Meet Karen Pritchard. She’s a member of Source Endurance sponsored gravel team Panaracer/Stan’s NoTubes p/b Bicycle X-Change, with some fantastic results such as

  • Dirty Kanza 200- 2015: 2nd place finish in age group and 7th overall female
  • Land Run 100- 2015/2016- 1st in age group and 2nd overall female

Karen loves gravel and was so kind to share some of her advice to women who want to try gravel racing for their first time as well as well as someone looking to progress in the sport.
What advice do you have for a new woman in your cycling discipline before her first event?
For longer endurance races- preparation is key. You need to make sure you have been doing some longer rides and making sure your bike is set up properly. Seat issues and shoe issues become magnified over a period of time. Have a nutrition plan and make sure you have tried the products you are using prior to race day. Set a timer on your Garmin to remind you to drink/eat every 15-20 minutes. Make a checklist of supplies that you will need on race day and organize them the night before. If there are SAG stops make sure everything is organized and ready to go so you can minimize your stoppage time. Set a goal for yourself and then relax and have fun!
What advice do you have for someone up and coming and trying to reach the top level in your cycling discipline?
Get a coach! They will help you prepare for your goal events and make sure you are on track with your training. I find the prescribed workouts are much more beneficial than a group ride or a ride you do on your own with no definition of intensity. Also, do as many races/rides as possible to gain experience on different types of gravel roads.
What is your next event?
Dirty Kanza 200
Thanks Karen for sharing your advice and Panaracer/Stan’s NoTubes p/b Bicycle X-Change for being such a great program to be associated with. Interested in learning about another woman’s first gravel race experience? Read Source Endurance clients Casey Cohenmeyer’s first Belgian Waffle Ride.
Check out some of our other articles on Gravel Riding and Racing.