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Faded Shapes

BWR NC Race Recap

BWR events never fail to deliver a fun atmosphere, grueling courses and plenty of community time with fellow racers. After completing the BWR North Carolina course, I can confidently say this might be one of the hardest gravel races that exists in the world. It was advertised as 13,000ft of climbing, but for my ride I clocked 131 miles with a whooping 15,640ft of climbing….wowza! If that number tells you anything, it means we were either riding up or down for most of the day. Even the single track sectors were punchy and mimicked somewhat of a rollercoaster feel out there. This was my first time riding in this area and it was absolutely beautiful through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The course had a great mix of what I would call “true gravel” roads but a fair bit of road and single track sectors. I also appreciate that BWR does such a good job with traffic control out on course; I always feel safe at these races because of their commitment to rider safety through intersections. Now your safety on the dirt sectors…that part is up to you!


For my race, I ended up second place in the pro women’s field. With the nature of the course, there was naturally some yo-yo’ing given rider’s strengths and weaknesses. It was a drag race from the start since the first selection at Reeb Ranch single track came early at only 7 miles into the race with a mostly downhill start. For most of the day, the top 3 women were together with a small group of men. I opted to push the pace on a lot of the climbs in hopes to tire other riders out on such a long day and minimize loss on the techy sections as that is generally my weakness as a fairly new rider. A lot of the dirt descents were pretty loose so you had to be cautious to avoid flats but also to keep rubber side down! I really enjoyed the road descents, many of which were windy - but in a good way. Like the ones you can really lean the bike and whip your body around the turns and feel like a kid out there as you meander through the mountains at over 40mph. What a thrill! The top 3 women split up around mile 80 through a dirt sector that included numerous rocky sections and what seemed like never ending switchbacks. From here, I went on to ride most of the day alone but occasionally riding with some of the men. One of my many highlights was linking up with Zach Allison on one of the gravel descents and trying to hold his wheel which really tested my skills! As many of us experience this, it’s often quite nice to see friends or make new friends at the end of such a long day smashing pedals.


I also want to address the numerous comments regarding the women’s podium at this event. A transgender athlete won the women’s overall, which has caused some controversy. For those following women’s road cycling, you are aware of the UCI rule that this is currently allowed. Rather than sharing my personal opinions about the UCI rule, I think it’s most important to recognize that all athletes, no matter how they identify, should have a space to compete and race. Additionally, underneath all helmets is a face and a person who deserves respect, dignity and a safe space to ride bikes. In the future, I feel a separate category may be appropriate but event promoters are also learning what is best to preserve both female cycling while also creating an inclusive space for all to ride. These things take both time and grace to resolve. I plan to continue to support and attend BWR events in the future as I trust they will navigate this with respect for all riders going forward. I want to thank all event promoters for the work they do and the difficulty they face in these decisions.



Now, for those that like the numbers and the nitty gritty details on the bike:

  • Bike: Trek Checkpoint SLR

  • Drivetrain: SRAM 1x with 46t front chain ring and 10-50 rear cassette

  • Wheels: HED Emporia GC wheels

  • Tires: WTB Vulpine 40’s

  • Total Distance: 131 miles

  • Total Elevation gain: 15,640ft

  • Fueling: 110g of carb per hour in form of Skratch Superfuel, SIS gels and peach rings


Photo credit: UnRoad UNLTD for Belgian Waffle Ride

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Looking forward to following more of Paige's events and learning more about her and her career. Hopefully the tide is turning on the "trans" craziness and sanity will win out. Blue Ridge mountains seem like a great place.

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Amelia Rebolo
Amelia Rebolo
Jun 13, 2023

RIP women's sports. So much worked for being trashed by men using it as a retirement career.

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There's an easy solution here...

...when a man shows up at the start-line and they fire the starter's pistol -- all the ladies should just get off their bikes, turn around, and go back to the parking lot.


Let the man go on about his way, all by himself.


It would only take a few peaceful objections of this nature for the organizers/leagues/governing-bodies to realize all the hard work for staging a big sporting ("sport" implies fair & competitive, the Hendersonville race was neither) event will be a complete waste of time & money if they allow this travesty to continue.


Grow some balls and give it a try... 😂 (that's a joke, sorta 😉)

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Congrats on your finish. I think the cycling association is already looking into the rules regarding men identifying as women. You are apparently trying to be diplomatic, but the tide is turning and more and more people are realizing how ridiculous this stuff is. There is no reason to be "inclusive", as the whole point of women's sports is to exclude those who are not women. Men compete against men, women against women.

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Congrats on your podium!! Thank you for being an example of patience, tolerance, and inclusivity in changing times - especially when things don't go as planned. I imagine medicine has trained you to do your best with the information and situation you have in front of you at the time, I believe UCI doing the . It is times like this people show their true colors, and you should be very proud of your work on and off the race course. You will get yours. I am watching and cheering for you!!

A big fan,

Nadine

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