Member Mirror: Rachel Saathoff -Portland Bicycling Club

Member Mirror: Rachel Saathoff

Celebrating PBC member Rachel A. Saathoff. In 2017, Rachel showed up for our Reach the Beach (RTB) 10-week training series with a new-to-her, used bike and beginner skills. Our club puts a lot of effort into getting people into shape in order to reach their cycling goals for the annual RTB organized bicycle event that benefits the American Lung Association. We always hope to gain new members as a result of our RTB training series. Rachel is a great example of these efforts, and then some.

Rachel joined our club in 2017 and in no time reached amazing milestones. Rachel not only finished RTB in 2017 but also set her sights high on completing Seattle to Portland (STP) 2017 in one day! Like a boss, she was a one-day finisher at STP 2017. Then she hammered the Ride from Seattle to Vancouver & Party (RSVP) 2018 put on by Cascade Bicycle Club. Rachel rolled her bicycle into Vancouver, BC, with literally a hole on the bottom of her foot. The bolt holding her SPD on the shoe, (only one of her cycling shoes), was TOO LONG. A few of us PBC members had struggles on this two-day ride. For example, I thought it extremely harsh that Ann Morrow was stung by a wasp beside her eye and was unrecognizable for the better part of this two-day ride from Seattle to Vancouver, BC. To this day, I scratch my head wondering how on earth Rachel Saathoff and Ann Morrow kept riding – and fast at that. Rachel, like Ann, displayed true grit. At the finish, these two PBC members had stories worthy of swapping to say the least. What a memory maker this adventure was. What a lesson in ENDURANCE!

Rachel had expressed a genuine desire to a few of us members on more than one occasion that she wanted to get youth on bicycles. She asked several of us how that might work with PBC, and if there was a way to get her idea off the ground. Overall, like many bicycling clubs, the average age of most of our members is 25 years and up. After some speculation and mindful thought, Rachel founded a youth cycling group called We-Endure Cycling for Youth in March of 2019. Rachel said, “The goal was to get kids on road bikes and teach them bike safety and develop a love for the sport by creating a team and community.”

This is a successful endeavor for her! Rachel organizes training rides for a large group of youth. Many of us PBC members see her and her team on organized bicycle rides. She even created a great team jersey. Is there anything she can’t do? I’m starting to wonder.

Rachel tapped into her love for the sport of cycling with PBC in 2017 on our 10-week RTB training series. Following, she became a member of our club. She hammered out many personal milestones via pedaling her bicycle, and eventually founded WeEndure Cycling for Youth cycling team in 2019! It’s successful, and there is no question, we are having a blast watching her youth cycling team grow. Click here to see their Facebook page.

Thank you, Rachel, for sizing up the need for youth cycling in our community, and for the determination to carry out your goals. They couldn’t ask for a better mentor. It’s hard to believe the mountains you’ve moved. You’re an inspiration to everyone whose life you’ve impacted. It brings many fellow club members much joy to see you and your youth cyclists out there enjoying a great sport. This is what our youth in the community needed, and you found a way to make it happen. You are our HERO! You are the YOUTH’S HERO! We want to recognize your great accomplishments and wish you and your youth team great success in the future.

Rachel is a wonderful example of following your passions and helping others, youth in this case, to learn the love of road cycling. Next time you see Rachel, please THANK her for her efforts. Her hard work is beneficial in the sport of cycling, which has seen a decrease in youth riding over the last decade; and her time and energies are worthwhile and well spent. Rachel, we appreciate you and applaud you!

Kathleen Hellem, Club Member