Stetina Paydirt
The view from the Paydirt course; (photo/Paydirt PR)

$4,000 Pro Purse at Stetina’s Paydirt Gravel Race: For Women Only

Mechanical bull-riding, tire-tossing, and a prize purse for women only? Stetina’s Paydirt gravel race is not your typical bike event.

This Saturday, May 21, Stetina’s Paydirt Gravel Race, 3 years in the making, will finally occur in the Pine Nut Mountains near Carson City, Nevada.

The brainchild of renowned cyclist Pete Stetina and event manager Bike Monkey, Paydirt is an offshoot of a traditional gravel race. It is competitive, but it also aims to be less of an all-out race and more of what Stetina hopes to be the “best day on gravel.”

The gravel-meets-dirt with a side of pavement event awards the top three among the women, men, masters, and para competitors. However, the sole monetary payout, a sum of $4,400, will only be awarded to the women’s field.

Carson City
Carson City, Nev., trail; (photo: Lisa Parsons/Shutterstock)

Stetina’s Paydirt Gravel Race

“My whole road career, the women’s race, if there was one, was usually treated as the opening act to the men’s,” Stetina said. “I’ve profited off that my whole career due to cultural norms, and I realized I have a platform to make a change. So at Paydirt, the women are the main show. I believe prominent exposure and attention will lead to better endorsements and career opportunities for these talented racers.”

The race will consist of two substantial, timed segments, combined with mechanical bull riding and a tire toss. Ability within these unconventional fields could be what separates the winners from the rest.

The old way of racing is not the way at Stetina’s Carson City Paydirt. Instead, there will be lots of beer, food, some traditional gravel riding, and a lot of random awesomeness that will be uniquely Stetina’s Paydirt 2022.

Stetina's Paydirt Course
Stetina’s Paydirt venue; (photo/Paydirt PR)

Obscure Rules

A curious rule for the race as listed in the Shimano Women’s Challenge from Stetina: “No male domestiques are allowed. Gravel is special due to the mass start, and we don’t want to compromise this; however, having male helpers solely dedicated to helping tow a female contender is against the ethos of this challenge.

“Additionally, there is a difference between ending up in the same group together and having a predetermined tactic. We will be scouting the course, and any riders falling afoul of this will be ostracized, shamed, potentially disqualified, and put on the next train outta here.”


Friday, May 20: Expo & Packet Pickup

1:00-5:00 p.m.: Test ride a Canyon Gravel Bike. Canyon will be serving up 30-minute test rides on Grizl, Grail, and Grail: ON models.
4:00-6:00 p.m.: Complimentary pre-race Canyon Owner Bike Tunes
4:00-7:00 p.m.: Happy Hour with Canyon x Revision Brewing: The beers are on Canyon! Join Pete and the crew at the Canyon and High Fives Foundation tents. If you’re feeling tipsy, some QR codes will be floating around to donate a beer’s worth to High Fives.

Saturday, May 21: Packet Pickup, Ride & Festival

6:00-7:30 a.m.: Packet pickup
7:30 a.m.: We ride! 2.3-mile Neutral rollout, all categories.
10:30 a.m.: First finishers expected
11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.: Festival opens for food, beer, and shenanigans
12:00-4:00 p.m.: Mechanical Bull and Tire Lasso for bonus seconds
5:00 p.m.: Awards and podium ceremony
5:30 p.m.: Festival closes

Find more information on the event website.

Heather Hendricks

Heather Hendricks is a writer at GearJunkie.

She’s been writing about snowboarding, women’s gear, travel, and mountain towns for more than 15 years. Prior to that, Heather worked at TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine as a Contributing Editor and Special Projects Manager. She also worked as a Gear and Travel Editor at Teton Gravity Research. And she worked as an Online Editor of Snowboard Mag.

Based in Colorado, Heather likes to live by the seat of her pants, and is always up for a road trip or spontaneous adventure. She’s currently learning to fly fish, how-to-be a new dog mom, and is van-living and loving it.