Podcast: Moriah Wilson – 2021 Breakout Gravel Racing Season

podcast moriah wilson

Our partner in podcasting, The Gravel Ride Podcast, sits down this week face to face with Moriah Wilson to learn her backstory and what set the stage for her breakout racing year in 2021.

Automatic Transcription by The Gravel Ride (please excuse all errors)

[00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello and welcome to the gravel ride podcast. I’m your host Craig Dalton this week on the podcast. We have Moriah Wilson. A local mill valley, California resident, at least as of the time of recording who had a breakout year in 2021 on the gravel scene. I first started seeing Moriah’s results in the grasshopper series. And if anybody knows the grasshopper series, if you’re doing well there, you’re likely going to do well anywhere. 

[00:00:30] This proved to be true for Moriah with great success out at Unbound at VWR and many other places on the calendar. Culminating with a win at the end of the season at big sugar, gravel.

[00:00:42] This conversation happened to be recorded in my backyard. So please enjoy the ambience that nature can provide. Before we jump in i need to thank this week sponsor competitive cyclist. 

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[00:02:54] Would that business out of the way, let’s jump right into my interview with Moriah Wilson. 

[00:02:59] Moriah. Welcome to the show. 

[00:03:01] Moriah Wilson: Thanks for having me and Craig,

[00:03:02] Craig Dalton: welcome to the backyard. 

[00:03:04] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. Great to be here. Great to be in person with you. As I was 

[00:03:06] saying, this is rare instance for me. I think it’s about a dozen people. I’ve got the opportunity to interview face-to-face so it’s awesome to have you as a local guest.

[00:03:15] Well, when you’re in the bed, You make 

[00:03:17] Craig Dalton: sense? Yeah. Actually I was super stoked to start seeing your name and seeing mill valley after it. Yeah. Earlier in the year. So that was great. But I’d always like to start off the show by just learning a little bit about your background and how you found your way to gravel cycling, because I know it’s a fairly recent affair 

[00:03:33] Moriah Wilson: for you.

[00:03:34] Yeah, it is definitely the competitive side of. Of cycling is pretty new to me, but I have roots in it, going back to when I was pretty young. So I guess like a quick background, I grew up in Vermont to pretty active, like outdoorsy family, grow up doing a lot of skiing. My dad was an Alpine ski racer and album.

[00:03:56] Ski racing coach when I was younger. So I got into racing competitively doing that for a while and ended up racing in college. And. Mountain biking with my parents. And then my friends in the summers in middle school, there’s not a lot to do in the town. I grew up in Vermont. It was kinda like just a hobby.

[00:04:17] And then I used it to train for skiing as well as I got older. And yeah, so it was pretty like casual, I think for a while. And then when I graduated from college, I moved out to the bay and. Bought a gravel bright bike and well was a cross bike, but I used it as a gravel bike and got connected to some women who were trying to raise cross and invited me to go to some cross races with them.

[00:04:43] So I said, why not sure? Like I like to compete. I miss kind of ski racing. And so I did that ended up racing like a full season of cross in 2019. Went across national. Did a couple of gravel races as well. And then COVID happened that early winter, obviously, and nothing, no more racing for a while, but I just kept getting more and more into riding.

[00:05:08] Didn’t like, yeah, it didn’t really step back. Just traveled a lot and rode as much as I could. And then. Earlier this year, I’m signed up for all the races that I could not really knowing what I would get into and having no expectations really at all. And like the results side of things, but just like really excited.

[00:05:31] Do some more racing because I had so much fun in 2019 and yeah, I ended up having a pretty great season, nice. 

[00:05:38] Craig Dalton: So when you, when collegiate ski racing ended, did you figure that’s the end of what you wanted to do in ski racing? And yeah, like 

[00:05:46] Moriah Wilson: ski racing is really hard. It I don’t know there are other sports like running or something where you maybe have avenues after college, but it’s a little bit like.

