Lindsay Goldman is an avid cyclist, mother of a small child who is leaning hard into the terrible twos, and the Director of Marketing for Eliel. She interrupts our regularly scheduled blog programming this week to introduce you all to each other, because WOW you are a fantastic group of people.

We closed out the application window for the 2021 Eliel Factory Team on Sunday night and I spent most of Monday reading all the fascinating, funny, moving, motivating things 1,850+ of you shared with us. My plan that night after putting the toddler to bed was scotch and a movie, and instead I got sucked into reading more applications because you all are just that entertaining. (I didn’t skip the scotch.)

It’s not like I didn’t already think Eliel was a cool brand; I’ve been wearing it for years and, also, I work here. But the things each of you shared showed that Eliel people are truly a fun, funny, snarky, creative, genuine, honest, diverse, strong group of incredible people from all over the world tied together by a love of riding bikes of all kinds. Collectively this group has the wit and skills to build a rocketship, save life, teach me to play the ukulele, cook multiple award-winning meals, raise kids and pets, fight for world peace, cover the front and back of any ride on any terrain, and survive the hardest of tribulations. I’d buy at least 500 of you a beer just to ask follow-up questions to the things you shared in your applications, and I’d gladly take a spin with any of you.

At the end of the application, we asked, Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself? Any special powers or extensive wheelie capabilities you possess which make you extra rad? There were no wrong answers, but some stood out as being perfectly funny, open, or moving examples of why the Eliel community is, in fact, the Best of the Best. Read on and know that by putting on anything Eliel and hopping on a bike, you’re in great company:

“I curse a lot on descents, but I don't think that's a superpower. But it does help.”

“I started riding after I was diagnosed with MS. It makes me stronger and helps me remember how tough I can be.”

“My wife says she'll leave me if I buy another bike! I guess that means I have found the magic N + 1/D - 1 ratio! I'd say that makes me pretty extra rad! Oh, and my 12 year old daughter is totally hooked on cycling as well! PROUDEST. DAD. EVER!”

“Still trying to regain the wheelie prowess I had as a kid.”

“I have a very low heart rate (below 30bpm resting) and according to the doctors my heart could stop at any moment. Instead of living in fear I decided to live life with a meaningful purpose and everything I do will be to inspire and do good in this planet in two wheels.”

“I have a really dope mustache.”

“I used to cycle. Lost weight. Gained it all back. Looking forward to incorporating cycling in my fitness regimen along with running now.”

“I can hold my breath for some amount of time, between 10 seconds and 10 minutes. Also I'm the only guy in California who has a Polish Tatra Sheep Dog (look it up, they're cute).”

“Is being the weak link on every group ride a special power? If so, consider me Superman!”

“I am 50, guys and gals, my superpowers are the following: not cramping on group rides and climbing mountains at a pace suitable for a newborn baby on a tricycle on a flat fulgaz...”

“Lately I've been able to conjure rain every time I ride... or maybe that's just poor planning?”

“I can solve a Rubik's cube while doing a track stand...okay, it's actually while I'm on a trainer doing Zwift.”

“Nothing special, just an average guy. But I do love riding.”

“I have a 9 month old son, so my mileage and saddle time aren't quite what I'd like but I wouldn't trade it for anything.”

“My special power is that I'm able to convince my girlfriend day after day to keep 5 bikes in the basement!”

“My road bike's name is Barry. My cross bike (that I use for commuting) is Frederick.”

“I have a weirdly close connection with all dogs and get elite level helmet hair.”

“I don't win races, but I love to go on rides.”

“As an active duty military member I am always trying to promote cycling(since running is no fun) throughout the ranks as a way to maintain fitness and overall well-being.”

“My kids say I make a mean tuna noodle casserole.”

“I'm married to someone who has extensive wheelie capabilities.”

“I got a gold star in third grade once. That was pretty cool.”

“I can be found pulling 2 toddlers in the trailer behind my mountain bike around the gravel roads in Asheville. Also, I can suture fellow teammates trail side and get them back into the race after a crash so they can win!”

“Bikes and beers. Is there anything else in life?”

“I can eat a lot of donuts. My doctor doesn't think it's a special power, he calls it a ‘weakness’. I don't go to the doctor very often anymore.”

“I'm the person that says hi and waves to everyone when I'm riding!”

“Like I mentioned before, I'm new, but I love riding. It's something I fell into a bit before quarantine hit, but it's become a huge part of my life, and I'm very excited to keep diving deeper into the sport.”

“My day job is a river restoration engineer. I get to restore streams and wetlands for salmon and other native fish and wildlife. My favorite restoration site is Johnson Creek in an urban area of Portland because it is on the Springwater bike corridor! Yeah bikes and fish!”

“I can suck a draft with the best of them.”

“My bikes are a direct extension of me. Flying through the air on my bmx bike and speeding down the road on my road bike are the best feelings I can think of. It's the bee's knees.”

“I'm a doctoral student in a physical therapy. I want to expand on the work around physical therapy and bike fitting, especially for women.”

“Invented the internet, sorry world.”

“Love riding challenges. I'm never first on climbs or finish line but I finish. And have fun doing it. My goal is to enjoy the time on the bike and be a part of a community of cyclist who share the same values.”

“I can play the bagpipes while riding my bike (really).”

“I'm a professional triathlete and represent team USA. I love Eliel! Eliel was the first cycling clothing I ever purchased!”

“I'm a new parent #girldad. Can't wait to get my little one on the bike with me, when she can.”

“I do recovery rides with my corgi, Loaf, in a backpack.”

“I want people to know that despite adversity, they can do the things they love if they just keep moving forward, no matter how small that step may be.”

“Octogenarians such as myself deserved some respect.”

“I've been doing therapy for kiddos on the autism spectrum and love using the bike as a tool to help them focus and balance their energy levels. I'm hoping to bring this love for bikes to every community!”

“I am a bad ass athlete, a unicorn, a cabrona with a big heart, and I love carbs!”

“If I were to have a superpower, it's recovering from injury. This may disqualify me as an EFT member [Ed. Note: Not at all!], but I've had 5 arthroscopic surgeries, one partial joint replacement, and one total joint replacement. I've battled through each one and am a stronger cyclist than ever!”

“My FTP is 420. In my dreams.”

“Cycling has helped me get in the best shape of my life. I have lost 50+ pounds and counting.”

“I love bikes, but I love the people more.”