Skirts in the Dirt was my first race! Women gave each other words of encouragement out on the trail and it was awesome! I love our West Michigan mountain biking community and the fact that we are there to build each other up in a world where far too often people try to break each other down.
I originally thought I wouldn’t like all the roots and rocks from riding in the woods as a kid, but now I look forward to the rock sections and I scope out rocks to climb over! Skirts in the Dirt was my first mountain bike race, and since then I have gone on to race Peak 2 Peak and Iceman - and I won both in the fat bike category!
When I discovered mountain biking, and how much fun you could have in the woods, then getting to chat about how much fun you had with your friends over a beer afterwards is priceless, it’s my favorite kind of biking! Something great about mountain biking, at least for me instead of road riding or triathlons where I started out, is that you can constantly improve at something while mountain biking, instead of just focusing on getting faster. Some days you can roll over a log that you couldn’t the week before, or drop down a rock roll without dabbing or breaking your jaw (hehehe) - not to mention you don’t have to worry about cars and the scents and scenery are much better! I love the opportunity Skirts in the Dirt provides to have a space where you can ride alongside other WTF folks, it usually involves a lot of laughter and encouragement from others, finding creative ways to wear high heels and a skirt while racing, such a great event!
In a world where my mind is being pushed and pulled in a million directions, Mountain Biking allows me to clear my head and focus on one thing: exactly what I’m doing - riding my bike! It’s the place where all of my stresses can disappear and I can be exactly who I am and be where I am, be it on an enjoyable solo ride or random crazy fun times with all of the friends that I’ve made while mountain biking! Racing fulfills my constant need to challenge myself, setting and striving to achieve goals. The great thing about racing a mountain bike is that your goal might not always be how long it takes you to finish - sometimes it’s clearing an obstacle I couldn’t clear before. Skirts in the Dirt presents an entirely different racing experience than any race I’ve ever done. There’s no pressure to do anything other than to HAVE FUN! I especially enjoy the opportunity during the race to motivate and to guide others. Though mountain bike races can generally have a friendly environment, Skirts in the Dirt has a special kind of “all for one” ambiance I absolutely love to mix in with my generally intense racing season.
I started riding in late 2015, about a month before the first Skirts in the Dirt. I hadn’t ridden a bike since middle school (I won’t tell you how long ago THAT was! lol!) Mountain biking helps me be a kid again! I get to get dirty, play hard, and completely be in the moment! Now I’m the local Liv Cycling Ambassador and I host events and clinics for women of all ages and skill abilities!
I’ve been a cyclist for 12 years. I raced at a professional level for 10 of those 12 years. I’ve raced on the road, velodrome, cyclocross, mountain and fat bike, but have focused mainly on being a tandem pilot for the blind for the US Paralympic National Team. My stoker, Karissa Whitsell, and I won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. I love to race because it’s fun to go fast, push the limits, and continually improve.”
I absolutely love the community around mountain biking! There are just so many AWESOME, FUN, TOUGH women out there! It has been a privilege to meet the bad ass women riding Skirts in the Dirt - I love seeing new faces every year. Welcome to the sport!
Being on my bike has introduced me to so many incredible people and has taken me to so many beautiful places! We are so spoiled in Michigan with miles and miles of fun trails and I love being a part of our community. My favorite part about riding is talking afterwards with friends about all the cool stuff we’ve seen! So stoked to host Skirts this year at Wahlfield!