What attracted you to Eliel?
Wednesday morning Eliel group ride. Great people, inclusive attitude, encouraging, safety-first mindset. Best fitting, most comfortable kits ever!
What about bikes brings you joy?
Freedom, fitness, friendships, fun times.
How does riding make you a better person?
Cycling is a necessity…strong body, strong mind.
Which rider inspires you the most?
All my over-50 female cycling friends. We are rocking it into our 60's too.
What are your goals for the future? On and off the bike...
To do more mountain biking. I love the dirt and increasing my trail riding skills.
What is important to you?
Friendships, family, fitness.
I just couldn’t understand why, as a 2nd grader at the age of seven years old and already quite proficient on a bicycle, I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike to school. I had to wait until 3rd grade. I still remember the big kids riding their bikes past the chain link fence into the bike parking where their bikes stayed locked until after school. I wanted to be a part of that. When I got the chance, from the first day of 3rd grade until I got my car at 16 years old, I rode my bike to elementary, middle, and high school…every single day.
There was a small Schwinn bike shop just off Fletcher Parkway, the main drag in Fletcher Hills, a mile from where I grew up. My father took me, my two sisters, and my brother to that Schwinn dealer whenever one of us had outgrown our bike and no hand-me-down was available. Each new bike always meant more freedom and independence.
I had an older brother who learned to ride a unicycle. When I was 12 years old, because I idolized my brother, I learned to ride a unicycle too. It took weeks of holding onto the mailbox, my brother walking alongside me, and lots of flailing arms before I could balance on my own. The more advanced steps of learning to start that wobbly one-wheeled machine from standing, to turn around while riding, to ride downhill, and to dismount gracefully took months longer.
When I mastered those skills in 1973 at the age of 13, I made the biggest purchase of my life. From my bank account I withdrew forty precious dollars saved from my allowance and bought my own unicycle. Over time I improved my unicycle skills enough to ride 1.7 miles down the hill from my house to Parkway Junior High School. I must have been quite an unusual sight: a skinny, long-legged teenage girl with a backpack, riding like a cute circus clown down the streets of Fletcher Hills.
I became a young mother at the age of 19, and had three children by the time I was 27. I was busy; my only riding was with one of my kids teetering on a child seat attached to the back of my bike. In 1981, I rode the 50-mile Rosarito-Ensenada ride with my two-year old son perched on the back of my Schwinn Varsity 10-speed. I stopped often to change his diaper along the way. I never considered myself a serious rider – I was just having fun.
In 1987, after my third child was born, I purchased my first mountain bike for the lower gearing I needed to tow a Burley trailer loaded with my two youngest children around my hilly neighborhood of Mt. Helix. An unplanned side effect of that effort was that I got really strong towing all that weight. When friends found out I had a mountain bike, I got invited to go trail riding, launching my accidental entry into mountain biking.
Raising my kids took precedence for many years and I didn’t start any serious riding until my first triathlon at age 40. I got hooked on triathlon and competed for a decade; I was always strongest on the bike leg. Through triathlon, I found the dual benefit of group riding, pushing my limits while at the same time making new friends. However, at 50 I had to stop running due to hip issues and cycling became my focus.
Since moving to North County in 2016, I have found a whole new and expanded crew of cycling friends. The Wednesday morning Eliel Factory Team Ride and the stylish, motivating Eliel Factory Team kits have pushed me to ride harder, faster, and further and look better while doing it. I have started back up on mountain biking and just ordered a new gravel bike. I am blessed and grateful to have so many North County riding friends. They all like to stop, have coffee, and socialize. What could be better than riding bikes and talking…my two favorite things! This year, I turned 60 and I'm still just having fun...LET’S GO!