We love it when pro riders do things besides just racing bikes. So we were amped to see Pete Stetina has created a rad event at his home in California, in the Sierra Nevadas. It’s a road rally style Gran Fondo, with timed segments, and some awesome elements: he’s even got a beer bottle with his picture on it. If you missed the event this year, it’s due back in September 2018 and you can keep up to date with it here: https://www.sierraprospect.com/
In the meantime, here’s what Pete has to say about the event:
What inspired you to create the Sierra Prospect event?
I wanted to do more with my career than just race. My Dad has a Traumatic Brain Injury and the way his limited recovery has gone, it has been really tough on the Stetina clan. I wanted to give back to cycling and also support those who may be going through what my Dad and our family have gone through.
I’m a part time resident of Lake Tahoe, I wanted to do something special up here. It’s one of the world’s gems.
How do you want to see the event grow and change over the years?
Our main theme in Stetina’s Sierra Prospect is “Choose your Expedition.” With this in mind, we wanted the event to be as customisable to each participant as possible; to help them find what “striking it rich” in cycling means for themselves. We have made sure the entire event can be pieced together with individual preferences. I don’t want just another Gran Fondo. I want an event in Lake Tahoe to be what it deserves: Quality, epic, fun, inspirational, and a true celebration of all the components both on and off the bike that make cycling great. I want to keep with this theme, however that idea morphs over the years.
The inaugural event was a success. Most feedback was really positive and it’s already garnering a “bucket-list” reputation! However, you can’t always please everyone (and there was a small fraction of riders we failed) but that has to be your ultimate goal. There are some small tweaks I already can think of. I also think we are in for an exponential growth next year. This year was more intimate, which was perfect for getting our feet wet, and making sure our new timing component ran smoothly.
If someone can’t make it to the event, are there other ways they can help and get involved?
The High Fives Foundation is our beneficiary. They support athletes with life altering injuries. When Insurance stops, they step in and focus on the important things, like getting a support network, and helping get one back outdoors,providing a new lease on life, really. We took a trip to their HQ with the Saturday easy spin, and people were really moved. We also have a silent auction to benefit them during the gala dinner. So I encourage anyone to donate to our cause or donate an auction item.
Best moment of this year’s event?
From a selfish standpoint, when I arrived to the Friday Beer Launch party and had my namesake beer for the 1st time. I mean, the cover of the Wheaties Box is cool and all, but I’m on a friggin’ beer! That’s a life goal, achievement unlocked!
From a wholistic view: Realising our idea of the Road Rally format was a success. I saw competitive riders taking long stops at the aid stations and rolling casually with others before/after a timed segment. It was a communal vibe where everyone was able to taylor the ride to what they craved in cycling; whether is was rubbing elbows with pros, snapping pics of epic vistas, or conquering a mountain that many locals have never even attempted.
Keep up with Pete and the event: https://www.sierraprospect.com/ and here’s to our pending 2018 trip to California!
All images copyright Sierra Prospect, reprinted with permission.