Back in 2013, Julie Crittenden and Ady Bee Lane of the Seattle-based Sturdy Bitch Racing Team loaded up their bikes and headed north to Squamish, B.C., to compete in the Hot on Your Heels all-women’s enduro race. Inspired by the pure fun of racing with their sisters up North, the ladies, along with their teammates, set their sights on bringing the first women-specific enduro race to the States. “We wanted to create a race that was inviting and supportive without watering down its competitive edge,” said Angela Sucich, Sturdy Bitch team member and Media Director for the Sturdy Dirty Race Series.
In 2014 the Sturdy Bitches, with plenty of help from family, friends, and Washington’s Friends of Capitol Forest, held their first Sturdy Dirty all-women’s enduro event. The race was an immediate success with 125 female riders showing up to shred. The following year, word had spread and registration numbers rose. The team then moved their event to Tiger Mountain where 229 women raced. Each year the race had sold out, but in 2016, it sold out within 24 hours. Clearly ladies were looking to race, and the magic in them-there hills keeps bringing them back for more each year.
I asked Sucich what is happening out there that is making the Sturdy Dirty so alluring? “We’ve created our dream race,” she explained, “something we’d love to race in ourselves, and something that the whole community—men and women—can rally around and get involved with. The Sturdy Dirty is our love letter to racing.” Beginner racers are bolstered by pre-rides and clinics to help them get used to the trails and connect with a riding buddy. For the more seasoned competitor, the racecourse itself offers over four and a half miles of trail and plenty of vertical descents.
What may be most enticing is the awesome-factor of this race. When competition comes face-to-face with fun, there’s never a dull moment on the course. There are costumed volunteers and course marshals who have labored for months over their ensembles; bacon hand-ups for those craving something greasy and delicious; snow cone rewards at the top of the climb; and a new car for everyone who crosses the finish line. No wait, that’s Oprah’s deal, but who needs a car when you got a bike, right?
This year, with the help from presenting partner Roam Events and title sponsor Liv Cycling, Sturdy B Racing is now offering its first women’s enduro race series. Women racers can now choose between three different race venues taking place in Seattle, Washington (6/17/17), Oakridge, Oregon (8/19/17), and Big Bear, California (10/14/17). This is our year Ladies! With three races to choose from, there’s no reason to not get out there and let the shredding begin!
For more details and to register now, go to www.sturdydirty.com.
Article by Megan Jaffe.