Colorado’s new gravel bike event will open up 200 more spots to encourage additional women to participate in the inaugural year.
SBT GRVL, the new gravel bike experience in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, today unveils a new initiative to diversify participation and encourage more women to sign up for the event’s inaugural year. Although the event sold out within six days, a week-long social campaign will unfold today leading into the reopening of registration for 200 additional females starting February 25.
With the move, founders Amy Charity, Ken Benesh, and Mark Satkiewicz take action on their shared commitment to get more women to the start line of the inaugural event. SBT GRVL is an experience designed to remove barriers. The event will offer an experience for cyclists of all levels to celebrate bikes and gravel together in a welcoming environment. No matter experience level, bike type, age or if the rider is male or female, there’s an amazing riding experience offered at SBT GRVL. Riders can enjoy a 37-mile introduction to the area’s unrivaled gravel roads on the Green course—on any type of bike—or saddle up for the ultimate challenge on the 141-mile Black course.
SBT GRVL will award a $28,000 prize purse that will be equally split among men and women riders taking on the 141-mile Black course.
“Since the launch of our event in October we’ve gained so much support, and with that, a fast-growing community. With the event sold out, we now have a huge opportunity – and a responsibility – to offer another invitation to get more women riders of all ability levels to be part of the SBT GRVL experience. It’s the right thing to do,” said Charity, co-founder of SBT GRVL and former professional road racer for the U.S. National Team.
The invitation will be in the form of a social media campaign in which SBT GRVL will highlight inspirational stories and insights from participating female athletes. The women riders who will be sharing their stories range from amateurs to pros and will be using the hashtag #SBTPARITY across their social media channels.
To create as much visibility as possible, SBT GRVL founding sponsors Canyon Bicycles, Stages Cycling, Primal Wear, Carmichael Training Systems, Chamois Butt’ r, Orange Seal, GU Energy Labs, Mavic, Panaracer, Smartwool, and other race sponsors will also be sharing the announcement across their social channels.
It’s no secret that participation rates are significantly lower among women in cycling races and events. SBT GRVL will hold a symposium discussing this issue on August 17—the day before the race—to support #SBTPARITY and showcase inspirational women in cycling. In addition to a course overview, SBT GRVL will host athlete interviews and lead topics for discussion, including parity and inclusivity in cycling.
“This campaign is really important to Ken, Amy and I. Parity and inclusivity are in our brand DNA, so we want to take the necessary steps to achieve this from the beginning,” said Satkiewicz, co-founder of SBT GRVL. “Our amazing group of sponsors and athletes are excited to spread the word on our commitment to host more women riders at our inaugural event. We’re hopeful that we’ll fill these spots quickly.”
In future years of the event, SBT GRVL is committed to a 50/50 male/female participation rate goal.
Get inspired by following the stories of #SBTPARITY on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook this week. Check out the full group of featured female riders here – the same page where women are invited to register starting Feb. 25 using the code SBTPARITY.