[00:05:55] Like biking, but you really need like a solid program and a lot, it requires a lot of resources, right? Like you need, you definitely need a coach. You pretty much need a team to keep doing it. And like after college, unless you’re at a certain level where you’re going to world cups or on an Olympic trajectory, like there’s not a lot of.

[00:06:18] Reason to keep doing it, so yeah, I think most athletes at the end of their college career, pretty much like rapid. 

[00:06:27] Craig Dalton: The cyclocross scene, must’ve been a fun, attractive way to start cycling. It’s just so irreverent and so often, particularly in the bay area, just easy to get to the events you sucked in by the community element of it.

[00:06:39] Moriah Wilson: Yeah, definitely. Like the vibes at cross races are always so fun. Oh, I cross national. So it’s amazing. Just like the energy, the heckling, like it’s such a fun spectator sport that I think you end up like. Yeah, with kind of just a good vibes all around. And I really liked that and it did remind me a lot of skiing.

[00:07:01] Cause I think there’s a lot of that in skiing as well. And so I think that was attractive to me. Did 

[00:07:06] Craig Dalton: you immediately recognize that you had a great engine for the sport? 

[00:07:10] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. I’ve I’ve known that I had a good engine. Like I’ve. Been more naturally I don’t know, fueled for endurance sports, even from a young age, probably should have been a Nordic skier instead of an Alpine skier.

[00:07:27] People tried to convince me to convert, but I was like, no. Downhills more fun, too much fun. And, but yeah, I ha I grew up, or one of my ski coaches growing up was really into biking and he always said oh, you could go to the Olympics for mountain biking once you finished skiing. And I always had that in the back of my mind oh, maybe someday, like I could become a good cyclist of some sort and.

[00:07:53] I didn’t really know what that meant or what that would look like, but I definitely had an idea that mountain bike racing of some sort would be interesting to try out after college. And I did actually do a bit of cross country racing in high school and college just dabbled in a little bit like one or two races a year in Vermont.

[00:08:14] And really liked it. So thought maybe I would give it a try. That’s why I tried the cross thing 

[00:08:21] Craig Dalton: where you living in Marin when you started on 

[00:08:23] Moriah Wilson: the cross bike? No, I was living in the city at the time. Okay. Yeah. 

[00:08:27] Craig Dalton: Well, you doing longer rides, I know it’s obviously cyclocross racing is the shorter course racing, but since the, you have the capable bike, a lot of people ride across the bridge and go, oh 

[00:08:35] Moriah Wilson: yeah, no, I was definitely riding in the headlines a lot.

[00:08:38] Like I wasn’t riding. Doing as long of rides as I’m doing now, because I was still getting into it. But I was building up to at that point, just riding my bike every day, which hadn’t been something I’d been doing before that it was like a ride my bike. Do you know, maybe once or twice a week and then two to three times a week.

[00:08:54] And so I was just building up at that time. But yeah, the Headlands were definitely where. Learned to grab a ride, I 

[00:09:01] Craig Dalton: guess. Yeah. It seems like with the cyclocross race season being in the winter, you’ve got this bike, you’ve got these great Hills out in Marin. It’s natural that you’re going to continue to ride.

[00:09:11] Is it some of your cyclocross friends that sort of talked about gravel racing or obviously you were going to be aware of it? What was the first race that you signed up for? 

[00:09:20] Moriah Wilson: The first race that I did, I think was old growth. In 2019. Yeah. In August or September, maybe. So I guess it was actually before I did.

[00:09:35] I can’t quite remember. And then I did grind Duro as well, that year in 2019. So 

[00:09:40] Craig Dalton: it’s a two quite different races. Old growth classic. I find it to be, it was a great adventurous race. Like you just felt like you were way out there so far. It had some really stern climbs and 

[00:09:51] Moriah Wilson: The, I will never forget the end of that course.

[00:09:53] Like how Steve, this is so steep. 

