

To CX or Not to CX? That is the Question

by Bob Saffell

I love Cyclocross. I have raced Cyclocross for over 15 years in Utah, occasionally traveling outside of the state for bigger races.  Every year after a long endurance MTB race season, exhausted,  I question whether or not I am going to extend my season and race Cyclocross. Every year I just show up and regardless of whether or not I podium or bring up the back of the pack, I have a blast.


I love it so much that I thought I’d try to convince you to join us…


Why should you try Cyclocross:

1.     Fun, no, really it is super fun, great community and camaraderie. The courses are challenging, but not selective. No 1,000 foot climbs here. The racers in the waves before and after you will cheer you on (or heckle you).

2.     Skill Building. If you are a MTB or Road rider/racer you will benefit from railing skinny tires around grass, gravel, dirt corners, multiple times over for multiple 1.5 mile or so laps.

3.     Fitness with tight schedules.  You can spend minimal for training and on race day. You will generally come into the Cyclocross season with lots of MTB, Gravel or Road miles in your legs. Racing every Saturday along with a few other rides during the week is a good way to stay fit.


4.     New Friends. Meet people from other teams and other disciplines. Cyclocross attracts, MTBers, BMXers, Roadies, Gravelites and Recreationalists alike. More friends who like to pedal bicycles is always a good thing.

5.     New toys. Eventually, if you take a liking to it, a new Cyclocross bike will be needed, Cyclocross bikes are relatively affordable and you absolutely do not need the top of the line to race. You will however get caught in the tire pressure and tubeless vs. tubular debates.


6.     Donuts. Yes, Team Bingham Cyclery-Peak Fasteners brings Donuts to every race, for everyone, on our team or not.  We also bring beverages and occasionally salted meats and cheese.

7.     Fun. It is fun, sometimes there is mud. Sometimes there is snow. Sometimes its 90 degrees.

Do yourself a favor and come try one out.

There are four Utah Cyclocross races left including the 2018 USA Cycling State Championship on November 17th.

Bob Saffell prepares for the Breck Epic

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The captain of our Bingham Cyclery Peak Fasteners Team, Bob Saffell gives us some insight into what goes on to train for the Breck Epic. His words are below!

On August 5 th at 8:30 am I will start my 5th Breck Epic. The Breck Epic is 6 days of high
elevation mountain bike racing. The 6 stages range from 24 to 44 miles long with
elevation gain of 5-6,000 feet per stage (the last stage only has 3500 feet.) The amount of
climbing is exaggerated by the fact that every stage start at over 10,000 feet and most go
up to and above 12,000 feet. The air up there, it is thin. I race a lot, endurance and XC.
One-day events are relatively easy to prepare for, in fact, sometimes you can even fake
your way through a 50 mile MTB event. 6 of those in a row, not so much. Preparation is

Below are the key things for me to prepare for this undertaking
1. Train
2. Rest
3. Fuel
4. Equipment
5. Fun

Training for me is easy, well, riding my bike is easy, I love riding singletrack, I prefer
hand cut, remote, steep and dumb. I prefer 4+ hour rides to escape the daily grind. All of
these things are perfect for stage race prep. I do XC races, weekend and mid week for the
hard efforts and community. I also do a whole bunch of prescribed rides and intervals.
There are volumes written on how to train for such events, I prefer to use a coach, who
knows me, my goals, limiters, numbers, way better than any book or forum can. I have
worked with Ben for 4-5 years. He knows all those things about my work travel limiters,
strengths, my weaknesses and motivations. Committing the time, money and energy
required for the 6 day stage race makes is a no brainer for me to use a coach. Another
great option for coaching is Sarah K. As the race gets closer I stack up 4+ hour days in a
row, with a few less hard intervals and more tempo type intervals. I do what I can to ride
close to 10k, which means up and over the Wasatch a few times per ride, which is


Rest, it seems so simple, as a masters racer who has always been a night owl, this one has
been hard for me. But without rest, even the fastest in the world crack. I embrace the rest
days, when given the option to spin for 45 minutes or rest, I choose rest 9 out of 10 times.
I ride 5-6 days a week otherwise and with work, life and everything else, rest is precious.
Rest is where my body rebuilds and gets stronger. Rest has always been my biggest
challenge, but I think I may be closer to succeeding with it than ever. I also invested in
some Elevated Legs this year. They are amazing.

