This past week we caught word of a fellow Solé Family member repping her Fiancé in a sprint marathon!
All of us at Solé wanted to hear more about this tremendous feat, so we set up an interview with rider Natalie Vavrasek. What follows is truly amazing, whether you’re a hardcore commuter or just a happy hour cruiser you can really appreciate the dedication and effort that Natalie puts into everything she does.
Where are you from?
Originally from Horseheads, NY but now I live in Salt Lake City, UT
Which Solé do you ride?
My tricked out fiancé with modified dual breaks (to make it race legal), toe clips, and a handy water bottle cage on the handlebars
How long have you owned your Solé?
I bought my Solé about 2 months ago so I haven't had it that long. This is the first "serious" bike purchase I've ever made and I'm really happy with my decision! I've gotten nothing but compliments on it!
So you did a Sprint Triathlon on a Solé?
Yes, I competed in the Daybreak Triathlon in South Jordan, UT. It was a USAT sanctioned event. This was also my very first triathlon and my first time ever cycling in a race. I had several people coming up to me before and after the race checking out my bike and asking me where I got it. I can't blame them, with such an awesome color combo I wouldn't have been able to resist asking either! I was also told several times that I was "hard core" for riding a single-speed bike in my very first tri.
Were you riding Fixed?
I'll admit I used it as a single-speed for this one. It would not have been practical with the steep hills toward the turn-around point for me to go fixed, although it probably would have helped me keep my pace a lot better! I have ridden fixed in practice and will probably keep switching back and forth until I become more comfortable. I am a complete notice to cycling so I don't have much experience and I have A LOT to learn.
Were you the only person riding single?
Yes, I was the only person who was on a single-speed bike! I had several elite athletes coming up to me after the race telling me that I deserve a special award for doing that, especially with the steep hills! I feel like I earned some respect in the triathlon community for pushing through while I could hear everyone else switching gears on the inclines. I even passed a few people who were on traditional road bikes!
How Far was the riding section?
The sprint course was 23.5k (14.6mi) with an approximate 740ft elevation gain in the first half peaking at a 9% grade for miles 6 & 7 before the turn around.
Give me a brief overview of the experience:
This was one of the best experiences I've had as an athlete. I've been athletic my whole life, doing competitive NCAA diving in college and numerous sports throughout my childhood and teenage years. Being able to call myself a "Triathlete" is an honor. I loved telling people about my bike and why I decided not to take the "easy route" with a rented multi-speed bike. The awesome pink rims on my Fiancé made it easy to spot my bike in the transition area, which was a HUGE plus!
I truly believe that if you work hard and are a good athlete with a positive attitude you can succeed on almost any equipment and can embrace the different challenges presented to you. I love challenging myself and seeing what my body and mind are capable of accomplishing. I plan on doing more races in the future and I will continue to train and race PROUDLY on my Solé!
Has this made you love your Solé even more?
I definitely have more respect for Solé and for myself as a competitor after this race. I feel like I can really appreciate the sport of cycling and I am proud to be able to compete with the elite athletes using my God-given muscle strength and tenacity. It's not about bells, whistles and 21-speeds...it's about dedication, encouragement and sporting the hottest looking bike in town!
An amazing feat like this could only be completed with a little extra drive. For Natalie this little extra push came from #LIVELIKEBELLA, a campaign set out to honor Bella Rodriguez-Torres, a little girl who lost her battle to cancer 2 weeks ago.
According to Natalie She was a ton of the inspiration behind her entering the race. Bella's family encourages people to challenge themselves and do something fun and new every day to honor Bella and how she lived. You can find more info about her here:http://www.prayforbella.com
As you can tell this story is amazing, so we couldn’t resist sharing it with you! If you have a unique story of your own please send us your info and we would be happy to share it with the rest of the Solé family!