Introducing: Omafiets Women’s Bikepacking Ambassador
Posted on September 04 2017
Rachel Hayden is Omafiets first ever Women’s Bikepacking Ambassador!
This ambassadorship came about after Chris and Ollie rode the Hunt 1000 ride late last year. Out of the 25 starters for this epic ride, only one woman participated. In attempt to encourage more women to bikepacking, we brought Rachel Hayden on board. As an ambassador, she receives a brand new bike built fully equipped for touring she is planning for at cost price. Rachel will be leading a few women’s bikepacking tours with the shop when she returns from adventuring the US with her Surly ECR.
We caught up with Rachel at the beginning of her trip to ask her a few questions.
Rachel, where you are headed to in the US?
To burning man then to do some hiking with some non-bike people in California’s national parks, then fly with my beautiful Surly ECR to Denver, Colorado where I will pick up a van and drive down to Telluride to go mountain biking and do the extended Alpine Loop through Ouray. Then I'll head around Colorado to do a bunch of off road routes.
But I'm really open to just see where the road and meeting other riders will take me. I want to be flexible to go and ride wherever feels good in the moment. I've also booked a ticket to a gig in Portland in Oct to see an artist that's never come to Australia so I'm open to flying there and doing some trails in Oregon before flying back to Sydney mid October, but we'll see ;)
What you're looking forward to?
Many things! Nature, wilderness, nature, riding, autonomy.. all the things
Going solo and at the same time I'm kind of scared of that, haha
What are the specs on your bike that you are particularly excited about?
Big rubber! You know why :)
I'm loving the Jones bar too, it feels like I have a tray table or maybe it's like my office desk. Dynamo's are a no brainer but that's cause I'm lazy and I forget about logistics like having charged lights.
How did you get into bikepacking?
I got into mountain biking about 2 years ago and was dumbstruck as to why I hadn't gotten into it before as it combined my 2 loves: bike riding and bushwalking! Then I saw the omafiets rides last October and I always wanted to try touring as I'm drawn to setting out from your home with everything you need, getting from A to B on your own steam. It really was the welcoming, beautiful souls who run omafiets who gave me the opportunity to pursue my desire to ride this way.
I have so many feels about the shop community. Chris and Ollie particularly provide this space, a space that is judgement free, no pressure to conform to any set of trends (clothing, speaking, acting, whatever) so you can just come without any social burden or fear and be yourself and have a freakin' blast. It's truly special.
Lastly for now, what are your thoughts being our very first Ambassador?
When Chris emailed me I was so shocked and so grateful. It also made me want to do them proud and really put a fire under me to want to help other women access this space if they want to.I can't wait to come back and plan some forums and rides for summer! I want to help share this space the guys have created with more women or anyone really wants to see.
Watch this space and our instagram for updates on Rachel’s trip overseas and future shop rides!