“You are what you eat” Ima eat some cookies, so yeah, fueling for optimal performance
means, for me, eating clean and purposeful. The calories I eat need to have meaning for
my goals. As I age, the consequences of that full package of Oreos become more real. My
waste line won’t notice, but my Cardio Vascular system will. The biggest thing I have
learned over the years is to eat a recovery substance of some sort within 30 minutes of a
workout. Your own mixture of protein/carbs will vary, but getting that fuel in you post
effort will work wonders. For ride/race nutrition I use a mix of solid and liquid fuel.

CarboRocket has various strengths of beverage mix, it is my go to in bottles. Trail
is a tasty option for training rides. Everyone’s gut is different, so experiment
with fuel during training and be willing to adjust as an event goes on.


Equipment. This could go on for days. I have the perfect bike for the upcoming stage
race. The 2018 S-Works Epic. I have added a dropper post and a Rotor power meter
and oval chain ring. The bike is light, dual suspension, 2 bottle cages, swat boxed
and capable of handling all that Breckinridge will throw at me. The power meter has
changed my training this year, more focused and solid. I actually showed me I was not
racing as hard as I could. Weird. IN addition to the bike, clothing is critical. August at
above 10k can bee sunny and warm to blizzard like conditions in seconds. When people
ask me what to pack for the race I say bring everything. I’m not kidding. Luckily DNA
has provided us with some all weather options, merino jersey, fleece knickers,
jackets and vests, I have also invested in a very nice specialized rain jacket, This one will
be at the last aid station everyday for worst case scenario weather.

The Breck Epic has only a few rules, rule #1 is critical, but Rule #1 for me personally is
“If you aren’t having fun you are doing it wrong.” Whether it is training, racing, resting,
etc… if it is not fun, why would I do it. I am currently reading the book Endure: Mind,
Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
, I don’t have to be
reminded that my chosen passion of suffering is not, um, normal, but, really, isn’t it?
Happy Trails…

The ALL NEW Tern GSD has Arrived!

The long-awaited cargo e-bike of your dreams has finally arrived in all four of our locations! Park the mini-van and get you and your little one's out for the funnest ride, and most eco-friendly alternative to your vehicle you can find. Enormously useful. Surprisingly small. 

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The GSD is designed to carry two kids, a week’s worth of groceries, or 180 kg of cargo, but it’s only 180 cm long—the same length as a standard bike. With Tern’s best-in-class folding technology, it packs down small enough to fit in a VW Touran or an urban apartment. Plus, it adjusts to fit riders from 150 – 195 cm—so mom, dad and the kids can all share it.

A Utility Bike Designed to Fit Your Life

Despite everything it can haul, the GSD is actually the same length as a regular ebike, so it fits anywhere a standard bike can. But there are lots of places a standard bike doesn’t fit. That’s why Tern designed it to pack down to 1/3rd its volume in only 10 seconds. That means you can store your utility bike in your urban apartment, fit it in the elevator, or stash it in a train for weekend getaways.

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Our staff have fallen in love with the functionality and style of the new GSD. Stop by any one of our four locations today to test ride yours today!

Caroline Gleich: Crusher in the Tushar Training on the Diverge

Have you seen Caroline Gleich's film, Follow Through? This big mountain athlete never takes the easy route up, down, or across a mountain, and hasn't met a mile she didn't love. When we challenged her to ride the Crusher in the Tushar gravel bike race on the Specialized Diverge, she clipped right into her pedals and got to work training.

Photo by Mika Merikanto

Photo by Mika Merikanto

Caroline Gleich:

On July 14, I will be competing in my first bike race, the Crusher in the Tushar. It’s a 70 mile bike race through the Tushar Mountains outside of Beaver, UT, home to Eagle Point Ski Resort. The mountain range hosts some of Utah’s higher peaks with summits topping out over 12,000’, and Utah’s highest road at 11,500’. Last summer, I ran a challenging marathon in the range, and it had breath-taking scenery at every turn. I remember the vibrant colors of the rock mixed with the range of greens from the vegetation and evergreens. I’m excited to go back for another challenging day in these unique and rarely-visited mountains.


