Thank you so much for your time. I guess we should start at the beginning!
How did you first get in to professional riding?
I started riding my bike after playing collegiate tennis and was still craving a competitive endeavor. I began racing triathlons and participating in running races. My Grandfather, who is 84 and still racing bikes, encouraged me to try bike racing for fun. What seemed like an intimidating sport, soon captured my heart with the challenge, speed, and tactics. In my first year of racing, I signed with a professional team, and now it has been a great 7-year journey of racing all over the world at the highest level. Wow, time flies when you are having fun!
What do you love most about it all?
I love breaking down the training and the racing into a process where you can enjoy achieving goals and daily growth. But really I love the adventure the bike can bring, whether it is by the landscape and world we can see, smell, and soak while riding, or the personal challenges we can conquer as we become better at something. The bike is empowering and a way to experience the world in the most unique way.
What are some of the most beautiful places you’ve ridden?
I am from Northern California, so I am very partial to the roads, ocean, mountains, and vineyards of my home state. No matter where I travel and race, I am always happy to return home to California. This part of the state has it all for cyclists and outdoor adventurers. I am currently based in Europe in a small town in Costa Brava, and this is another place that has also completely captured my heart. From the sands of the Mediterranean to the rugged peaks of the Pyrenees, this place has become another favorite spot in the world for me to call home.
So when it comes to riding, is there a favorite amongst them all?
It is hard to pick a favorite ride, because there are so many places that offer everything you need for the perfect ride. The best part about riding is to be able to really experience the roads, food, terrain, and smell of where you are. You become truly present and are able to inhale it all (no matter how hard you have to huff and puff to get up that mountain!). My favorite ride includes a nice group of friends that share a common goal that day of capturing the moment. The conversation is good, the roads are quite, the views are stunning, and there is a nice meal with good food and wine post adventure. This favorite ride can be anywhere you want it to be, and you have to be prepared to stop and sample the local cuisine or read the historical marker. You just never know when you will have the best ride ever!
And when you’re not riding, we hear you still love being outside in the fresh air?
I was a cowgirl long before a cyclist, so being a legend was all about the wide open spaces and a great imagination. Not much has changed.
What’s your go to spot in the wild?
These are such hard questions! One of my favorite places to adventure into the wild is the Pt. Reyes National Seashore in Northern California. I have also taken my Cloudventures into the mysteries of Big Sur with my mom and we were amazed by the durability required to discover some hidden treasures there. It is a great time to catch up with my mom and share all my stories about my cycling travels. There are some great trail running loops there that take you over 20 miles into the wilderness and you are surrounded by panoramic views of the ocean and jagged. These places are just too beautiful to be able to describe. You have to see them to believe them!
And why are they your favorites?
I love the serenity these places bring. As a road cyclist, I do encounter some traffic noises even in the most remote places. By being able to go on foot into the national parks, our family ranch, or the wilderness, you can truly get away from all the outside noises and into the true heart and soul of nature. I love this beautiful world that God created and being able to find peace in the outdoors.
How often do you head to Pt. Reyes?
I take every opportunity I can! Usually the months of October and November are reserved for the longer trail runs that I try to make take all day. Without the concern of preparing for a race, I can use the Cloudventures to cross train into the wild!
So that where the Cloudventure comes in?
Absolutely! The Cloudventures are pivotal for all my outdoor adventures. Of course they are also great to travel in and look fabulous on the podium, but more importantly, they become the core enabler for me to go and experience everything the world has to offer.
We know you put in a lot (A LOT) of miles on the bike, but we take it you’re also a runner then?
I ride my bike so much during the season, there is not much time for on foot expedition. However, during the off season, I will just start running and never stop! The first few runs always are a little painful but it does not take long for me to get my rhythm again and I will be cranking over 60 miles of running a week. When I am done racing bikes professionally, I am sure there are some more triathlons and long distance running in my future.
And any tips for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
With a solid educational background, you can do anything you set your mind to. Athletics are a great way to express yourself and continue to challenge yourself. Failure is part of the process and it is important to continue to learn and grow through all results. At the end of the day, it is not the result that matters as much as the process. Be present and take each day as a gift.