Sarah Cooper not only took first place at the 2021 Adirondack Trail Ride (TATR) in New York, but she also set a new women’s record in the process.

as posted on by Miles Arbour on Sept 20th 2021

Words and photos by Sarah Cooper (@iowacoop)

I took on The Adirondack Trail Ride (TATR) for the first time in 2019. After many years of racing road and gravel, I was entirely new to bikepacking and mountain biking. I had a limited amount of time to ride, and knew I wouldn’t finish, but decided to give it a go just for the experience. It was incredibly difficult, and unlike any challenge I’d taken on before. I knew that I would be back someday to finish it. I turn 50 this year, and it seemed like a fitting way to celebrate.

My 2019 TATR lite experience set me up well to prepare for 2021. I had much better mountain bike handling skills and peeled at least 15 pounds off my bike. My gear list was pretty short: clothing, repair kit, water filter, electronics, and an emergency bivvy. I planned to sleep in lodges when I could find them, and just keep riding where I couldn’t.

There is a profound amount of hike-a-bike on this route, and I seemed to hit the most challenging sections at night, and before anyone else had broken trail. I lodged a foot between two rocks, fell, and gave myself a very large hematoma on my left leg the first night near Fawn Lake. I tore my legs apart on brambles and gave myself a matching hematoma on the right leg not long after. All on hike-a-bike—I hadn’t even yet fallen off my bike.


lots more content here


A grand adventure to celebrate turning 50!







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