[00:09:57] Craig Dalton: Yeah, exactly. That’s a great one. And then Grindr obviously is one that tests. Your full bag of tricks. It’s got very mountain biking type stuff. We on a mountain bike. I was 

[00:10:06] Moriah Wilson: on my cross bike for that. And yeah, but had a blast. Like I, since I like have a background in mountain biking, it was, I felt pretty comfortable on it.

[00:10:16] And I think at that, by that time I had, ridden that bike in the Headlands enough that yeah, at first I remember riding in the Headlands in. Skinny gravel tires and being like, what is this about? I need my mountain bike for this, and now it’s like nothing. But yeah, the Headlands, they do have their, technical sections at times.

[00:10:37] Yeah. That’s why 

[00:10:38] Craig Dalton: it’s great. On drop our bikes, it can make any of this stuff exciting if you go fast enough, for sure. Yeah. 

[00:10:44] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. 

[00:10:45] Craig Dalton: So then. Presumably, you went into a full cross season and then did that drop you at, through the beginning of the pandemic in 2020? 

[00:10:52] Moriah Wilson: And then I did two grasshopper races.

[00:10:55] I did a low gap and Sweetwater and that was like January and February of 20, 20, 20 before everything shut down. Everything 

[00:11:04] Craig Dalton: shut down. Yeah. Yeah. And then it goes quiet and you were doing some other things. Had you had in your mind that 20, 21, assuming that events were going to open back up, that you are going to really go for it and register for a bunch of events?

[00:11:16] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. I was like, I’m going to register for as much as I can. And I signed up for Unbound and Everything that I could. And really just wanted to use the years, like a learning experience. I think like it’s rare to go into those events, as a beginner or first timer and see a lot of success.

[00:11:33] And yeah, I know that like maybe I have the fitness. No, all the details. I don’t definitely still don’t have all the details dial. There’s a lot. I made a lot of mistakes this year that costs me some races. And so I had a lot of good learning experiences and that really was just my goal this year.

[00:11:49] And to have had, some of the results that I. I did have was just like a cherry on the top. Yes. Had you 

[00:11:58] Craig Dalton: forged some of the relationships you must have now with some of the other female athletes that live around this area to get a gauge for oh, I can ride with Amedee or, 

[00:12:07] Moriah Wilson: yeah, I think like between the races that I did in 2020, before COVID and then like some of the, or like earlier races this year, like the local one.

[00:12:21] I guess I did one or two hoppers and a couple others. I knew that I probably had what it took from a fitness standpoint to compete with the top female athletes, just because, there are so many really strong female riders in the bay. It’s pretty crazy. So it was nice to have.

[00:12:43] Like confidence, I think, going to Unbound and going to, some of the other races that draw a wider range of athletes. So yeah, 

[00:12:53] Craig Dalton: Yeah. That must have been interesting. So going into 2021 signing up for all these races where you just planning on self-finance. The races, or did you have industry contacts that you could leverage at that point?

[00:13:06] Moriah Wilson: No. Everything was pretty much, self-financed the only thing that like I had one sponsor this past year that was Sporkful as a kid sponsor. And they were able to help me out from a financial standpoint. But other than that, it was like, I’m trying to think. I really didn’t. Any other help. It was all just, yeah.

[00:13:27] Yeah. 

[00:13:27] Craig Dalton: It’s funny. For me, it’s being a fan of the sport. 2020 was this interesting black box where there was all particularly on the women’s side of the racing scene. There’s all these great women coming up and showing like a little glimmer, maybe. Like a couple of races before the pandemic, or did some major personal effort, like an F Katie or a Strava hill climbing all these different things that you’re like, gosh, there’s a lot of talent out here and then racing starts opening up, but you’re not traveling super far.

[00:13:57] So it’s like the Northern California women you were seeing who is fast in the grasshoppers. Are the things that are going on in the Midwest. And then eventually it all started to come together when you have like a BWR or something like that. So it’s been super fascinating as a fan to watch all these great women come out of nowhere and, see your name on top of the leaderboard.

