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Finding A Way….

On June 10, 2011 Katie and Sam were training, gearing up to ride for their lives for safe drinking water, when Katie cruising at 25 mph took a crash on the Santa Cruz Mountains. She got up thinking she had nothing but a bruise and a scratch only to find walking was terribly painful. After gaining courage and strength to visit the doctor, Katie found out that she had fractured her pelvis in several places.

Katie believes that people can do more than they think they can do, so of course Katie was not out of the race. She reflects, “there are countless people out there who see every challenge as opportunities in disguise, and I want to be one of those people.” Bravo, Katie!

“If you focus on the problem, you’ll see the problem. If you focus on the solution, you’ll find a way” Katie says and with just 36 hours left before the 3,000-mile race starting on June 18, Katie decides to learn how to ride a bike again with the help of cycling partner, Sam Williams.

How can someone ride a bicycle with a fractured pelvis? I had only heard of her fiery passion from Mike Williamson, Director of Bank-On-Rain, who rode across the country with her in 2006, and I must say I really doubted her ability to ride a bicycle with a broken pelvis!  However I had neglected the possibility of a hand cycle!


Katie describes the feeling of learning how to ride a hand bike as “awkward, but refreshing to learn something I never thought I would.” Though Katie yearns for new challenges and inspires us all with her drive and love of learning, “it’s difficult not to feel like a caged tiger,” she says.

As Katie begins her journey, she certainly does not feel alone with Sam, other competing cyclists, her quirky crew, and an abundance of support from followers. Two days into the race, Katie finds that her biggest impediment is not sleep deprivation or fatigue, but rather her fractured pelvis. One week ago, Katie says her “idea of a challenge was cycling a 5,000-ft climb. This week? A flight of stairs.”

But she collects strength and continues on her journey…


“Pedal and pedal and pedal—until you want to cry,” says Sam. After taking a crash on her hand bike, hops back on her beautiful Renovo bicycle to finish the race (with a doctor’s consent). It seems that nothing could stop Katie!


Katie’s friends—Kevin, Anne, and Jools—help her cover the miles that she can’t, and she continues to inspire us all as she and others ride to bring safe drinking water to a community in northern Kenya. Learn more about this at Blue Planet network.

Katie’s passion is clear in her actions and words. “It’s not where we get in life that defines us – it’s what we overcome along the way that truly matters,” she says. Her excitement and willingness to challenge both her physical and mental stamina are tributes to her commitment to a cause—clean water for all. Katie reminds us to put intention into our unthinking actions and consider not just our momentary struggles, but a sense of what we can learn or gain from our experiences. We are encouraged to think of ourselves as individuals that are part of a community within a world that is greater and more troubled than we might be. BankOnRain, supports and thanks you, Katie.

Katie and Sam and their unsung crew of heroes finished with the remarkable time of 7 days 16 hours and 59 minutes, which would have broken the original 2-person record that Sam and Katie set out to beat. This is an extraordinary accomplishment without Katie’s injury and absolutely amazing under the circumstances. Despite not breaking their record time, Katie and Sam have accomplished something quite unique. We might say that they set a new record managing to throw together a 4-person team at the last minute; and with one team member on a hand bike for the majority of the race due to fractured pelvis and a crash along the way! Unfortunately there is no category for this sort of effort, but you are first place in Bank-On-Rain’s books, Team Ride for Your Lives!

Follow Katie’s journey with Sam at rideforyoulives and please check our other posts on Katie Spotz “Glamour is not Enough” and “Ride for their Lives.”

Emily Berg, Bank On Rain 2011 Intern and Researcher. THINK RAIN!

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Originally published June 28, 2011 on Posterous

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