Brooke Goudy: Cycling Activist and Advocate
In this series we will be interviewing Brooke Goudy, cycling activist and advocate training for the Leadville 100 MTB race this August. Brooke will complete the race from a place of joy and pride in her background and as a representative of her organization, RowdyGoudy, which provides resources for women of color to become involved in the mountain biking community. Along the way to the finish line, we will follow Brooke’s training progress. This path will not be linear as we will see her ups and downs. While this is a specific event, Brooke’s advocacy for women of color in mountain biking didn’t materialize out of nowhere. We will discuss her activism along with her training to get a full picture.
Colorado-based Brooke Goudy is one of the leaders of the Denver chapter of Black Girls Do Bike, an organization that provides a safe and inclusive space for women of color to enjoy riding their bikes. Bikes have always been part of Goudy’s life, from childhood to the present.
“I rode bikes from the time I was a child,” Goudy says. “Every kid in the neighborhood where I grew up in Alabama got a bike for Christmas.”
Goudy’s interest in bikes took a hiatus when she was in college. Post-grad she discovered her love of mountain biking through a dating relationship she had at the time.
“There was a stark difference between riding my bike around the neighborhood as a kid and then mountain biking in Colorado,” Goudy says. “But one thing always remained the same: it was fun.”
Rides From A Place Of Joy
That spirit of fun is one Goudy has carried with her throughout her multiple biking adventures. Those adventures include local mountain bike rides to intense bike-packing trips. Goudy believes she is the only Black woman to ride her bike from north to south in the USA, along the Continental Divide. Currently, she researching to confirm that she is the first Black woman to complete this trek.
This trip affirmed for Goudy that she rides from a place of joy. The opposite of a place of trauma or sadness as a Black woman in the United States.
“I learned a lot riding the Continental Divide,” Goudy says. “When I did this trip, there was a lot of social justice reckoning happening in the United States and a lot of focus on the trauma of Black folks. This bike-packing trip was an incredible opportunity for me to acknowledge that there is trauma, but that I come from an ancestry of great resilience, strength, and joy.”
Goudy now plans to bring that resilience and joy as she trains for the Leadville MTB 100. The Race Across The Sky is a grueling 100-mile mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado. The city sits at 10,200 feet above sea level. If that were not enough, athletes will climb 11,000 feet over the 100-mile distance.
In addition to preparing for the race, Goudy runs RowdyGoudy. Her organization helps welcome women of color into the mountain biking community. Goudy and RowdyGoudy members host meetups as well as mountain bike clinics. They also offer scholarships to help elevate women of color in mountain biking.
The “Rowdy Goudys”
RowdyGoudy started after Goudy joined the Black Girls Do Bike organization.
“I started to host mountain biking clinics with Black Girls Do Bike,” Goudy says. “Eventually that turned into me starting an even ‘rowdier’ organization dedicated to some of the same ideas as Black Girls Do Bike.”
When one joins the RowdyGoudy group, they become a “Rowdy.” Currently, Goudy is working with Roam Fest, a mountain bike festival in Knoxville, TN, Sedona, AZ, and Fruita, CO. Roam Fest promotes inclusion of women and the LGBTQ+ community in mountain biking.
“RowdyGoudy has partnered with Roam Fest,” Goudy says. “As a Rowdy attending Roam Fest, you will get mentorship from me through monthly meetings, you get to attend one of the Roam Fest festivals, you’ll receive a mountain bike skills clinic before the festival, and you will get to be part of the events immediately post-festival.”
The goal of the Rowdies is to create a “safe space and take mountain biking to the next level.” They do this by emphasizing having fun and ‘being rowdy.’
Preparing for Leadville
Goudy plans on bringing all the ferocity of the Rowdies to her preparation for the Leadville 100 MTB.
Spring has started to sprout in Colorado, where Goudy will be doing most of her training. The weather has finally started to allow for more regular rides outside in the Boulder area.
Goudy trains by listening closely to her body, mind, and close confidants.
“I don’t have a piece of paper that tells me how many miles to do or when,” Goudy says. “I’m a very basic person when it comes to training – I ride my bike a lot, and I have fun doing so.”
Goudy says that her philosophy is that she “pushes my body when my body is ready to be pushed, and I rest when my body says rest.”
Friends With Experience Will Help
Goudy is also good friends with David Wiens. Wiens has won the Leadville MTB 100 six times in his legendary career as an elite mountain biker.
Wiens’ advice for Goudy is to focus on riding as many vertical miles as possible. This is difference in comparison to how many total miles make up the distance of one ride.
“I am so grateful that I have people in my life I can go to who have done big things, who have trained for really hard things, and have them support me,” Goudy says. “When I am doubtful, those people lift me up as a friend first and an athlete second.”
Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts
As Goudy trains, she remembers that there are many parts that make up who she is as a whole person.
“We are made up of many parts,” Goudy notes. “Parts that tell us we can, parts that tell us we can’t, of which there are many as a Black woman… I want to remind myself when I’m [riding] that in that moment, I am just part of my story, not the whole thing. I want to listen to the parts of me that say ‘you are resilient,’ ‘you have trained for this,’ ‘you are worthy of being in this race.’”
Goudy is still drilling down further on her overall “why” for Leadville MTB 100. She is excited to share more with Run Tri Mag in our next monthly profile of her preparation for the big day.
In summary of her motivations for the race, Goudy shares these thoughts:
“I want to continue to make sure I am experiencing joy in my life and to know that I am resilient, I am strong, I am powerful, and that by being a Black woman, these traits have been passed down to me from generations of strong women.”
What Brooke is Wearing