[00:14:16] It’s been a lot of fun to watch. 

[00:14:18] Moriah Wilson: Yeah, it was really fun to get to know the group of women that’s out there. I think this is such a diverse. Field coming from lots of different backgrounds and everyone’s super strong. And I think on any given day, given whatever conditions, certain amount of luck, like anything could happen and it’s really dynamic racing going on right now.

[00:14:40] It’s really fun to be a part of. I’ve really enjoyed it. And you’ve 

[00:14:43] Craig Dalton: been tackling things that have very different profiles, obviously BWR San Diego, long long road section that really pay it, play a big part in it. Unbound having that super long distance of 200 miles, all these different races.

[00:15:00] Draw on different skillsets and you seem to be doing pretty well across the board. Is there an area or a type of course, that you feel more confident in than others? 

[00:15:09] Moriah Wilson: Yeah, definitely. I think courses that have a lot of climbing definitely suit me. I’m not really. Flats are hard for me. I’m not the best group rider like drafting holding onto wheels is not something that I’ve quite figured out yet.

[00:15:23] I’m working on it really hard. I hope to get a lot better this year. Yeah, so stuff that’s got a lot of climbing and doesn’t require like a lot of team tactics. Definitely suit me at the moment. And then anything that’s also. Has some sort of technical component to it, maybe a little bit of single track.

[00:15:41] I think that played to my advantage at BWR, even though there were, there was so much road in it. And I’m trying to think of what else it was like that this year. 

[00:15:52] Craig Dalton: Okay, where you went down to big 

[00:15:53] Moriah Wilson: sugar, right? Yeah. Big sugar had a little bit of that. Yeah. 

[00:15:57] Craig Dalton: Yeah. And the least the chunky roads require a little bit of confidence coming downhill.

[00:16:01] Totally. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy interviewing so many event organizers is that there’s such an art to creating these events and With a mountain bike background. I’m always pro the single track sections. The more technical 

[00:16:15] Moriah Wilson: sections. I love that stuff. Yeah. So 

[00:16:18] Craig Dalton: fun.

[00:16:18] And I think, you know what it’s going to be, what keeps the sport interesting because you can’t road racing dynamics. Aren’t going to play in that type of environment. So I always love when it advantages given to the more off-road type athletes. 

[00:16:32] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. It’s really cool. To see how different courses can favor certain writers.

[00:16:39] And it’ll be interesting how, like what to see what happens with the lifetime like grand Prix and how, because that’s such a diverse series now you’ve got Leadville and then unbounded, sea Otter, and like all those are so different. It’s cool that there, there will be a way to. Figure out who’s the best like diverse writers.

[00:17:01] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I think it’s really neat that there’s an even tighter integration between the mountain epic mountain bike kind of rides and gravel racing these days. Yeah, because I do think that’s, that’s where the fun and the sport is. 

[00:17:13] Moriah Wilson: Definitely. Yeah. 

[00:17:14] Craig Dalton: Have you heard any word from lifetime as to like their selection process or I’m assuming you’re throwing your hat in the ring for that?

[00:17:21] Moriah Wilson: Oh yeah, for sure. I don’t know what the selection process involves. I have no idea. So yeah, we’ll see. I forget when they did, they’re like announcing who everyone is. I think it’s in the next couple. Maybe I can’t remember. But yeah. I’m excited. I hope. Yeah. 

[00:17:43] Craig Dalton: So what, what does 2022 look like for you?

[00:17:46] What do you what are some of the races you really want to do well at either? Because they were just a hell of a lot of fun or you think that prestige is going to be good for your career? 

[00:17:55] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. I think the whole lifetime series Leadville, for sure. I think finishing second was so incredible this year, but I really want to win to be honest.

[00:18:10] Like I, I want to win that one. 

