I also write a blog at womaninchains.wordpress.com– check it out!
Bikes: The affectionately named “Bomber” (customized Bianchi replacement frame, midnight blue) for commuting, a tiny little plain carbon road-bike, and the newest addition is an All-City Nature Boy for SSCX (single speed cyclo-cross)!
Riding Style: I’ve been pickin’ it up in Bay Area- the riding here is amazing- and the road bike gets me out on longer and longer rides. I raced SSCX in the fall and won the Bay Area Super Prestige Series for Category C Women! Now, I’m trying out road racing, which is a long season in CA. Of course, I still commute. Who ever needed a car in the city?
Why do I ride: I don’t really remember my specific thoughts when I got my first real bike (a crooked and cheap used Blue Raleigh Rapide from the Hub. It’s lived a full-life and been passed down to many a friend, of a friend, of a friend). I biked that summer w/ the wind in my hair, yes, sans helmet, and felt like a god. I loved my strong legs and going fast w/ friends on the Greenway. I had my share of scrape-ups and late night rides for the hell of it. I left for India after that summer and came back disdaining my poor crooked bike for the Black Fuji I took from storage and almost ruined my relationship with my mother. I rode the crap out of that bike all summer and winter after an emergency wheel replacement and a quick single-speed conversion by a friend (RIP, Anton). That bicycle was my freedom and I’ll always have a space for it’s poor trashed frame in my heart. Thinking about it, I guess I ride for the bikes, and I ride for the feeling you get when you’re going really really fast and feel like if you had to stop, the world would stop too (mostly because coming to a full-stop at 20 mph when you least expect it is a sure way to find yourself looking up at the world from the ground!)
My biggest challenge so far: Working in an all-male shop and trying to get into the mechanical side of things, motivating myself to ride a more structured schedule and train so I can be faster and more confident.
My future goal for cycling: To learn better bike handling skills. I’m working on my ‘cross mounts (yay!) and off road riding, I also have improved immensely on long road rides. I’m still figuring out what this “healthy competition” thing is in a theoretical sense with road racing.
What turns my crank about cycling: Feeling independent and ethical about my transportation. Sometimes I look at people in their cars and think “That’s right, gas-hog, I’m my own engine”…and then I go home and eat as many organic calories as I can.