Our Community Leader Program
P/C: Dillon Caldwell
we have invited special guest riders who exhibit prowess on the bike and exceptional leadership within their communities.
Our goal is to provide resources to those who have dedicated their time to bettering the lives of those around them through the bicycle so that they may have better access to our event.
We will be announcing riders throughout the coming weeks, so stay tuned as we continue to roll out the roster!
Meet Sarah Sturm! As we were creating this program, our goal was to bring together people who love riding bikes, but also put their communities first. Sarah is an athlete paving her own way to what it means to be a professional in the sport of cycling. She is as fierce of a competitor as she is a role model, working professional, and all around wonderful human.
In her own words, "I ride for the snacks, I ride to suffer, I ride to connect with both community and the land beneath me." Sounds like a perfect match for The Last Best Ride!
To get a feel for her absolutely awesome approach to riding a bike, Check out her feature episode with Wahoo Frontiers.
Follow her on Instagram: @sarah_Sturmy
Before Lentine Alexis became a classically trained chef, she spent 9 years as a professional endurance athlete traveling the world and finding unexpected ways to fuel her endeavors. It had never occurred to her that part and parcel to competing in the world arena in long course triathlon, ultramarathon running and adventure racing would be answering the call of a massive bowl of ramen or a slab of homemade chocolate cake. But this was precisely the discovery that she made about herself, and about the nutritional, psychological, and emotional needs of bodies pushing to be their best.
Over the past 15 years, she's sought to magnify that message with her work as a chef in the sport's nutrition/wellness industries. after spending time as an athlete for Luna Bar/Clif Bar and as the Culinary Director at Skratch Labs, she is presently a candidate for a M.A. in Ayurvedic medicine and develops recipes and menus for athletes at every level of sport from Olympic to every day. She is cooking fuel, but more importantly she hopes to cook up a bravery in her clients and colleagues that encourages them to hang up their fears of food and failure, and dive deeply into their athletic experience. Her debut cookbook, written for athletes and "other overachievers" is due out in fall of 2021 with Roost Books/Random House.
Say hello to Matthew Accarrino. Not only is Matt is an athlete with true grit, but he is also a renowned chef, who was 2014's Food & Wine Best New Chef, a four-time James Beard Foundation Award “Best Chef West” finalist and semifinalist, and whose San Francisco-based restaurant, SPQR, has earned a Michelin star every year since 2012.
He knows how to bring people together around the dining table, and is highly involved with his community on and off the bike as an ambassador for Outride, a non-profit whose mission is to bring the benefits of bikes to more people and children.
Hear Matt tell his own story of how he found cycling and cooking in his Bike Flights Roam feature video.
Say hi to Rosael Torres-Davis. This Puerto Rico native got introduced to cycling during her time in New York City, starting on the track at the beloved Kissena Velodrome, Then onto road racing at the CRCA RACING Central Park women's development series, and so on!
A former Fashion Designer and Milliner (!), Rosael collaborated with designer Lela Rose, and her work has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, online Vogue, and UK Tatler Magazine.
More recently, she works as a Social Media Manager, which allows her more time to ride bikes! And she is a member of king kog sun and air cycloross and mathletes race bikes, NYC- and Philly- based teams, Respectively, that give back to the community through W/T/F clinics, social rides, and more.
Now relocated to Philadelphia, she is discovering the wonders of mountain biking and the awesome trail systems and community the city has to offer.
Did we mention that she is a kick-ass baker too? Follow her on Instagram @ms.fahrenheit27 to see her latest bakes!
We Welcome Community Leader Janel Spilker, a former pro road cyclist with a record of palmares that puts her up there with the heavy hitters. These include the 2011 NRC title, wins at the Cascade Classic and Joe Martin Stage Race, as well as incredible experience racing in Europe at the Giro Rosa, the World Championships, and more.
Now retired, Janel spends more time having fun off-road and managing her business, Janel Cycling, which focuses on cycling camps and coaching athletes of all levels. In her efforts to help more people fall in love with bikes, she works closely with Liv and Giant, and organizations such as The Network for Advancing Athletes (NAA) and COTA.
She has recently relocated to Bend, Oregon, which means more time on gravel and dirt aboard her Liv Devote & Pique 29!
Support Janel by following her on instagram @janelspilker and checking out her website, www.janelcycling.com
Krystal Salvent is a fitness badass who started cycling in 2018 when preparing for America’s Most Beautiful Ride, a 100-mile ride in and around Lake Tahoe, Nevada to help fund research for Leukemia and Lymphoma. That same year, she moved from New York City to Colorado in the chase of more cycling adventures, and we are so pleased that TLBR is on her list for 2021!
Ever since moving to Colorado, she has experienced some of the most exciting times on the bike, connecting with other athletes, who like her, are from disinvestment communities (Black, Brown, and Indigenous folks), who want to let everyone know that they TOO love to ride bikes.