[00:18:13] Yeah. I think it suits me really well. I had a lot of fun on that course and 

[00:18:19] Craig Dalton: being up at elevation, 

[00:18:20] Moriah Wilson: I felt amazing. Like I actually felt really good at elevation. I did acclimate for a couple of weeks leading up to it. But I, my theory and I there’s no nothing scientific about this.

[00:18:32] I have no idea if this is the case, but because I’ve spent so much time at altitude as a ski racer, I lived everywhere. In November, December, I would move out to Frisco, which is super close to Leadville. It’s like 9,000, 8,009,000 feet. And spend a month there training, going to Vail and copper.

[00:18:53] And yeah, so I’ve lived and trained at altitude in a much different way than like an endurance athlete, would train. But I still think that. From such a young age. Like I started going to Frisco as, I don’t know, 12 year old. So I think I’ve have a lot of years of spending time at altitude.

[00:19:13] And I think my body is, has somehow adapted to it is my theory. 

[00:19:19] Craig Dalton: What do you think the mix between mountain biking and gravel racing, it’s going to look like when your calendar pans out, 

[00:19:24] Moriah Wilson: That’s hard to say. I think it’s, I think it’s going to end up being still quite gravel focused. Maybe like 70% gravel, 30% mountain.

[00:19:36] If I had to put a percentage on it right now. But yeah, I definitely hope to do a bit more mountain it’s just so fun and yeah. 

[00:19:44] Craig Dalton: So on the gravel side, what are the events you’re stoked to go back to? And why? On the 

[00:19:49] Moriah Wilson: gravel side? I am excited for Unbound because I want some redemption there. Yeah. I got, I had, I flooded three times and yeah.

[00:20:03] Had to tube every time and it was just a disaster. Like still finished the race. Like it was good to. I think it was good to have faced that adversity and have to like, adjust my goals and expectations halfway through such a big event like that. It was good practice. But.

[00:20:22] Yeah. I remember finishing that race and being like, I just want to do it again. I want to do it again right now. And not be a little bit more prepared. Like we probably shouldn’t have run the tires that I ran. And there were some other details that, I think after this season I will. Be more prepared for going into all the races.

[00:20:42] Craig Dalton: And I think going, having the determination to fix those flats and still ending up in the top 10 shows you that it’s just important to keep moving forward and moving forward, it’s just fixing the flat, getting back on the bike. Cause you never know what’s going to befell your other competitors.

[00:20:56] Moriah Wilson: Yes, totally. And I think there’s a lot to be said for. Running into sort of those obstacles. It’s always easy to keep going or, it’s still not easy, but it’s easy to keep going when you’re having a good day and you don’t run into any challenges, but when you run into challenges and adversity and it maybe puts an end to the result that you hoped to accomplish on that day.

[00:21:19] It makes it a lot harder to keep going. I definitely. Oh, I had some dark moments there where I really wanted to quit and I was super proud of myself for just keeping, going and finishing that race 

[00:21:31] Craig Dalton: at huge. And no one can ever take that away from you. So anytime you’re facing adversity in the future, you’re going to look back and say I know I can do it.

[00:21:39] I’m going to have those sucky moments, but yeah, I’m going to get through it. 

[00:21:42] Moriah Wilson: Exactly. Yeah, I think. You learn a lot more from the challenges that you face than you do from any of the smooth sailing moments, so yeah that’s one that I’m excited for. I’m excited. I’m think I’m going to do rule three.

[00:21:56] I’m really excited for that one. I love Bentonville. I had a great time there this fall. Big sugar, I think will always hold a special place in my heart. That was a really fun race. And yeah, I think the the diversity of that course is going to 

[00:22:09] Craig Dalton: be really interesting. That one looked like a lot of fun.

[00:22:12] And you can always tell, I think by some of the writers who have been drawn to it, the type of experience that it’s going to benefit pace. Winning over there and talking about how he just understood the skill set of the people around him and even talking to Ian Boswell about it. And he just, the, I know I’m going to fall apart when I hit the single track.

