Squid Bikes cyclist Sammi Runnels is a multi-talented cyclist. She’s raced road and cyclocross with USA Cycling and has competed on fixed-gear at Red Hook Crits.
In the eleventh episode of State Bicycle Company’s Riding Fixed, Up Mountains, With Pros, State Bicycles cyclist Samantha Wipff is joined by Runnels as they climb 16 miles up Arizona’s Mingus Mountain, reaching a total elevation gain of 1,960 feet.
As with the other episodes of the series, Wipff interviews Runnels as they climb on fixed-gear bikes. The women, who are both from Austin, Texas, chat about a variety of topics.
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✨Austin cycling runs deep! ✨ Me and Sam of @statebicycleco met up in Arizona to climb a mountain fixed and chat about all things cycling. The come up, race stories and creepy dms 😂 When me and Sam first met we were 19 delivering sandwiches on our fixed gears in downtown Austin. We’ve been racing and riding together since the beginning 💖 love you bb. #texasgirls forever! 💖 Sam n Sammi 👯♀️ Link in the bio
Runnels begins by talking about how she got into cycling. Starting by riding on a BMX bike someone gave her when she was 18, she decided to get a fixed-gear and worked as a sandwich courier (for an American sandwich shop called Jimmy John’s). She then transitioned to working bike messenger and eventually got into bike racing from there.
The cyclist is studying art history but is also a creator herself. She notes that she stopped making art for a few years when she got into cycling seriously, but she realized she was missing it in her life and began to create again. She loves colourful kit and playful designs and describes some standard bike kit as looking like a Benadryl bottle.
The Runnels and Wipff also discuss Runnels’ large Instagram following and people sliding into her DMs, which she says comes with having a big following.
After as quick photo shoot at the top, the cyclists descend the mountain and ride into Jerome, Arizona, where they enjoy some post ride wine tasting.