It doesn’t matter who is in front of you or who is behind you. It doesn’t matter how fast or far you go. Just get out there and enjoy the ride!
If you are a woman who loves to bike – be it mountain, gravel, or road – or you are new to the sport, you’ll feel right at home here. My goal is to provide inspiration, guidance and encouragement to women of all ages and abilities.
To any reader – if you are looking for ideas for exploring Wyoming and the West by bike, my blog has tons of adventures, big and small. Please subscribe to my blog for the latest shenanigans!
I’ve had the idea for a blog for years but I finally started it while going through breast cancer treatment in 2019. Riding my bike during treatment was my saving grace. It made me feel like myself and helped me cope with the stress. Also, exercise is recommended during radiation because it helps with fatigue. My rides were few and far between but whenever my tires hit the dirt I felt whole again. Unfortunately, one week into radiation I broke my foot.
I was tackling breast cancer like it was an endurance event and kept motoring through life at a fast clip and as a result became exhausted and depressed. When I broke my foot, I hit bottom and I’m sure it was a sign to slow down. I needed something positive to do and this blog was born. I literally couldn’t do anything (but of course kept trying). Because of my mastectomy, nerve damage, and skin damage from radiation using crutches hurt, a lot. I crawled around the house with my bike kneepads or used a wheelchair. It was a low point – to say the least.
I was going to try to keep cancer out of the blog, but if you’ve been there, you know it’s inexorably woven into your life.
I am an ‘accidental athlete’ who has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years. I also have a hand-me-down single-speed Surly cross-check that I ride on gravel, road and single track.
I love the versatility of fatbikes, especially in a place like Wyoming where I often find myself following a cattle trail through the sagebrush in the summer or riding snowy single track in the winter. They aren’t fast, but they are fun — and made for exploring.
I discovered fat bikes at the West Yellowstone Equinox Challenge endurance event when the course was opened in 2012 to “snow” bikes – which is what they were called back then. I left my skis in the back of my truck and spent the next 12 hours riding (and falling) in every conceivable snow condition on a Surly Pugsley named Mabel. Eventually I bought a used Salsa Mukluk. When summer rolled around, I found myself reaching for my fattie, leaving my 27.5 full suspension bike to gather dust in the garage.
About once or twice a year I enter a race or an endurance event, but only if it looks fun. My goal is simply to finish and I’m always at the back of the pack. I’m slow but pretty good at endurance. Funny enough, I am Wyoming’s leader of Back of the Pack Racing: Dead Last Doesn’t Mean Loser.
At winter races I will stop to make a snow angel.
I train sporadically because life is busy. I am a middle-aged single mom of two teenagers with a full-time job. I think there should be a race category for this so that we can all stand on the podium once in our lives. Truly, all of us women are deserving of medals and podiums no matter where we place!
I live in Lander, WY with my children, a goldendoodle named Daisy, and six chickens. Besides biking I like to cross country ski, camp, hike, read cookbooks, and travel. I host female cyclists in the summer through warmshowers.org in my beautiful and cozy Wyoming sheep wagon.
I first started exploring Wyoming by bike when I was 20 and worked and lived at a remote fish hatchery near the small town of Medicine Bow (population 267). I biked on dusty two-tracks every day after work. It was always just me, herds of antelope, and the wind.
In addition to my stint at the fish hatchery, my work as a wildlife biologist and firefighter took me to many places in the West. I have also traveled to many beautiful and remote places around the world — but lucky for me, most of my favorite places are right in my own backyard. I love Wyoming. We have the best of everything and nothing added: abundant and glorious sunshine and wide-open prairies where real cowboys still ride herd. You can ride the Oregon Trail and have the same views the settlers did when they crossed over 100 years ago.
In this busy world, riding bikes is what I do for me. It makes me feel free. Free from everyday responsibilities. Free to explore. I love the views, the wildflowers, and the wildlife, the sunrises and sunsets, the contrast between our deserts and snowy mountains. I ride because it takes me – mind, body, and soul – to amazing new places. I ride because I can.
Before you go, I’d love to connect with you and hear your stories as well so please subscribe to my blog!
Happy Trails, Kathy aka fatbikegirl, Dirt Girl, Sox