Krystal truly believes that cycling can change people’s lives: “Bikes have allowed me to journey, adventure, and give back but also build a community.” This is why she is a co-leader with Black Girls Do Bikes-Denver helping promote cycling among a community of BIPOC women, femmes, and girls in Colorado. She is also an ambassador of OUTRIDE, a non-profit focused on providing evidence-based cycling interventions to improve social, emotional, and cognitive health in youth.
Lastly, when Krystal is not riding bikes, you can find her hiking, snowboarding and volunteering with the Chill Foundation, an organization focused on inspiring youth to overcome challenges using board sports
Please support Krystal and all of these wonderful Organizations By following them on Instagram:
Logging in the miles, getting more women & girls into tech, and getting more kids on bikes are at the top of Karlene Edwards' everyday to-do list.
Karlene bought her first road bike in 2008 while living and practicing law in NYC. After a running injury, she turned to cycling as a way to de-stress from an all-consuming job. In 2014 after moving to San Diego, Karlene began riding more than ever, instantly falling in love with the sport and the community. In 2020 she logged over 8k miles, completed her first double century solo, and started exploring gravel riding, along with completing many RCC challenges like Compass challenge, Four Ways to Saddle Peak in one day (which she won) and the Rapha Festive 500.
For over two years, Karlene served as a board and committee member for Women in eDiscovery, an organization whose primary purpose is to educate and recruit women into the legal technology field. There she participated in several community outreach programs with high schools and community colleges and has also volunteered with San Diego Girls in Tech. As a result of this community involvement, Karlene was nominated for Mesa College's WBL Employer Champion Award.
Today Karlene serves as an Outride Ambassador, where she looks to introduce, influence, and encourage more women and girls to pick up cycling. Particularly those from low-income communities who may not have the means or opportunity to explore cycling.
Let's Welcome Ted King to our group of Community Leaders!
What can we say about Ted King that hasn't been said already? A New Englander through and through, Ted King's passion for bikes goes far beyond the horizon, always keeping us on our toes, not knowing what he will tackle next.
So yeah, Ted loves bikes, and after a ten-year professional cycling career, he dipped his toes into gravel and got sucked right in. Ted co-owns UnTapped Maple, a sports nutrition company based on the delicious merits of pure maple syrup. On the day-to-day, he is involved in cycling in various ways that go far beyond the occasional race or challenge.
Ted, along with his much better half, Laura (See below!), is co-founder of the gravel event, Rooted Vermont. He also hosts the King of the Ride podcast, creates popular YouTube videos, and coaches a handful of athletes, all with the goal of sharing the knowledge he's gained over his life on two wheels.
Perhaps most noteworthy, Ted helped create the King Challenge, an annual fundraising ride along New Hampshire's seacoast. That recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and reached the one million milestone for the Krempels Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with brain injury.
Give Ted and His Projects a Follow:
Photo Credit: Paul Reitano
Joining our Community Leaders is Laura King! Before sticking with dirt via mountain and gravel bikes, Laura raced triathlons of all distances for over a decade. Co-founder of Rooted Vermont, and with over ten years of experience working in the cycling industry, she is also a co-director of the popular gravel event.
Becoming a new mom in 2020 did not stop Laura (or her husband Ted [See Above]) from adventure-seeking; if anything, bringing little Hazel into the world has spiced up their lives! Starting with staying active late into her pregnancy, living that #vanlife with a newborn while traveling around the country, and balancing endurance training while breastfeeding. You can check out her stories about this ongoing journey Here.
Laura enjoys traveling the world as a family, fostering community, and encouraging the sport's growth.
Support and Follow Laura at:
The next round of Community Leaders comes in a set of two! Whitney and Zack Allison are founders of bike sports co., a company that offers biking expeditions and adventure travel experiences that welcomes all skill levels to Northern Colorado and beyond.
Whitney and Zack share over two decades of pro-level road and gravel racing between them, and Bike Sports is an inclusive avenue for them to bring you along for the ride and see the world as they see it.
Whitney is also a coach with Source Endurance and co-creator of Gravilla Feminina, the first-of-its-kind women's gravel camp. She has a knack for imparting bike wisdom to new female riders and recently started an inclusion scholarship for her other cycling camp endeavors.
Both Whitney and Zack will be racing the Big Horn Sheep course to maximize the fun and allow time for introspection. To her, time alone on the bike while surrounded by nature can be one of life's greatest pleasures, and we agree!
Support Whitney & Zack at:
The Last Best Ride is for the whole family! Meet Community Leaders Keith and Ruth Smith from Glen Rose, Texas. You may have seen this father-daughter team putting down the watts on a tandem gravel bike! And documenting their travels and family adventures in Ruth's blog, Paluxy Pedaler, A must-read!
Having only turned 16 this past December, Ruth is on a mission to make cycling a more popular sport and a more diverse one: "I am a minority in cycling because I'm female, under 18, and not white. One day I want to look out at the starting line and not see a majority of white, middle-aged males."
Meanwhile, her dad, Keith, is the promoter of GottaLoveGravel, a series of *night* gravel rides taking place in Texas, one in Dublin (June 12) and another in Walnut Springs (Oct 2). With these events, he looks to make cycling an essential part of their community and make bikes accessible to everyone. Keith Explains, "As a rider, tandem rider, event promoter, and event helper, my goal is to host and organize self-supported, multi-day rides. Hopefully, that will happen this year."
