Bikes: There are a few. My main rides are Ethelbert (road) and Gladys (commuting).
Riding Style: Commuting, road, cruising around. There are a lot of things I still want to try.
Why do I ride: Riding makes me feel good. I like exploring and meeting new people.
My biggest challenge so far: Sometimes my biggest challenge is going to a new place. I get lost a lot, so if I’ve gotten badly lost recently, it can take extra guts to be willing to try a new destination again. (Sometimes I still manage to call that “exploring.”)
My future goal for cycling: Get better at cornering and drafting. Start mountain biking again.
Best biking story: One of my favorite biking stories didn’t happen to me, but happened in my vicinity. After my uncle was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, his sisters decided to ride with Team in Training (TNT) to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My mom began training very early in the season, months before TNT started, to make sure she would not aggravate some old injuries. After many hours on the windtrainer and lots of strength training, she moved on to her first road bike in years…and then her first set of clipless pedals. Her century quest ended prematurely with a crash, concussion, and broken clavicle, but it wasn’t that long before she was back on the bike. My dad trained alongside her and they have been tearing up the miles together, sometimes with me in tow. It was wonderfully fun to ride with both my parents when I was home this summer.
In my mom’s words, she “a) learned to ride a road bike (over 1000 miles [between April and August]), b) mastered clipless pedals (after numerous scrapes and bruises), c) got to have lots of miles of fun fresh air, food and exercise with [Jen, my husband, and my sister] to prepare me for training , d) and learned how to ride with the team [where] I got to make a lot of new friends and got hooked on road biking.” Pretty incredible, and a pity she doesn’t live in Minneapolis anymore.
So if I had to embarrass someone by picking them as my cycling inspiration, it would be my parents. If I’m not training hard they get faster than me, which is certainly motivation to stay on my bike! But mostly, it’s because we love riding, together. Official stamp of GR badass-ness for Mom and Dad.
One of my aunts also rides with TNT and is training for her fifth century as of April 2011—and her first was in 2009! She prefers the ones with hills, so there’s definitely a badass stamp for her as well. Maybe I should add “complete a century (organized or otherwise)” to the above “future cycling goals.”
What turns my crank about cycling: Going fast, community, empowerment, using my body, exploring, making new friends