The course itself is 40% tarmac and 60% gravel with 10,000 feet of climbing. It attracts high level cyclists from all disciplines. One of the biggest questions people ask is what bike to choose for this race? And there is an entire, lengthy section devoted to answering that on the course information website. Some people use mountain bikes, some people rigid frames, and some people on cross bikes.  

The way I see it, cycling is another way to explore the mountains. I do it for the training and exercise, but mostly for the sense of adventure. I love seeing the world in a different way, and I love the challenge of moving through the mountains by my own leg-power. For this race, I’ll be using a Specialized Diverge adventure bike. It has drop bars, and road bike geometry, so it will be efficient and fast on the long stretches of road, but it has 20mm of travel in the head tube of the bike. 

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I’ve always been drawn to hard good equipment for my outdoor adventures that is as simple, versatile and lightweight as possible. In the winter, I spend most of my time on skis and throughout the years, I’ve simplified the equipment I use, choosing a set up that makes it easy to grab and get out the door. Likewise, with biking, I’m excited to have a bike that I can ride out my front door and take it to smooth single track or up dirt roads that lead me to high mountain passes. I like the simplicity of maintaining such a bike. There are no shocks that need to be pressurized or adjusted. I love the quiet of not having a front derailleur (you never realize how noisy it is until you get a bike without one). I like getting outside everyday and feeling connected to my community and the open land beyond. I love how training for an event like this helps put all the other pieces of my life into place. It allows me to be slightly selfish about my sleep and nutrition, and prioritize health and movement over other things that can come up in life. 


And I love the challenge of trying something new and how race day brings out the best in all of us. I love meeting fellow competitors and volunteers and seeing the positivity and camaraderie. Being outside has a way of getting us to focus on what we have in common rather than what separates us. It gives us resiliency for the other challenges in our life. Race day forces you to let go of ego, and focus on performing your best rather than comparing yourself to other people. I can’t wait to get out there, pedal down new roads I’ve never seen, and report back to you with how it goes! Wish me luck everyone!

World Ride Nepal - October 2018

DISPATCH: Notes from the Annapurna Circuit

by Julie Cornelius, World Ride

It is a welcome respite to leave the smoggy air of Kathmandu. As we traveled to the village of Besisahar, we got our first views of the towering peaks of the Himalayas. The anticipation of being in those mountains for the next 10 days made all of us excited and anxious to start our journey.

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            The journey began with a solid day of climbing mixed with “Nepali flat” (a little up and a little down). We all settled in to our pace and marveled at the waterfalls and small villages that we passed. At the end of our first long day of pedaling, the sight of the gorgous town of Tal was very welcome. Set alongside a river, with a cascading waterfall behind town, it would have been a great site even if we had not been exhausted! Our stomachs full of daal baht and brownie (happy birthday Ashley!), we all slept well our first night.

            Day two meant more elevation gain to the small village of Chamje. We pedaled through the canyon, looking down at the crystal clear water of the river below us. We were treated to more waterfalls along the way as we climbed higher into the Himalayas. The second of two hard days of riding finished off with a warm shower, more delicious food and an early bed time.


            Day three was more “Nepali flat” and uphill to start. We climbed up to a point overlooking one of the most beautiful valleys I have ever seen. We paused to take in the view and witness an eagle soaring above the prayer flags. We dropped down some singletrack into the valley and stopped for some egg fried rice for lunch. Another hour of pedaling brought us to the village of Manang, sitting at 11,600 ft, we were all excited to arrive knowing we would have a rest day the following day to help acclimatize to the elevation.

            Our rest day started with a short hike up above town. We stopped at a gorgeous glacial lake and hiked above it to where we got our first view of Thorong La pass (5416m, 17,769 ft). We were all a little nervous for the day we would cross the pass, not knowing how we would each handle the extreme altitude of the highest point on the circuit. The afternoon of our rest day included some entertainment in town with a traditional horse race. The horses were not close to being thoroughbred racing horses and many of the riders did not seem like they were fit to be racing either. It made for quite the spectacle and a good laugh for us.

