From racing to wandering: How Ruth Winder learned to ride slow

Watch how Ruth Winder is adapting to a life without hardcore racing

Ever since Ruth Winder was a teenager racing with the United States national team, cycling has given her structure. She always had a goal, a race in the near or distant future. Every ride had a purpose, whether to build speed, stamina or recover from a hard effort.

Winder’s years in the pro women’s peloton were rewarding — she won a national title in 2019, the Women’s Tour Down Under in 2020 and Brabantse Pijl in 2021 with an all-time great bike throw. But those years were also hard. Winder is a self-described “homebody.” Over time, the constant overseas travel and strict scheduling took a toll.

Winder retired from road racing with Trek-Segafredo after the 2021 season and moved back home to Colorado. At 29 years old, she is learning how to ride her bike for fun, while also competing in North American gravel and mountain bike races for herself as a member of Trek’s Driftless program

In the video below, visit with Winder in her home, tag along as she rides within the stunning scenery just outside her front door, and learn what it’s like to be a former hardcore racer adapting to a lowkey lifestyle:

You can catch Winder this weekend at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, a daunting 104-mile ride at high altitude in the midst of the Colorado Rockies. Follow her on Instagram to go behind the scenes. And check out Winder’s Driftless pals Kiel Reijnen and Amity Rockwell, too.