In 2022, Trek is supporting three cyclists as they embark on the Life Time Grand Prix, a six-race off-road series that includes the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race and Unbound Gravel. While not an official team, Amity Rockwell, Ruth Winder, and Kiel Reijnen will all ride on Trek bicycles this season. Each of them worked with an artist at Trek to design a custom paint scheme for their Checkpoint gravel bikes. Here is a look into what their bikes mean to them.
Kiel Reijnen spent 13 years traveling the world as a professional bike racer, but home was always Bainbridge Island, in Puget Sound, off Washington’s coast.
Reijnen was born and raised on Bainbridge, a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle, and it’s where he lives now with his wife and two daughters. His bike and kit were designed to evoke certain sights, smells, and textures of the Pacific Northwest and pay homage to the places that mean a lot to him.
Reijnen’s Checkpoint is painted in bold lavender, a color that he says has double meaning.
“Lavender is an important flower to the Cowlitz tribe, which I’m a member of,” he said. “It’s also something that grows a lot where I live so it has a lot of meaning for me.”
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Another tribute to the Pacific Northwest is the rain drops painted into the lavender on the top tube of Reijnen’s bike. You can only see them if you look closely, and Reijnen says the bike is full of such subtleties.
Each rider’s bikes has ‘Department of Discovery’ stenciled at the top of the down tube. The text below that is meant to serve as a guide to the bike — or in the case of Reijnen, the rider.
Here, Reijnen nods to his nautical roots, listing his ‘port of origin’ — Cowlitz and Bainbridge Island — as well as a few ‘port of calls.’ These are the areas where he often rides, including Kitsep County and the Olympic Peninsula.
They are also places he sails. Sailing with his daughters and his father, Reijnen says, “is a big part of my life.”
Reijnen’s fork and seat tube are painted with an anodized gray design that “reminds me a lot of the Salish Sea gray on a stormy winter day,” he said. His jersey also contains patterns and a design that riffs on Native American art from tribes that live near the Salish Sea.
“Keep an even Kiel,” appears on both Reijnen’s bike and his jersey, and the play on words represents more than just a fun way to marry sailing and his name.
“It’s to remind me of how I want to conduct myself in riding, racing, and in this next adventure.”