[00:22:30] So I’m just going to do everything I can within the place. I know that I can Excel. 

[00:22:34] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. It definitely everyone’s going to have a different strategy, which is pretty cool. So yeah, I’m excited for that one. I’m trying to think what else? Oh, I think I’m going to do Vermont Overland. I skipped that one this year.

[00:22:47] It just didn’t really work with my schedule. But I’m really excited to do that. I’m from Vermont and I’ve heard amazing things. I love those roads around that area. It’s like near where I went to college. Yeah, that’ll be a fun one. You must 

[00:22:59] Craig Dalton: still have friends back in that scene in Vermont.

[00:23:01] Moriah Wilson: Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s always fun. I did rooted Vermont this past year and then that was probably one of my favorite races just from a memory standpoint. The community was so great. It was the first time my parents like had watched me, got to watch me race. And ran into a lot of old friends, a lot of old friendships skiing and from biking and just growing up and stuff.

[00:23:23] And I think the same thing will be the case for Vermont Overland. So yeah, I really 

[00:23:28] Craig Dalton: want to get over to rooted. I, my first mountain bike race ever was at Mount snow. Oh, Vermont, because I grew up on the east coast. I’ve got like great memories. Similarly. Like it was like an event that my parents came to and it’s just so beautiful in that area.

[00:23:41] Moriah Wilson: Rooted was so fun. Like I loved that course. It was really fast. Yeah. Really fast. Some really fun class four sections. It rained, which like I had just, it was like BWR two weeks earlier or something. And BWR was the hardest race I’ve ever done. It was so hot. Yeah, I definitely suffered from the heat on that race and then going to Vermont and having it rain and be like really nice temperature.

[00:24:16] It was amazing. I enjoyed that too. 

[00:24:19] Craig Dalton: One thing, the longer you stay here in the bay area, the worse you’re going to get it riding in hot weather. 

[00:24:23] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. I need to get better at I feel pretty good about how my body. At elevation, but the heat is something I need to figure out because I don’t think I’m very good at it.

[00:24:33] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Yeah. So same, like I’m just destroyed from living in the fog belt. Yeah. 

[00:24:39] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. We’ll have to see I’m to, I don’t know. I don’t know how to, I there’s definitely ways you can, adapt your body to it. Need to do some research. Or just avoid those places.

[00:24:49] Craig Dalton: Let’s shift gears a little bit. Why don’t you talk about the type of equipment you’re riding? 

[00:24:54] Moriah Wilson: Like which specific by, 

[00:24:56] Craig Dalton: yeah. What bike or bike are you riding and what kind of, what tire with do you like to ride? 

[00:25:01] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. So I just got a new specialized crux that. One that just came out in October. Before that I’d been racing on a diverge, an older diverge, actually it’s like a couple of years old.

[00:25:16] And I’ve only raced let’s see, big sugar. It was my first time racing, my new crux. And I could not love that bike more. It is an app. Weapon. I don’t know how to describe it better. It’s so light and so nimble. But still I feel very comfortable on it and feel like it handles very well and it’s very capable.

[00:25:40] And I don’t know. I always, I like, I prefer to be a little bit under biked. Like I, whenever I only have a hardtail mountain bike and I, but I. Bride that on, trails that most people would ride a pretty big, full suspension bike on. I like pushing the limits of what a bike is capable of doing.

[00:25:58] So yeah. And then for tires I have been running Pathfinder 40 twos on my crux. That’s what I ran a big sugar. That’s what I’ve had since I got it. And I’ve been loving those. 

[00:26:13] Craig Dalton: Yeah, that seems like a good size. I definitely had been in the 47 camp for a long time, but moved back down to 43.

