What attracted you to Eliel?
I love Eliel’s products and inclusivity. I appreciate any company who opens up their brand and reaches out to everyone from all backgrounds, races and ethnicities. Living in San Diego, I’m also impressed by Eliel’s local community involvement.
What about bikes brings you joy?
I love the freedom, joy, and serenity of getting on a bike and being able to explore the outdoors. I love that it forces me to push myself beyond my limits. I love it for the people and community it provides and being able to share the same passion with others.
How does riding make you a better person?
It serves as a means of therapy to help me relax and be at peace with myself and my environment. It allows me to meet people from all different walks of life and gives me the ability to explore different places. I believe there is no better way to see and learn about an area than on a bike.
Which rider inspires you the most?
Teniel Campbell and Marianne Vos. Their hardwork, dedication, and commitment are forces to be reckoned with.
What are your goals for the future? On and off the bike...
I want to explore some more gravel and endurance riding. Would love to be able to travel and go riding in Europe and Asia.
What is important to you?
I truly want cycling to become more inclusive. I believe the more the sport opens up to people from all different walks of life the more it will grow. I want to see children of all races and ethnicities riding bikes and getting involved in the cycling community as they get older. I want cycling to become affordable and accessible to anyone interested in the sport.
Karlene grew up in Jamaica and received her first bike at the age of 8 from her parents who had immigrated to the US. She still remembers the excitement of getting that bike and learning to ride. After Karlene immigrated to NYC to be with her parents, she spent her summers riding with her brother through the streets of Queens, NY. However, once she got into high school, riding faded. It wasn’t until an injury prevented her from running that she rediscovered her love of cycling. She bought her first road bike in 2008 and her passion for riding grew! Luckily she had no issues getting back to riding through the crazy streets of NYC.
After moving to San Diego in 2014, Karlene had the opportunity to ride a lot more and eventually began to meet people in the cycling community who helped to drive and expand her passion even further. For Karlene, riding has been a great way to meet people who share the same interest and values, create new challenges, and de-stress from work. Karlene is truly grateful for all the places and people the bike has exposed her to and is always looking forward to the next cycling adventure.