            We woke up the next morning to a dusting of snow. We took a long breakfast and by the time we got on our bikes to head out of town, most of the snow had cleared. We pedaled and pushed our way up to our next stop, our highest tea house at Thorong Phedi, 4450m. Here, we would try to get a few hours of sleep before getting up well before dark to begin our journey up and over Thorong La. The common room of the tea house was teaming with nervous excitement from all of the trekkers staying the night there as well. We drank our share of ginger honey tea, ate what we could and turned in early.

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We began the task of pushing our bikes up and over the pass a couple hours before the sun rose. It was better to start in the dark, not only to try to beat the possible wind up high, but also so that we did not see the extremely steep trail ahead of us. The 3 mile hike-a-bike over the pass was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The lack of oxygen meant stopping to catch my breath every few steps.  I would push my bike up in front of me, hold my breaks and pull myself up to meet it. Even if we had not been above 15,000 ft, the trail would have been too steep to ride. We made it up to High Camp just around sunrise and the golden light on the mountains surrounding us made the surroundings seem surreal. I kept moving to keep warm and slowly made my way up higher and higher. I was really thankful to have Kelley to keep me company and we kept each other going, pacing our way up to the pass. When we finally saw the huge mass of prayer flags in the distance that signaled the pass, we both started crying from happiness, exhaustion and a lack of oxygen.  Only 15 more minutes of walking brought us to the pass, and the feeling of accomplishment and joy is one that I don’t know if I will ever be able to describe.

            We celebrated with a warm cup of tea and many photos with huge grins on our faces! Once the whole group made it to the top, we dropped our seats and began the descent of some pretty epic singletrack on the other side of the pass. I had to stop at one point, sit and take it all in, knowing just how much effort I had put in to make it to that point. I looked around at all of the towering mountains around me and just smiled.


            The singletrack took us down to the town of Muktinath, a great little village in the dry, Mustang region of Nepal. We celebrated our accomplishment with beers and some Nepali whiskey and all slept very well that night.

            The following morning included some more amazing singletrack, dropping us down to the river valley. There, we were greeted with the winds we would battle all the way to Tukuche. The tea house in Tukuche served up some great food, apple brandy and a nice warm fire to sit next to.

            The following day began with some nice singletrack and finished with fun downhills down to the village of Tatopani, where we got to soak in the hot springs. We had time to wander through the village and see the last little bit of the towering peaks of the high mountains as we dropped further down the next day. Our ride finished with mixed emotions the following day in the town of Beni. As we drove off toward Pokhara, we all had a feeling a great sense of accomplishment, but also a hint of sadness that our epic journey had finished.

Photo courtesy of  Himalayan Singletrack

Photo courtesy of Himalayan Singletrack

Want to create your own incredible memories while mountain biking in Nepal?

Join us this October for a trip of a lifetime!


Enter to Win One (or Two) Bikes during Bike Month

Tune into our Instagram and Facebook account for weekly details on how to win:

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Our First Giveaway Begins TOMORROW

Visit us at to our downtown Salt Lake store during the Salt Lake City Open Street Fair tomorow and register to win, not just one, but TWO Specialized Alibi Bikes! 

Connect For Details

Each week we'll anounce the details of our upcoming giveaway on our Facebook and Instagram channels. Enter to win giveaways for week two through four on our social media accounts. If you don't already, follow us and enter to win each week!

Ogden | Salt Lake | Sandy  | Sunset

The All NEW Stumpjumper!

We are excited to show off the NEW 2019 Stumpjumper Trail bikes at all of our Bingham Cyclery locations! Specialized has streamlined their Rhyme and Camber models into one by offering the Stumpjumper and the Stumpjumper (ST) Short Travel for both men and women. Whether you want Snappy and Nimble or Fast and Planted, the New Stumpjumper Trail bikes have you covered!


The new Stumpjumper is the ultimate trail bike. Lighter, stiffer and incredibly capable …


• Sidearm frame design to shave weight, increase efficiency and enhance suspension performance.

• Both bikes are available in a 650b (27.5”) and 29” wheel size that can accommodate a plus size tire should you crave the versatility of “two-bikes-in-one.”

• Each come with a “flip-chip” that enables adjustments in both head tube angle AND bottom bracket height.

• Crank arms are now a standard 170mm length to alleviate pedal strikes.


• Women’s models include an RX Tuned suspension system and women-specific touch points, yet keep the same incredible frame design.