[00:26:20] He was like you, when you have solid off. Capabilities then you can handle a little bit narrower attire. Yeah. Although for a lot of people, particularly in Marin county, I recommend going as wide as they can. Cause a lot of times people that just aren’t comfortable going downhill and you look at their bike and it’s totally optimized around going up the hill.

[00:26:39] Yeah. 

[00:26:39] Moriah Wilson: All my diverge, I was mostly on 38 and I didn’t ride it a ton around here, but And I didn’t really like to ride it around here. Now. I think that I’m on 42 is I think it makes it so much better. And especially without having, the future shock on the Crocs and having it be just a pretty rigid, stiff bike having 48 versus, or 40 twos versus 30 eights.

[00:27:06] It’s nice. Yeah, 

[00:27:07] Craig Dalton: it helps a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. And for the listener, you may recall, I spoke to Ben Edwards from specialized at about that bike. So you can get a little bit more details if you go back in your feed and listen to that conversation with Ben. Yeah. So have you had any, you’ve had such a great what I’ll call a breakout season this year in 2021, have you been able to navigate the private tier sponsorship model and get a little bit more support going through.

[00:27:32] Moriah Wilson: Yes I have. And it’s still still figuring out the final details. And I definitely took my time sorting it all out. I debated maybe joining a team. There are definitely a number of teams that reached out to me and I thought maybe, that could possibly be the way to go, but I’ve been talking to a lot of people and reflecting on what I want to get out of this.

[00:27:55] Really being able to set my own schedule and be in control of where I go and what my sponsors are and all that. The private tier like avenue seemed like the way to go. So that’s definitely where I’m headed. And. Yeah, I’ll be supported by specialized for next season and wahoo as well as a sponsor and the feed.

[00:28:21] If you’re familiar with a feed for nutrition and scratch as well. And then working on a couple others styling in, but I won’t say, cause they’re not finalized yet, but those are the ones that are pretty much. And yeah, I’m excited. It’s definitely, taken some time to sort all that stuff out.

[00:28:39] But I think no I’m pretty excited to be working with those brands and it’ll be great to have their support. Yeah. 

[00:28:46] Craig Dalton: A hundred percent. I guess that’s the challenge with the private tier model. You just have to be stay on top of those discussions and meet the right people. Yeah. Cobbled together the right program.

[00:28:56] That’s going to make it all work versus a team. Maybe handing you a, a single document that says, here you go. 

[00:29:03] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. There’s some thing, certainly that’s simple as an athlete, if that’s not something you want to deal with, that makes a lot of sense. And, but I don’t know. I think this is I want to be able to manage the.

[00:29:16] Relationships more personally. And 

[00:29:20] Craig Dalton: yeah. And are you gonna keep your day job at specialized 

[00:29:25] Moriah Wilson: exam for this season? We’ll see what who knows what’s going to happen in the future? I have no idea. But yeah, I’m really fortunate. Be part of a great team who has given me a lot of support and flexibility in terms of, when I actually work, I definitely take time out of my day to train and work odd hours at times, work on the weekend, work at night.

[00:29:46] I’m lucky to have that flexibility and that support and Yeah, we’ll see how it goes. I think it’ll be manageable this year. I’m definitely going to be traveling a lot. But I’m also fortunate that my job is I can do it remote very easily. I’ll be going to the office. But otherwise like doing it on the road is really not too big of a 

[00:30:08] Craig Dalton: deal.

[00:30:09] That’s great. It’s great to have that supportive. Employer that just understands, like they can give you the flexibility. And the nice thing is a lot of times as a cyclist, you want nothing more than to be sitting up on a couch with a computer on your lap. 

[00:30:21] Moriah Wilson: Totally. Like when I get home from a long ride, I’m like, I like, I don’t want to go, like sometimes yeah.

[00:30:30] Sitting at my desk or sitting on the couch, responding to emails is like the perfect thing that I need to do. Like it’s great. Yeah. You need that rest and that recovery and it does balance each other out. 

