Kaitlyn Boyle

Prescott, Arizona

Everything comes together on a bike...through breathing, pedaling, focusing, finding presence, letting go, balancing...all of these things inherent in riding a bike transfer to my being. I can suddenly breathe, find rhythm, focus, balance, and think better. Confidence, self-expression, and joy come more easily through riding. I’ve learned I am capable of as much as I commit to, that my capabilities are determined by my mind.

Kaitlyn's Kit

My preferred mode of travel is by mountain bike. I was initially drawn to mountain biking as an avenue to explore landscapes in different ways than hiking, rock climbing, rafting, and skiing offer. Additionally, mountain biking merges the technical aspect of adventure sports that I love such as climbing and rafting with the aerobic demands of running…it’s like a more accessible version of backcountry skiing. For these reasons, mountain biking has taken over my life.

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What kind of cyclist are you?
My preferred mode of travel is by mountain bike. I was initially drawn to mountain biking as an avenue to explore landscapes in different ways than hiking, rock climbing, rafting, and skiing offer. Additionally, mountain biking merges the technical aspect of adventure sports that I love such as climbing and rafting with the aerobic demands of running…it’s like a more accessible version of backcountry skiing. For these reasons, mountain biking has taken over my life.

How long has cycling been a part of your life? When did it become more than just “riding a bike”?
Not long…just 5 years. I broke my ankle bouldering and in the long rehab from surgery I was able to ride a bike well before I could run or climb again…in those months I went on my first bikepacking trip (with a 50L backpack for my gear) and raced in my first MTB race, the Whiskey 50 Off-road. Those two experiences in addition to discovering the fun of long, all-day group rides was formative in carving my path as a cyclist.

The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
Here are some thoughts on the highlights of “fun” “painful” and “life changing” experiences on the bike.
1. The Prescott College Geology through Bikepacking course. I was lucky enough to be invited by Kurt Refsnider to co-design and teach the first ever college course on Bikepacking back in fall of 2013. This course proved highly successful and was an absolute blast to teach. We had an amazing group of students, rode fantastic routes, and facilitated a transformative educational experience
2. The L’Aventure Alpine bikepacking trip in the Alps was a huge accomplishment and will remain memorable from the incredible mountains and beauty, international flavor, and challenge. 
3. My first stabs at ultra-racing (Coconino 250 and Arizona Trail 300) have proved to be empowering and addictive.

Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
The Alps. They were spectacularly gorgeous. The route was tough and rugged but every hike-a-bike was worth it. We did have some amazing riding and the beauty of those mountains never disappointed. The cultures and villages added to the uniqueness of the experience. After that trip I’m hooked on international bikepacking.

Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
The Andes… and I wish I could ride in Wilderness areas and Grand Canyon ;)

How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
Everything comes together on a bike…through breathing, pedaling, focusing, finding presence, letting go, balancing…all of these things inherent in riding a bike transfer to my being. I can suddenly breathe, find rhythm, focus, balance, and think better. Confidence, self-expression, and joy come more easily through riding. I’ve learned I am capable of as much as I commit to, that my capabilities are determined by my mind. Most importantly, I’ve learned and am still learning how to quiet my surroundings, body and my mind and ride from my heart. 

How will your future as a cyclist unfold?
I’m excited to continue to pursue exploring as many new, wild and rugged places via bikepacking. Those rides feed my soul and are the most important to me. I’m currently intrigued by and driven to race my bike. I’ve reached “pretty good” status at many sports and want to see what my heart, mind and legs can do if I focus and commit to something.

Who inspires you and your riding?
I’m impressed by and admire many riders for the various feats of physical and mental strength/endurance they accomplish. They show me what is possible. But the people who inspire me are friends that believe in me whole-heartedly and cyclists I know that do what I do or what I want to do and are real people experiencing real-life at the same time.

Favorite Salsa model and why?
Favorite? Impossible. My two favorites are:
1. El Mariachi – I’ve had a steel one and a ti one. I love them both and they both served as my only bike for a time. I love the versatility- I can go for a long road ride, I can fit all I need on the bike for a month of bikepacking, it’s a lean and mean singlespeed, it’s a fast and steady descender and a responsive climber, and it’s nimble enough to go play on rocks!
2. Spearfish RS1- I feel spoiled every time I get on this bike. It’s light, responsive and forgiving. If it were a show horse, it would be a point-and-shoot pony. The fork alone provides unparalleled handling on rough, chunky, fast descents. As someone who is generally just content on a bike, regardless of details, I can notice a difference and now prefer the difference that the Spearfish RS1 provides. It’s now my preferred bike for long rides.

Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
Pre- a smoothie!! I love smoothies with cherries or blueberries, coconut, yogurt, greens and some protein. I would have these for breakfast lunch and dinner…
During- pizza, gf donuts, salty tortilla chips, bacon, and chocolate coconut bars.
After- Another smoothie, pizza and sweet potato fries!

When you’re not cycling…
I’m exploring those places not ideal for bikes…like canyons and snowy peaks.

What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
I’m pretty forgetful…