I spent some time last month video chatting with Evelyn Dong from her home in Park City, Utah. We covered all the basics - What bike will she ride? What fuel will be in her pocket? How fat will her tires be? Where's she racing this season? How can we bring more women to the sport? But, we came out of this interview with way more.
Evelyn seems to have an affinity for long distance and wild challenges. Runner up in our inaugural Pikes Peak APEX presented by RockShox and a veteran of the marathon distance Epic Rides Series, she also has numerous Top 10 National Championship finishes, most recently finishing 2nd to Chloe Woodruff in 2019. That same year, she won the gravel grinder Crusher in the Tushar and finished 3rd in the six-day Breck Epic stage race. As you'll hear in our chat, most recently, she was preparing to mount a tandem with fellow APEX rider, Ryan Standish, for a trip around the 100 mile White Rim trail in Utah.
Interesting fact: Evelyn, who is one of the top cross country mountain bike racers in the country, wasn’t always a mountain biker! She used to be a Nordic ski racer and began mountain biking in the summers to train. Also, an avid bike mechanic, she won the aforementioned monster of a gravel race by frankensteining drive-train parts on a borrowed gravel bike, though suspension re-builds are her favorite.
Evelyn is preparing for a season of uncertainty once again, and she's preparing to kick ass on and off the bike, using her stage for more.
Evelyn is an inspiration to all women who work hard, and play harder. She does it quietly and consistently, humbly riding up behind you with a smile, and vanishing before you realize she’s passed you. Yup, that was my encounter with her a few years back on the Hurricane Rim trail! If you happen to see her out riding in her hometown of Park City, UT, you just might also get to meet her riding buddy Mowgli, who is a such a good boy!
Take a listen to our Rider Spotlight, and don't miss her recovery secret.
Evelyn's recent post announcing her decision not to attend the upcoming US Cup events in Fayetteville in light of recent legislation denying healthcare to transgender people in Arkansas.
Evelyn was preparing for this tandem adventure on the White Rim when we recorded the interview. Now that you are reading this, it’s been a few weeks, and we have seen the Instagram posts from her and Ryan. We definitely need to follow up on this. There have to be stories!
Evelyn and Mowgli. Don't know the story here. It was just fun.