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This little story begins with me choosing to begin it in April 2023 at the All Bodies on Bikes chapter leader retreat.  For one magical weekend I went to a place that was a bit scary, and found the bike community I had long been searching for.  Throughout this weekend I heard from new friends I admired about this cool bike ride/festival in Oklahoma…


I wondered if i was cool enough for this ride


In September 2023, I was visiting my parents in Maryland when registration opened up and I found myself sitting in their basement, my hands typing in my credit card number and signing up to ride 100 miles before I truly realized what I had committed to.

cue: hardcore training montage (waking up at 2 am every day, running 50 miles uphill both ways carrying a sack of small cars on my back, eating raw eggs, you get the idea)

Exceeeptttt… none of that actually happened… believe it or not…  Since November I’ve done a couple of bigger rides, got slightly distracted by another goal with some silly pals of going on a bikepacking overnight every month of 2024, and cooked a looottt of yummy food.


Decidedly did not really train for a 100 mile ride.


Well who cares?  Not me apparently, so I set off to drive across the country for a bike ride I still wasn’t totally sure I was committed to completing.

Monday I drove 9 hours to Pittsburgh.  Margot sweetly hosted me for 2 nights, and we biked all over Pittsburgh, ate good food, and caught up about so many important things.  The sun was rising as I drove over one of the many yellow bridges out of town on Wednesday morning, settling into another long drive with Imogen Binnie’s iconic trans novel “Nevada” to help the hours fly by.

Wednesday night in a shitty motel in St. Louis, mediocre dinner, decent cocktail, strangely straight queer district, falling asleep to the sounds of the busy highway.


Thursday morning I was up before sunrise, putting my bike on the car and cruising out of the motel, extremely excited to get to Oklahoma (never imagined I’d say that in my life).

My weekend housemates arrived in Stillwater with grand entrances, and my excitement only grew.  After one second of settling in we all put on our denim outfits and rode the few blocks to the center of town for a lil group ride (which was more than lil).  People Were Making Some Important Content For Their Brands.

We rode, we got dirty, we drank some free beer, we watched the sunset.  I met some beautiful people including a very cool framebuilder I have been absolutely obsessed with for a while (liberation fab).  We rode home.  We put on less dirty clothes.  We ate food (wild).  We went to a party with bike industry people.  I felt rlllyyyy awkward.  Then I started talking to folks and met more very cool people who are doing some very cool bike things and we yelled into each other’s ears so we could socialize while the music was loud. Then we went home and sleeeept.

Friday was the expo.  Pretty cool.  Slept in a bit, got a cute little tea at this cute little cafe with Lizz (it was their birthday sooooo that’s pretty important).  Went to my shift at the ABOB tent and had a blast evangelizing, meeting people, and catching up with friends from last year.  

Mid afternoon I went to this community organized meetup for non-binary riders, which was so beautiful.  Connecting with other queer folks, sharing feelings about Oklahoma and recent events, talking about bikes and lives and our local communities all watered my favorite seed- that bikes are about so much more than just wheels and pedaling.  This real connection to communities, queer and trans joy IN OUR BODIES, liberation, tangible freedom of movement, this is why I care so deeply about bicycles.

Friday at 6 was the riders meeting, and this is when my irritating critical perspective perked up and a bit of the jaded feeling I was stifling until now came to the surface.


In short, there were some wacky things going on here, starting with the fact that we all showed up for a riders meeting at 6 and were treated to a 40 minute rock and roll show featuring race director and cult of personality Bobby playing guitar and literally yelling into the mic “I need more me”.  The saving grace was that Marley gave the keynote and did such an awesome job with humor and self awareness to bring us all together and remind everyone that all bodies are good bodies, all bikes are good bikes, and all rides should be celebrated.

I was very grateful to be with friends who I could talk to about these frustrated feelings.  These things can be so lonely and isolating, and kind of scary when everyone seems like they’re completely into it except me.

