The Road Less Traveled : A 680 Mile Leadboat Odyssey
Posted by Becky Gardner
Boulder pedal crusher Ryan Petry is looking to redefine what racing bikes look like at the professional level. After years of competing, Ryan has decided to take a new look at racing bikes from a more creative approach. Ryan is putting his spin on the Leadboat Challange this summer. The LeadBoat, by its self, is one of the most challenging and vigorous bike events out there. It involves racing the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, followed by SBT GRVL. These two arduous endurance races take place in the Rocky Mountains on the same weekend. Completing either of these races is an accomplishment in and of itself. Ryan decided to raise this challenge to the ultimate level by riding his bike to all the events from his house in Boulder, racing, and riding home. We are beyond excited to help support Ryan in this ultimate test of strength and endurance!
"I've always been driven by my curiosity. Curiosity about what's around the bend, but also curiosity of what I am capable of. These curiosities led me to endurance sports, and eventually endurance mountain biking as that was the best platform where I could push my body while exploring the most terrain. They say pursue a career doing what you love, and that landed me on start lines chasing podiums for the past 6 years. It's not that I don't love racing and competing, but that has never been why I chose this sport. Faced with a lack of motivation, realizing the idea of lining up for a result every other weekend wasn't the life I wanted, I began to think if there could be another way to make a career out of what I love.
I still don't know where my limits lie, and there are definitely more trails and roads to explore, so this year I'm getting back to the roots of why I began riding my bike. The LeadBoat Odyssey began as a crazy idea, but the more I thought about it the more excited I became. I'll be riding my mountain bike 130 miles from my home in Boulder to Leadville on a backcountry, high alpine route. A few days later I will compete in the Leadville 100, immediately following I will ride 120 miles to SteamBoat Springs where the next morning I will line up to take on the 140 mile SBT GRVL. Following this I will ride my gravel bike 180+ miles back home to Boulder on unexplored gravel roads. Transportation, adventure, pushing my limits, and the community are the reasons I love riding my bike, so I designed this challenge and my season around these concepts. By not touching a car on the entire 680 mile journey, choosing routes that I have never been on before, having friends come along to support, and setting the goal of a top 10 at both events I check every box.
This will be the hardest thing I have ever done, and I am more motivated than ever to put in the hard training and make the sacrifices it will take to have a shot at completing it. Instead of preparing with endless intervals and riding the same roads over and over, I will be setting ambitious goals on other epic rides and challenges that I have never been able to justify making time for amidst a busy race season. Each challenge and ride will blend performance and adventure and require unique equipment choices. I'm can't think of a better partner than WTB as all of their products blend performance technology with adventure ready design that I will surely be putting to the test all season long. I can't wait to document this journey in hopes that others get excited about dreaming up a unique ride of their own that checks their boxes, whatever those may be."