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.
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.
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.