• All carbon frames are S-works level full carbon front and rear. 

your Best Ride Ever

How will this make your riding experience the best one out there? Specialized made sure that each detail resulted in elevating your riding experience to the highest level:

• FINELY TUNED: We fine-tuned the Stumpjumper’s front-end stiffness. The bike handles like it’s on rails. Point it where you want, and you’re going there. This is Rider-First Engineered™ for mountain. Each Stumpjumper delivers the same outstanding ride — regardless of size.

• MORE PRECISE: The Sidearm frame design improves performance in rough terrain by minimizing frame flex when the rear suspension is active. Sidearm does all that by directly connecting all three mounting points of the rear-end and shock to the frame.


• STIFFER AND LIGHTER. Our goal was to create the best-handling trail bike possible. We also wound up creating one of the lightest trail bikes anywhere.

• EVEN SMOOTHER: Our engineers and in-house Suspension Team worked hand-in-hand. The goal? Optimize frame kinematics and rely less on shock damping. The result? The new Stumpjumper is supple over small bumps, with a firmer mid-stroke and exceptional big-hit performance.

• HASSLE FREE The new Stumpjumpers use standard stroke and eye-to-eye metric shocks. If you feel like experimenting with other shocks, it’s easy. We’ve also ditched press-fit bottom brackets. Full tubes can be found throughout the carbon frame, so all you have to do is push the cable housing and it’ll come out the other end. No more lazy loop, hidden stashes of magnets, pokey spokes, or pillows to cry in.

• SWAT™ DOWN TUBE STORAGE: The new SWAT™ Down Tube is sleeker & lighter, yet adds 20% more volume.

• QUIETER DRIVETRAINS: The revolutionary new chainstay protector silences chain slap.

So what are you waiting for?

Stop by one of our four locations today to test ride one of these beauties!

See you soon.

Endurance Training: WomenMTB Guide to Training for True Grit Epic


Wouldn't it be nice to believe that all endurance athletes are freaks of nature, gifted with larger lung capacities, stronger legs, and an empty schedule that allows for easy training? Truthfully, the members of WomenMTB consider themselves to be average women with busy schedules, training challenges, and a big goal.  We asked seven of the athletes to share some insight on how they are preparing for True Grit Epic. These women might consider themselves to be "normal", but we think they are superheroes for training for such a big race.

What are tips for training with kids?

Raeshell Sutherland: The biggest thing that has helped me fit training into my life with two young kids is to get up really early. I am NOT a morning person, but had to make 5:30am spin class a priority. I also planned each week on Sunday. I sat down with my husband and scheduled rides when he was home, we made it part of the family calendar. It has also been VITAL that my hubby was supportive of what I was doing. He has been so amazing to hang out with the kids on his "days off" even if he was sleep deprived. My family and kiddos are my huge support system, can't do it without them.


Why do you like about endurance racing, and what piece of advice would you give to anybody interested in getting into the sport?

Nancy Russell: I like endurance racing because I like to push myself and see what I am capable  of doing.  I’m messed up that way. The worse the suffering gets the more fun I start having.  I keep doing it because I need something of my own. Endurance racing is my thing. As a mom of 4 I get a little worn out helping everyone else and I think it’s so important for us Moms to have something we love to do that is ours. My advice would be to make sure you pace yourself and save some gas for the end, it’s tough and technical till the very end! Also never stop fueling! I set a timer on my watch to remind me to eat and drink every 30 min. All day!  It’s key.


What is your favorite part of training for a big race?  

Julie Morreale: The best part about prepping for True Grit for me has been the group rides.  50 miles is pretty good motivation to get out and ride even when it's cold, or snowing, or might rain. 

What has been the hardest part about training?

Jessica Ashurst: Two components have played into training being difficult. First I was sick for most of December and January. Also, a hard thing about training in the winter has been to go out riding even when it's really cold, and conditions of the trails can be a big unknown. Some days the conditions are perfect, other days the snow is soft or thawing. The warm winter was nice, except that the local trails were often unrideable. Recent cold temperatures have been a double edge sword: it's hard to get myself geared up to go out, but generally the trail conditions will be better


What have you done to feel mentally prepared for such a long and technical trail?