We rode to the big ABOB group house chatting and met friends and new friends and ate dinner and celebrated being together and being very cool, and then we rode home and I freaked out trying to get my bike together and filled with snacks and water for the big day.


Then I laid in bed and didn’t sleep because why would my body let me sleep that would make things too easy.

Saturday, I rode my bike all day.  There were too many beautiful moments to recap them all.  I rode with lots of incredible people, I got some very kind compliments on my bike (well deserved), I breathed every breath (even the hard ones) with a healthy combination of gratitude and glee.

I felt so much joy and appreciation for bicycles, for dirt, for the land.  purple flowers, red dirt, purple hubs, red dirt (in my eye).  the white lattice on my gloves dyed brown from dirt, the brown leather palms streaked white from sweat.

Some pics of dirt, bikes, and cuties!

Every big ride I feel like I am in the right place.  I don’t often feel this way, but when I am riding my bike, especially bikepacking or on a big ride, I feel the love of being where I’m meant to be.


Despite all that gooey shit, I really hit some low points.  For a few hours in the middle, I was focusing all my energy on just moving forward.  The sun was hot, I needed more food, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish.  I had to remind myself to be present, that this moment was passing and I wanted to savor even the discomfort of the moment to keep it with me.


When I hit the rest stop at mile 88 I was pretty beat.  I sat down in the grass for a while.  I drank a sprite.  I found some energy to stand up and ride again and cruised through the fun singletrack section and into the last 10 miles.

I was too exhausted by the time I got here to do anything creative

Seemingly all of a sudden we got off gravel and into town, and I realized I was actually going to do this, I was almost there.  The sunset was approaching as I rode down 7th ave towards the finish, the sounds of music, cowbells, people cheering and talking, all growing louder until I was in the final block and the crowds were on either side of me, hearing the cheers and catching sight of my friends, tearing up and knowing I had moved through something important for my body and my self.

And then I showered and we partied and danced and I felt free.  We came outside and yelled and danced and waited for the DFL to arrive, showering them with champagne, beer, and love after a huge day.

I had no trouble falling asleep that night.

I started writing a long story about my history with bikes since the last time I rode a century (in 2014), about fatphobia and disordered eating, about unlearning a lot of harmful things and accepting myself, about how deeply I value being around others who are prioritizing joy in their movements.  but it is a long story so i will save it for another time.  i will share some of the thoughts and reflections that i found while i was riding in the dirt for 11 hours on saturday.

i’ve never done an event of this magnitude before, and there is something really special about the confluence of all these silly bike people.  there is something even more special about the connections between affinity groups at events that historically have not felt welcoming to those outside of traditional bike race culture.

While I was riding, I was reflecting on being alone and being with a group.  My ride had moments of togetherness, and moments of solitude.  Moments of intentional riding together, and moments of brief connection.  Through all these moments, I am reminded of the universe we each have inside of us, how random and chaotic and entropic our paths through the world are, and how we are each ultimately alone.  And, I am reminded that this ultimate solitude is something we all share, and that vulnerability and kindness can transform strangers into friends.

I am immensely grateful to Marley and Kailey for the community they have built around All Bodies on Bikes, and grateful to be a part of it.  And I am immensely grateful to all the friends I connected with this weekend and the new friends I made.  This world is truly magical.

final day of driving!

ps: i finally got home after two 11+ hour days of solo driving.  and Liz and i made yummy dinner together.  it was a long week without cooking!  i'll be sharing more yummy recent foods soon (i'm saying it so now i'm accountable)

tired bodies, warm bellies :)

****My trip this week took me across 3000+ miles of stolen land.

I drove a stupid car and very actively participated in ruining the earth that I claim to love.

My ride on Saturday was through land which the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, and the Osage, Kiowa, Kickapoo, Wichita, Quapaw, Pawnee, and Seminole Nations steward.   Several of these nations were forcibly re-located here amidst ongoing Native genocide.

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