Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
On a cold, soaking wet day somewhere in southern Missouri, Alison Tetrick pulled out a whiskey flask and took a small nip, then rightfully chided me for forgetting mine back in my luggage.
We were on a course preview ride of the Big Sugar — NWA Gravel race that starts in Bentonville, Arkansas back in October, and it had poured rain since the first pedal stroke of the day. We were soaked and shivering, huddled around a wood stove as we tried to dry out our hopelessly drenched gloves, socks, shoes, and jackets.
On difficult days like that, it’s sometimes hard to remember we’re out there to enjoy ourselves. Hence the flask: mental health and positivity always come first. For Tetrick, that’s a rule to live by, and it’s one she’s always willing to share with those she’s riding with.
We are living in strange times, and Tetrick, like other professional athletes, is stuck in a holding pattern to see if and when the season might begin. So she’s training as though the season will start at any time. In this episode of the Tech Podcast, Tetrick gives us a sense of what her rides are like, what gear is important to her both indoors and outdoors, and what she does to recover on the road and at home.
Tetrick also reveals herself as a total data dork, guilty of backing up her power files for years. As a former road racer, Tetrick has a pretty intimate relationship with her power numbers, and she shares some insight as to how she uses that information to become a better racer, even on the gravel.
And finally, Tetrick — a California native — shares the hilarious reason her phone number has a Colorado area code. (Spoiler: It’s a pretty epic dad power move.)
What do you carry with you to maintain your sanity during long, grueling hours on the bike? A photo of your kids on the top tube? A candy bar in the back pocket? Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, Instagram, or via email to share your riding rituals.