• Posted May 26, 2018

If you are into the Iowa Gravel scene, you've probably heard of or ridden with Andrea Cohen from Iowa City.

She has been riding gravel for years and has competed in 5 Trans Iowas, 5 Dirty Kanzas, several Gravel Worlds and just about every other gravel and mountain bike race in Iowa and the surrounding states. She has proven she has the mental and physical prowess to tackle and complete anything she sets her mind to. She is well-known for teaching bicycle-related classes and started the "gravel scouts" that introduces folks to riding gravel.

Her family got her into cycling at an early age, and her Mother made her try a bunch of things growing up that she hated, but the discipline was imprinted early on that carried forward into competitive rowing in college and finally into endurance cycling. She found the love of gravel through the Iowa City Culinary Rides coordinated by here friend Audrey. You ride to different farms for the Culinary Rides and guess what...? Most farms are on gravel roads.

She has worked for World of Bikes in Iowa City for 6 years and drives a school bus during the school year as a part time job.

Now that school is out, She can focus on her next goal - The Tour Divide. She's had her sights on it for a few years now, and now it is a reality. Ryan Baker, owner of World of Bikes, has allowed her the time off to go chase this dream, and school is out, so there is nothing holding her back now.

There has only been a handful of Iowans who have finished the Tour Divide. We believe Andrea would be the first female Iowan to finish.

What is Tour Divide?

The Tour Divide is an annual mountain biking race traversing the length of the Rocky Mountains, from Banff Canada to the Antelope Wells New Mexico on the Mexican border. Following the 2,745-mile (4,418 km) Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, it is an ultra-distance cycling ride that is an extreme test of endurance, self-reliance and mental toughness.

The Great Divide Route is the world's longest off-pavement cycling route. It was tirelessly mapped over a 4 year span, and published in 1998 by Adventure Cycling Association, North America's premiere bicycle travel organization. The route is highlighted by long dirt roads and jeep trails that wend their way through forgotten passes of the Continental Divide. It travels through Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The route's climb is nearly 200,000 feet of vertical (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times).

Video Series

We took a trip to Iowa City to interview Andrea before she left. We wanted to find out what made her tick, what her expectations were and what kind of bike and gear she chose. We got all that and more in this 7 video series!

  1. Who is Andrea Cohen and how did she get started?
  2. The Mental Game, Goals and Mileage
  3. Her Bike and Accessories
  4. Bags and Gear
  5. Toolkit
  6. Toiletries
  7. Andrea's Social Media Plans

Social Media

Follow Andrea here. She will post periodically while on the ride, but plans to do a full post with photos and video when she gets back.
Instagram: andreafromiowa
Facebook: Andrea Cohen
Twitter: andreafromiowa


Here is a rundown of her bike and gear she will take.

Bike & Accessories

Salsa Woodsmoke medium
Fork- Salsa Cutthroat fork with dynamo routing
Tires-Vittoria Mezcal G+ 29 x 2.25
grips- Wolf Tooth Fat Paw
seat- Ergon Women's SM Saddle
bars-Thomson Ti Bars with BarYak Expedition, Cane Creek Ergo bar ends, carbon T.O.G.S
pedals-Shimano XT
shoes-Shimano SH-XC7
caps/hats- Lululemon running hat
helmet- Lazer Z1 w/ small Petzel headlight
gloves-Specialized long finger gloves and Craft rain gloves and the floppy pogies!
glasses-Oakley Radar Path


1 2018 Salsa kit, bibs and jersey
Patagonia wool short sleeve base layer.
Nike compression shorts.
2 pairs of socks
2 bras
Gore Bike Wear Rain Jacket
Patagonia down jacket
Craft Rain pants
Arm warmers
Knee warmers
Bontrager Stormshell Oversock
Timex Watch


Revelate Feedbags x2
Salsa Top Tube EXP bag
Rogue Panda Roll-Top frame bag
Revelate 8L Terrapin
Salsa Anything Cages w/big water bottles
Salsa stash bottle


Headlights-Supernova E3 Pro 2, backup Light and Motion Urban 750
Taillight-Bontrager Flare R
Charger-Sinewave USB charger
Hub-Shutter Precision
GPS- Garmin Etrex 30x
Mophie battery pack


2 x Nalgene bottles, or any water bottles I have that fit in anything cage
Platypus Gravity 4L water filter
2 x insulated Camelbak bottle

Sleeping Kit

Sleeping Bag-Thermarest Proton blanket w/silk liner
Sleeping Pad- Thermarest NeoAir x Lite
Bivy-Outdoor Research Helium Bivy
Additional- Space Blanket

Tool Kit

1 spare tube w/patch kit
Crank Bros. M19 multi tool
Lezeyne frame pump
Extra chain bits and master-links
Park Tool tire boots
Dumonde Tech Pro x Regular lube
Extra valve
Extra cleats bolts
Tire lever w/ gorilla tape
Zip ties

Toiletry Kit

Some sort of wipes
Diva Cup
Audrey's Homemade Salve

Well Wishes

We wish Andrea the BEST of LUCK and are looking forward to watching her progress on this life-changing journey and hearing stories when she gets back!







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