SHANNON SANDERS

Hometown:
North Little Rock

Occupation:
Project manager with Taggart Architects.

Where I ride:
“Mostly on roads around Central Arkansas. I especially like to go on gravel roads, especially those around Lake Sylvia and Lake Winona.”

The bike:
All-City Cosmic Stallion

Why I ride:
“One reason is for fitness and personal challenge. I like to go find what I call ‘big dumb events.’ I have a couple of 100-mile and 150-mile gravel races on my calendar, and I’m trying to get ready for those. The other reason is exploration. I like to find new roads, and I feel like the bike is the best way to experience new places. On a bike, I can cover a lot of ground in a day but at a pace that allows you to soak in your environment.”

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Knife:
“You never know when you might need to cut something. The blade on this Spyderco Native 5 Salt is completely rustproof. They use nitrogen instead of carbon to harden the steel, so you can throw it into your jersey pocket, get all sweaty and not worry about it turning into a block of rust.” 

Bag and Pump:
“The bag, a Mag-Tank from Revelate Designs, is a handy place to store food, or sometimes I’ll put my phone in there. It has a magnetic buckle. The tire pump is from Silca. They make two versions of it, a regular one and a Bluetooth version that you pair with your phone to get tire pressure readings. I like it because it’s small and compact. But I’ve caught some flak for having the Bluetooth one (laughs).”

GPS Unit:
“It’s a Lezyne Mega XL GPS. The main reason I have that particular one is because it has amazing battery life. I use it for navigation on long rides. I’ve had other units where the battery goes dead 10 miles from my destination. [Lezyne] bills this as having a 48-hour run time. The graphics aren’t as nice, but I got it because it’s gonna last all day.”

Gloves and Watch:
“These are fingerless Fox Ranger Short Gloves. I like these because they don’t have any padding. Too much padding will create what I think of as hot spots, little pressure points on your palm. The GPS watch is a Garmin Fenix 5. I sometimes use it as a backup to log rides.”

Rear Derailleur:
“This is a bit of a hack. It’s an XO Rear Derailleur from SRAM that I put on my road bike. It has a clutch, which keeps your chain tight, and this derailleur allows you to install a much larger cassette than normal, so it gives you nice easy gears for climbing.”

Suspension Stem: “This is probably my favorite piece of gear for gravel riding. It’s a ShockStop Suspension Stem from Redshift Sports. It allows your handlebars to move up and down a little bit. When you’re riding really rough roads, it takes the edges off a lot of the bumps. At the end of the day, you’re not feeling as beat up.”