# 156 — Karen Jarchow
I met Karen Jarchow at Rebecca Rusch's Gravel Camp in June 2019. She was helping out, instructing, guiding, and — as a bike relationship therapist —she almost got me to love my bike again. Her enthusiasm for the bike in contagious, after all, when describing her own relationship to cycling she declared, "I love(d) the sport so much that no matter how hard the crash, I kept getting up and trying again, and again, and again." She has raced fat bikes (2017 Fat Bike World Champion), gravel bikes (2nd at Crusher in the Tushar, and at the Queen's Stage Race [RPI] in 2018), and won the National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race Series on a mountain bike in 2016 while racing with Team Topeak-Ergon USA. Since gravel camp we have shared more conversation than miles while she navigated a career-stalling injury (hip labral tear), divorce, the pandemic, ... 2020 was a doozy, shared with Piney, her two year-old cattle dog. Karen is the founder and owner/operator of the Vail Valley Alternative Sports Academy, a sports academy for kids where she and her instructors use, "cycling to educate a new generation of backcountry users in the basics of environmental stewardship."