Danita Ritter: My motto has always been “Find strength in pain and Keep pushing” I know that I can do anything I put my mind to. I think about this race every time I go to the gym and get on my bike to train. I watch YouTube videos of Zen & Barrel Roll when I’m on my rollers.

What has been the greatest challenge in training this winter?

Angela Wright: Easy answer: TIME! Always feeling like it’s hard to fit training in due to work and “single-Mom” life!


What #1 item are you going to have with you on race day?

Kelly Konopa: Water and a bladder to carry it in and drink it from!  From experience I know that the biggest way for me to bonk on a long ride is by dehydration.  I don't know the forecast for race day yet, hoping for cooler temps, but it'll certainly be warmer than the long training rides there this winter, and there's no shade on the course.  The feed zones for refills will be really nice.

Meet the WomenMTB Members Riding True Grit Epic

Ever wonder what it’s like to train for a brutal bike race? WomenMTB club president, Raeshell Sutherland, gives us some insight into one of the gnarliest races in Utah, True Grit Epic. Read below to hear more from each of the members of WomenMTB club about their approach to preparing for such a hellacious race.

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"True Grit Epic", if that doesn't sound intense to you then I don't know what does. I'm thinking John Wayne walking through the sunset dust with his clanking spurs and blinding sheriff star kinda intense. With over 6,500 feet of climbing over 45 miles of red dirt and sandstone, some of the most technical terrain in St. George, Utah and hissing Gila Monsters, this annual early season race is not for the faint of heart.


A few women, sitting around a camp-fire after a halloween costume night ride, egged each other on to sign up for this early season (2nd weekend in March) endurance mountain bike race. Those few women turned into 13 who registered and paid and have been training since December. The True Grit Epic is a new adventure for most of us. We are typically downhill junkies who pedal, but rarely longer than a few hours. This challenge is bringing us closer together and making us stronger, better riders. Take a moment and meet these rad and inspiring women.

Raeshell Sutherland: (WomenMTB president and founder)

My mantra has been, "I can do hard things." I can't explain why, but I needed to do something that was a major stretch for me personally and something I would be proud of when completed. There are so many people that 50 miles on a MTB is really no big deal, I am NOT one of these people. Signing up for a race, I knew, would be the only way I would train through the winter, a time when I usually get more sluggish and gain weight. To be honest, training over the winter has been the hardest part. I HATE the trainer, it's hard to get to the gym with my husband's work schedule, so I took up snow biking and so far, so good. Training is going well. I did get sick a few times, also a challenge of training in the winter (Flu season, bleck!), but overall I am on track. I feel like I could at least finish the race at this point so am now working on getting faster.


Angela Wright: (Bingham Cyclery owner)

I've been riding bikes for almost 30 years. I've never been a racer, but I do like to challenge myself. This is the second year that I've taken on stretch goals by signing up for races that scare me a little bit. I've done plenty endurance events and have wanted to do the True Grit race for a lot of years, but have always been intimidated by the Zen Trail section of the course. Since I signed up, I've made it my focus to master that trail. Each time that I ride it, I clear more obstacles and overcome more fears. I've actually come to really like riding it, which has translated in me taking more risks and getting better on other technical trails that I ride. The next part of my goal for this race will be to piece it all together and work through the different power demands of the course. Forty-five miles of singletrack and 6,500 feet of climbing will either kill me or motivate me to keep pushing forward. My real "race" goal: Complete it, not: Compete it. Either way, the journey has already been worth it!


Shannon Casson:

Why in the hell would I sign up for such a challenging race? That's a great question I ask myself at least once daily! It's really an excuse to get into better bike shape early season, a fun way to meet more ladies to ride with, escape to the desert in winter, to learn new trails in the St. George area and of course to push myself. Grateful to have a bunch of ladies training who are super motivating and help me to avoid hitting the snooze button (most mornings)!  

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Kelly Konopa:

I started mountain biking a year ago and have completely fallen in love with it!  Before that I did endurance races in other disciplines -- road triathlons up to Half Ironman distance and ultrarunning up to 50 mile distance.  When I was in St. George while the True Grit Epic race was happening last year the seed was planted, I could combine my love of endurance challenges with my newfound love of mountain biking.  I threw out the idea of doing it to the ladies in the group and was excited when a bunch jumped on board with me!  I'm currently in shape for medium distance rides after doing a ton of biking this year, but am ramping up training to handle the longer time/distance, so far it's going great!  My goal is to finish before the cut-off time, and not break any bones in the process!