Support Ruth & Keith at:
Photo Credit: Venny Jane Photography
We are so excited to welcome Brooke Goudy as a Community Leader for this first edition of TLBR! Brooke is a co-leader of Black Girls Do Bike Denver and a high school mountain bike coach. As an ambassador for VIDA, she co-leads an Impact committee that works to eliminate barriers to make mountain biking more inclusive, equitable, and diverse. She recently joined with Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance to establish BIPOC-only bike rides, which she helps lead.
More recently, Brooke wrote a great piece for Grav.elle on the importance of representation.
this summer she is riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a course with more than 2,700 miles with over 200,000 feet of elevation gain and loss.
Growing up on a cattle ranch in California, and after playing NCAA tennis and becoming a published scientist, Alison Tetrick found a new steed: the bike. Since 2009 she raced as a professional cyclist, podiuming at the World Championships in the Team Time Trial, representing the USA National Team, and winning several races around the globe.
Life then took an unexpected turn when Alison suffered a severe traumatic brain injury resulting from a bike racing crash. She didn't know it then, but the life-changing event pointed her towards longer, more solo race efforts in gravel. She won her first gravel race at Unbound in 2017, setting the standing record for the course, and continued to become 3x Gravel Worlds Champion. Alison now races for Specialized Bicycles.
Today, Alison serves on the Board of Directors of USA Cycling and spends her time traveling all over the world enjoying life, riding bikes, and inspiring others to join the sport. She maintains a career as a communications professional, specializing in biotechnology and the endurance sports industry. Alison exudes the power of the bike and how it can be amplified through continuing education and community impact.
To support Alison and her projects, check out her bandana collection. All funds go to norcal Cycling league and The National Interscholastic Cycling Assoication to bring more inclusivity and opportunity into our sport by providing scholarships to student-athletes.
Follow her on Instagram: @AMTetrick
We are excited to welcome as a Community Leader, former Team USA member, and three-time National Champion at the track, Lauren Hall!
Lauren had an illustrious eight-year career as a professional cyclist, with achievements that include a team win at the Giro Rosa and a legendary win at Gent Wevelgem in 2014. She retired after the 2018 Colorado Classic with some great memories, which had less to do with racing as a pro, and more to do with the family and community she built during that time.
“I'm excited to ride in Montana because it's a place I've never been before, and I look forward to exploring that part of the country. There are so many great places I haven't seen here in the United States, and this is one more on my list plus, with the support and camaraderie of the event, I can't wait to pedal around these mountains.” Says Lauren about coming to TLBR this August.
Off the bike, Lauren is the Regional Gift Officer for the USA Cycling Foundation, Homestretch Foundation Board member, MTB Afghanistan Board Member, CycleKids Program Creator, El Grupo Cycling Mentor, Mike Nosco Memorial Ride Leader, and Cycling Camps Clinic Leader.
Support Lauren by following her on instagam @laurentuckerhall, and by checking out and donating to The Homestretch Foundation.
To Kristi Mohn, a bike is a tool to grow community and improve your way of life. It wasn't until her mid-30's that Kristi became reintroduced to life on two wheels. Having been an avid runner all through her 20s, she shifted to the bike as a way to spend more time with her husband and to help save her knees and back from injury.
Then the opportunity to help her hometown of Emporia, Kansas, arrived, and Kristi dove-tailed with her love of riding, becoming an integral part of the UNBOUND Gravel team. Since then, she has ridden many gravel miles and participated in some of the best of the gravel events out there.
"I love to push myself and challenge myself, and I feel that gravel has been the best place for this - we all are riding for our own reasons, and that seems to be just fine. I also have been pretty passionate about what bikes can do for communities - from getting more women on bikes to seeing the economic impact an event can have on a small town - there are lots of changes that happen from two wheels."
Dubbed as a "serial entrepreneur," Kristi loves to think creatively and is always looking for collaborations and meaningful ways for folks to work together towards common goals. There is also a lot to be said about living in a small town and finding ways to make a big impact in your community. Although there isn't a lot of downtime in her life, she loves to encourage family and friends to get involved and help make a difference, even if it's just brainstorming over beers on the back deck.
Support Kristi and her projects By Following @GirlsGoneGravel on Instragram and by signing up for @UNBOUNDgravel
Land Use Statement
As it stands now, these are our course routes. Should they need to be updated in the event of unexpected logging, National Forest Service maintenance emergencies, and/or natural occurrences (i.e. fires, tree downings), registered participants will receive an email update stating such.
We would like to convey the utmost gratitude to all local landowning Neighbors, Big Mountain Resort and Ski Whitefish, The City of Whitefish, The Montana Department of Transportation, Flathead County Department of Transportation, The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, The City of Whitefish, F. H. Stoltze Land and Lumber, and the local ranger districts of the U.S. National Forest Service for their unwavering help and support in getting these routes organized.