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GrassMoots update from Kelly Boniface and something that got most of us into cycling….pure stoke to ride.  She writes……

What’s that you say: how was your race season, Kelly? Wait, you didn’t do ANY races this summer? Are you hurt? Sick? Bike stolen? Burnt out?

None of the above. I didn’t intend to have a summer where I never fastened a number plate to my handlebars, yet here it is September, and that’s exactly how the season played out. After all, other than a pregnancy year or two, I’ve done races of one kind or another for more years of my life than not. 34 years of racing to be exact. Don’t do the math on that one, please.

The STOKE SMILE, riding with new friends during gravel week 2017….to be reunited during the Jensie Gran Fondo in October!

So, what did I do? I rode my bike. A LOT. Really long rides, quick hits on our downtown Emerald Mountain, rides with packs of fast guys, rides with close friends to catch up and chat, lots of rides with tweens and teens, rides with Moots customers and industry friends from around the world, solo head-clearing rides, rides exploring the seemingly endless new trails being built in this Valley, and let me not forget those commuter bike rides. Those of you who know me well, know how proud I am of the fact that I drive a 18 year old Jeep that only has 70,000 miles on it. Cars are coffins.

Between the road, gravel and singletrack, I just may have pedaled more this summer than any other I can recall. It’s amazing how much you can ride when you aren’t tapering or resting for a race!

Stoke smile on a birthday ride.

Here I am trying desperately not to get dropped by the fast guys (see Ken’s Big Ride.)…feel the STOKE!

Ken’s Big Ride 2017—FULL GAS STOKE!

My birthday ride in July was indicative of my summer riding style this year. Great friends of mine have a cabin up near the Continental Divide in Wyoming. Knowing me like they do, they thought that perhaps I’d like to spend my birthday riding my bike up to meet them(of course I would!) The ride is a mix of terrain: some road, mostly gravel, a long stretch of rocky scree fields and double track , and finally ( 5 hours later) a sweet stretch of singletrack to the cabin. I opted for my Moots MootoX RSL as the best tool for the job. And it was! So much fun, in fact, that after the weekend of celebrating with my family and friends (my younger daughter’s birthday was also that weekend) I decided to pedal all the way back to Steamboat. Who cares if I’m a little tired, not like I had a race to rest up for.

Here I am standing in a snow field on the Divide with my beloved mountain bike. If you look closely you can see him smiling, too.

As a youth mountain bike coach for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and a cross country and track coach for the Steamboat Springs High School, I spend a big chunk of my time riding bikes and running with the next generation of athletes. This is extremely rewarding work for my soul. I can’t help but think that maybe that piece of me that thrives in competition is being fed by helping these young athletes achieve their race (and life) goals. Every time that gun goes off for one of my athletes I feel that rush of adrenaline that comes with start of a race.

Here I am riding my road bike home from our cross country meet in Eagle, Colorado. Multi-tasking at it’s finest: I rode the big yellow school bus with the team in the morning (while turning a lovely shade of carsick green), helped coach the athletes and then pedaled the 83 miles home. Don’t let me on that bus!
The kids think I’m a little crazy, but they’ll get it when they are older!
Again, notice the stoke.

Wait, I did have a number plate on my bars this season! Here I am getting ready to ride sweep for the Varsity Girls race at the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League race that was held in Steamboat Springs. It was amazing to see so many current and former pro mountain bike racers out there giving back to the cycling community as coaches. And, never have I received so many cheers for being in last place!

So, what’s next for me? I’ll be heading out to Mill Valley, California for the Jensie Gran Fondo on October 6th. I’m super excited to check out the beautiful roads in an area where I have never ridden. It’s all about the adventure for me now. I’m currently taking suggestions on the next one…hint, hint.

I would never claim to be “retired” from racing. That would be like throwing in the towel on life for me. I am, at my core, a competitor. I just don’t ride to strictly race anymore, but rather ride for the joy of the ride itself.

Thanks for reading and see you out there!

~Kelly B

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