[00:30:44] Craig Dalton: Yeah. It’s been a lot of fun. As the listener knows I work at a nonprofit called bike index is one of the things I do at my time.

[00:30:50] And one of our communications director was on the Olympic track program. And it was hilarious, like getting emails from her immediately after seeing her like race ATrack world cup or, be at the Olympics. It’s funny. But she said the same thing. It’s. What else am I going to do? I’m just, I’m a legit legitimately needing to just sit around and not do anything.

[00:31:10] So might as well exercise my brain and get some 

[00:31:13] Moriah Wilson: work done. Yeah. Yeah, totally. 

[00:31:16] Craig Dalton: Well, it seems like the bay area has been agreeing with you. And as we were saying offline, there’s just so many great female athletes and male athletes around the area. Have you found that it’s just a great place to train and make 

[00:31:29] Moriah Wilson: connections?

[00:31:30] It’s the best place to train? I’ve definitely. Yeah. Now that I could feasibly go fully remote. Technically I’m not a remote employee right now. So I need to be based out of the bay, but, I’ve thought about moving out of the area and I just, I don’t want to leave.

[00:31:47] It’s too good for where, like for the riding and where, what I want to be doing with writing right now. I just am always in awe of. The riding around here when they leave and come back getting on these roads and the trails and it always takes my breath away and I feel very motivated, I think when I’m here.

[00:32:07] Craig Dalton: Yeah. It’s so interesting. Living in the city, just riding across the golden gate bridge and San Francisco is such a vibrant city and then to come into Marin and be able to. Do a 50 mile loop and essentially be off-road the entire time is just such a luxury. 

[00:32:19] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. It’s you take it for granted?

[00:32:22] Sometimes I think I’m like, growing up in Vermont, it’s similar to, but you don’t have the year round aspect of it. It can go for a gravel, endless gravel rides from my house in Vermont without ever touching pavement, but You can only do that, from may to October and then it’s no, either us the time.

[00:32:44] So being able to ride here year round is it’s pretty special. Yeah. 

[00:32:49] Craig Dalton: And I think you mentioned this with respect to BWR San Diego. It’s like we don’t have those long peddling miles necessarily. Everything is so up and down here that it, I don’t know, it feels different on your body. So I’m with you when I get into a race.

[00:33:03] We’re an event with a lot of just rolling mile after mile these long distance things. I’m just not used to peddling that much consistently. 

[00:33:11] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. I’m definitely going to try to get up further north this 

[00:33:15] Craig Dalton: cat on

[00:33:17] Moriah Wilson: this this winter get up to Napa Sonoma and kinda, I think the riding up there’s a little bit. More aligned with, 

[00:33:25] Craig Dalton: I think it’s describing. Yeah. I think that’s going to be more similar to maybe some of the mid-west miles you may get in your racing calendar. 

[00:33:32] Moriah Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

[00:33:34] Yeah. Definitely. It can be hard to find flat miles. It doesn’t really exist. I know that’s 

[00:33:40] Craig Dalton: why my trouble, like I just, there’s no easy days. And it’s so blessed that like within 10 minutes of here, I can be on some trail going up hill that I just, I want to be, off-road so much more than I want to be on a road that it’s always ends up being uphill.

[00:33:54] Yeah, definitely. I feel that. Yeah. Well, this was a lot of fun. I appreciate you coming over and giving us a little bit of an overview. It sounds like the cat is demanding that this interview is over. So maybe we have to listen to my feline Lord up there. 

[00:34:09] Moriah Wilson: Well, thank you for having me. I’m really glad I was able to come and chat with you in person.

[00:34:13] Yeah. Best of luck next year. Thank you so 

[00:34:15] Craig Dalton: much. 

[00:34:16] So that’s going to do it for this week’s edition of the gravel ride podcast. Big thanks to Moriah for coming by the backyard and for representing Mill Valley.

Craig
The Gravel Ride Podcast