Lincoln, Neb. (June 29, 2022) – The Pirate Cycling League, hosts of Garmin Gravel Worlds, have reached their 2022 goal of 1000 Women of Gravel Worlds. Composed of runners, cyclists, and volunteers from 43 states and 7 countries, Garmin Gravel Worlds 2022 will have more than 1000 women signed up to participate in the event.
With nearly 40% event participation being female, and more than 1000 women across the 5 disciplines and distances, Garmin Gravel Worlds will be one of the largest gatherings of women on dirt in 2022. For each female participant, the Pirate Cycling League has raised $15 per rider – $15,000 total – to Nebraska’s NICA GRiT (Girls Riding Together) to help encourage and foster the next generation of female cyclists.
According to Garmin Gravel Worlds co-promoter, Jason Strohbehn, the movement started from conversations with sponsors, who said 28% women’s participation at Gravel Worlds 2021 was nearly double the industry average.
“Initially, we were embarrassed by our women’s participation numbers, and it then became embarrassing to learn that it was double the industry average,” Strohbehn said. “We quickly set a monumental goal to triple the number of women we’ve ever had at Gravel Worlds and obtain more than 35% women. We wanted a goal that was not only going to push ourselves, but also be big enough to encourage an entire industry.
“We may have opened the door for this to happen, but this achievement was accomplished from the Gravel Family encouraging one another. We intentionally spent $0 on advertising to open up the budget to donate as much as we could.
“Most importantly, we wanted to show the world that women want to be a part of the gravel community without being coerced by ad dollars to do so. It’s been amazing to see the support and encouragement by women towards other women.”
According to Garmin Gravel Worlds co-promoter and event founder, Corey Godfrey, the growth of women in the sport is encouraging.
“The participation of women in the first Gravel Worlds in 2010 was less than 10 percent,” Godfrey said. “It’s taken over a decade to make meaningful progress and I’m amazed by the support and passion for inclusion within the community. We still have room for improvement; especially with our LGBTQ+ and BIPOC friends, and we’ll keep working to ensure all feel welcome and included at Garmin Gravel Worlds.”
According to Garmin Gravel Worlds outreach coordinator, Sofia Gibson, when they first set the goal of 1000 women participating, she didn’t believe it could happen.
“I’m so thankful to have been proven wrong,” Gibson exclaimed. “This has been such an incredible accomplishment that was made possible by YOU. I’m so excited to welcome the 1000 women to Lincoln and celebrate each of their finishes from the first to the last. I’m also honored to be one of 1000 women and am so thankful our gravel family gets to be part of ‘herstory’.”
The Gravel Worlds team would like to acknowledge the work that is being done and has been done to make 1000 Women of Gravel Worlds possible. Specifically, the countless athletes and influencers who have encouraged more women to get on bikes, and the countless race promoters who have pushed the envelope to get more women into the Gravel Family.
“We can’t wait to see and support those who push the bar up next,” Strohbehn said.
Registration for Gravel Worlds 2022 will remain open through August 1, 2022.
In addition to Gravel Worlds 2022, the Pirate Cycling League will also host Randy’s Ride on October 2, 2022. This will be a 100% fundraising event. Only $5 entry fee and options to donate to several ‘Pirate approved’ non-profit organizations. Register at https://www.bikereg.com/randys-ride.
Note: Images and information used in this post were provided to Riding Gravel by MGPR/Garmin Gravel Worlds