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Danita Ritter:

I am a regular gym rat and always looking for something to train for. I love racing! I may not be the fastest or the best but competing helps me set goals for training and push myself to be better. When my WomenMTB buddy Kelly K asked if I wanted to race True Grit I said Hell Yes! I am turning 50 this year and I want to do some epic events to welcome this big milestone. My training for True Grit is weight training 3x a week, trainer or fat biking 2-3x a week and treadmill intervals one day a week. This training program has been intense but I have seen great gains in just 3 weeks.


Jenn Hess:

Hi! I'm Jenn Hess from Wyoming. Seeing as this year pretty much stinks for skiing, I have been focusing on some mountain and snow biking, gym workouts, and running. I'm probably not in tip top riding form, but I think I'll survive. I love riding in Utah and haven't been to Southwest Utah in a few years. I also really like riding with Shannon. I thought, since we live so far away, why not make it an adventure and join her in a race? I get to have fun with a friend, ride some rad trails, push myself, and hopefully make some new friends in the process!


Piper Sadler:

My fitness level? Fitness level = awesome sauce ;) not sure how to rank myself on that. Raced Enduro last season and some midweek series before that. Why would I sign up for such a challenging race? because I love a suffer fest! Also I like mental challenges and I know physically I can do this if I say and I can so I want to prove it to myself. Let’s crush it!!!


Andee Bouwhuis:

My name Andee Bouwhuis and I am still questioning what state of sanity I was in when I committed to True Grit.  My training to date has consisted of lifting heavy weights 3 days a week, riding my trainer a couple of days a week, running at least twice a week, and swimming once a week so I am pretty sure, my fitness level for mtn biking is probably sitting at the bottom of the sewer system somewhere... but hey, at least I don't have anywhere to go but up!  I am approaching this "race" as an opportunity to grow and see how my mental game tackles the challenge.  My ultimate goal..... finish the race within the time allotted and still have a heart beat when I cross the finish line.

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Sarah Kaufmann:

My name is Sarah Kaufmann, I am really excited to do True Grit this year. It has been on my radar since its inception but this will be my first attempt. I am a cycling coach and professional racer. I have been lucky enough to race my bike all over the world. I love technical courses, the more rocks the better! So True Grit is really appealing. I am approaching the race with excitement and an open mind after a different fall and winter training season. I am curious to see where my body is at and no doubt this will be a good gauge and test. I also love when it works out that my coaching athletes are lining up at the same start line. I have several athletes competing at True Grit and I am looking forward to learning from all of them, being inspired by them and experiencing the race through their eyes. Photo by Dave McElwaine.


Julie Morreale:

Hello!  I’m Julie Morreale and the True Grit is will be my first race ever.  Honestly, I’ve never ridden more than 30 miles on any kind of bike so the length of this race will be my toughest challenge.  I signed up for this event to for fitness motivation (I tend to avoid cross country riding like the plague).  I’m so thankful for the support network of the other WomenMTB ladies riding True Grit.  It’s been pretty exciting to see everyone’s training progress and I can’t wait to see what we are capable of on race day.  This is not something I would have tried to tackle on my own!


Jessica Ashurst:

Hi! My name is Jessica Ashurst. I am going into my 5th mountain bike season, and am not sure what got into me signing up for True Grit! Peer pressure I guess. 🤪 No matter the reason, it has helped me stay motivated to ride throughout the winter. Even though i haven’t been able to train as much as hoped, I’m still determined to ride on race day and go as far as my body will let me. The other ladies from womenMTB signed up to do True grit have been such a motivation! I’m so excited to start the season off on this crazy ride.

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Birgit Reeves, Nancy Russell

* And a major shout out to all the club members, friends, and family that have helped these women train!

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I have learned that there is strength in numbers. The True Grit Tribe has made a challenging race and off season training period, possible and even enjoyable. Not only do we motivate each other to stay dedicated, we also have had opportunity to get to know each other in a way we never would have. Through our training rides and chats about the race, I have made life long friends that I will always rely on for a little motivation to keep going, in riding or in life. The race will be over soon, but these friendships will last a lifetime.