What attracted you to Eliel?
The people, fun spirit, and sense of community
What about bikes brings you joy?
The conversation and laughs while riding; endless coffee stops; building new friendships and strengthening existing ones; the ability to explore new places, nature, enjoy sunshine and let my thoughts flow creatively; an outlet for stress and mental clarity.
How does riding make you a better person?
Keeps me happy and healthy through the physical and mental wellness aspect and allows me to connect with like-minded individuals. Cycling has transformed from being a competition to me to being my channel to impact my community and make a difference - whether my role at Padres Pedal the Cause and helping fund cancer research that has the potential to be life-saving and change the lives of cancer patients and their families or my passion project with Be Spoken helping to empower and educate our women's cycling community, both off and on the bike. Cycling and the cycling community has been a huge part in personal transformation away from being somewhat self-centered (my professional career and pursuit as an amateur triathlete dominated my life post-college) to one that is focused on enjoying the journey, being present, uncovering my love of altruistic work, discovering more of nature and finding happiness in the simplest things.
Which rider inspires you the most?
"Not sure if you are looking for a specific person or type of rider.
But for me its definitely the domestique, I just look at the Jumbo-Visma team and how day in and day out they all sacrifice themselves for Roglic - but for me it's being a domestique both off and on (and not necessarily in a race scenario) the bike that inspires me; this is what motivates me daily and what I strive to do in my daily life - help and empower my ""team"" whether my friends or my community in all aspects of their life. My own accomplishments don't inspire me as much as helping others succeed."
What are your goals for the future? On and off the bike...
"Continue to have an impact and make a difference in the cycling community and to help get more youth involved in cycling. Sports changed my life as a kid, keeping me out of trouble and giving my confidence and leadership skills that have let me succeed in my personal and professional career.
I have no athletic-related goals anymore but will continue to challenge myself to become a stronger cyclist. Off the bike, continue to focus on my personal growth and relationships."
What is important to you?
Helping others, being present, enjoying new experiences, being grateful and surrounding myself with others that share my values and help me grow as a person.
My move out west from Florida has been transformative in many ways and has forever changed my mindset on how I approach many aspects of my life.
When I moved to San Diego in 2016, I left behind a promising finance career at a large, publicly-traded corporation and hours of training each week as an aspiring triathlete. I thought I had “success’ – I had a great career, lots of friends, and was a pretty good amateur triathlete.
Settling in on the west coast, I spent time looking inward, reading and engaging with new friends, and began to find my true passion for helping others and making a difference in my community. I also realized my past “successes” in the form of promotions and podiums hadn’t provided me true happiness or fulfillment.
Cyclist is a perfect example to further illustrate this paradigm shift I have experienced over the past few years.
I arrived in San Diego as a category 4 cyclist and worked my way up to a category 2. But as I achieved yet another “success”, I realized it didn't mean much to me, my happiness, or my community. I quit racing and channeled my energy, passion, and drive into the community. I was already working as COO/CFO of a local non-profit, Padres Pedal the Cause, a cycling event which raises money for cancer research. This job really showed me how fulfilled I felt by helping others. So, along with a close friend, I started a monthly women’s ride that evolved from a 10-women bike ride to the Be Spoken movement focused on empowering, educating, and engaging women on and off the bike.
I’m grateful for cycling and my bike, which has been a catalyst for my journey to find true happiness, transform my mindset, and refocus my energy.