By: Kate Nolan
What an exciting year it’s been! My heart is full of gratitude. Earlier this year, my wife, Danielle and I put together an amazing contest for women, the DNK Presents Women’s Adventure Contest. Four women were selected from out of 60 nominations and were taken on an epic four day adventure. A big thank you is owed to Trek Bikes and The Bike Line Indianapolis, who were excited to support this adventure. Their sponsorships made sure our winners had great bikes. Trek Lush full suspension to be exact, and Bontrager mountain bike kits and helmets. An outpouring of support came from many local companies, like Rusted Moon Outfitters, Big Woods Brewery, Central Restaurant Products, Enviro-Max, and Upland Brewing, just to name a few, along with big name, Athleta; our winners were outfitted with great gear. We filmed the adventure, sharing our winners’ stories through a documentary, Live Adventurously.
Shortly after the contest, I found out I was nominated to be a Trek Women’s Advocate by Charlie Revard of The Bike Line and Colin Kuchy of Trek Bicycles. What an amazing honor! I cried when Charlie told me, remembering my first mountain bike, a Trek 920. That bike gave me a new sense of freedom and of self. It came at a time when I was overcoming the loss of my mother to breast cancer. It opened up a community of great people, fun races and awesome social events. It gave me new adventures, new opportunities and hope.
Then, I discovered I had to apply and that they were only going to select 55 women, so I crossed all my fingers and toes and sat down to complete the application. When Amanda called from Trek, I was so excited and so nervous, I think I called her Amber. Lucky for me, she laughed it off and I was still selected as one of the 55 Trek Women’s Advocates out of over 250 applicants. Of course, I cried again; what a complete honor to be a member of the Trek team.
We were all invited to Trek Headquarters in Waterloo, for the Trek Women’s Summit. No big deal, only press from 7 countries, dinner at John Burke’s home and drinks, dinner and riding with Gary Fisher, the founder of the modern day mountain bike and mountain biking pioneer. I don’t think there was a moment that I wasn’t smiling. Seriously, smiling in my sleep, I am sure of it.
Trek selected and brought together some of the most amazing women I have ever met… Candace Shadley – founder of the Trek Dirt Series and all around badass, Sally Marchand Collins – fellow Hoosier and a personal inspiration and mentor, and so many others like fellow mountain bike instructors and guides, Erin Blackiston Wells from Muddy Pedals in Baltimore and Dee Turner – PMBIA Instructor and guide in Alberta, Canada.
Amanda Schulze, Trek Women’s Business Manager, put together an amazing week which made us all feel like part of the Trek family from the moment we arrived: Special gift bags filled with the latest from Bontrager, the cocktail reception with Gary Fisher and being greeted by John Burke in the entrance of his home. I felt like part of something so much greater. Before dinner, John addressed us from the top of his coffee table and discussed how important it is to do the right thing and he’s made that his commitment and the Trek commitment – even when it’s not the most economically expedient path. Trek has lead the way in the bike industry and knows that women want a competitive edge, as well as a bike that looks good, fits and performs. Look at what they’ve done for women’s mountain bike racing and developing role models, like Trek racers Rachel Atherton, Emily Batty and Katie Compton. I’m so honored, proud and thankful to be part of Trek’s first ever women’s advocate program.
My plan for 2016-2017 is to build a women’s biking community in Indianapolis. I’m going to have monthly rides the first Tuesday of each month as well as four clinics and of course one big event. We’ve already kicked things off with a Trek Women’s Ride at the Brown County Epic, a Trek Women’s Halloween Ride on Nebo Trail in Story, Indiana and Trek Women’s Night Ride at Fort Harrison State Park. Please check out my upcoming events and join me for some of these rad events and rides.