What's your story?
Sport has been an integral part of my life since fifth grade, when I started running. I had a challenging upbringing and running saved my life. It gave me adult role models (coaches) to look up to, a healthy outlet, and ultimately, a scholarship to college to run at Indiana University and then University of Wyoming. In fact, I was the first person from my mother’s side of the family to attend any sort of college! Running also broke my heart. I suffered multiple injuries in college and was not able to reach my full potential. However, I did graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics.
After college, I moved to Lander, WY where I co-owned two coffee shops. I focused a lot on work. I also dabbled in all-mountain mountain biking, went to downhill camp twice at Whistler, and started working towards my private pilot’s license. After five years, I decided to move on. I moved to Sedona, Arizona where I met a wonderful group of women who started to teach me how to ride UP hills on a mountain bike! It came a lot more naturally to me. I entered my first ever mountain bike race at McDowell Regional Park, AZ in the Expert Women’s category because I figured I knew how to suffer already. I ended up finishing 6th of nearly 20 women and I was hooked. Shortly after, I moved to Southern California, where I raced Cat 1 for a year before earning my Pro license in cross country mountain biking. My first year as a Pro, I placed 11th at USA Cycling Nationals!
I now have my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Master’s in Education and Teaching. My full-time job is as the Program Director for the SoCal Chapter of NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. It’s the best job in the world! I get to work with all sorts of humans ages 10 and up who share the same passion as me - bikes! While we do have a race series, our ultimate goal is to help kids develop skills that they can use throughout their life while also becoming a lifelong cyclist. I hope to be a role model to kids just as my coaches were to me in running. I also have several side jobs in digital marketing, and I am a coach for Source Endurance.
I live in the beautiful small town of Idyllwild, CA. My cabin sits at 6,200 ft and I am a very short pedal to some of the most fun trails I have ever ridden. I have two cats, Marcel and Lulubelle, and a middle-aged Yorkie, Fischer. Besides cycling, I love to cook, listen to music, and do anything outside. It’s a busy life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What attracted you to Eliel?
I have had Eliel on my Bucket List of companies I would like to work with for several reasons. For starters, Ryan Cady is a coach with the SoCal League. The fact that he believes in getting #morekidsonbikes is rad! Next, Eliel is a local company. I love working with local companies whenever possible. Community is very important to my core values. Lastly, Eliel is the standard for quality of cycling gear and customer service. It is easy to recommend a company when the quality and people are top notch!
What about bikes brings you joy?
When I am on two wheels, I feel free. My stresses and worries disappear. When I am outside in nature, I am my happiest self!
What are your goals for the future? On and off the bike...
- Continue getting #morekidsonbikes and #morecoaches on bikes with my job at SoCal League.
- Continue to grow the podcast that my colleague, Jen Malik, and I have started. It’s called Girls Moving Mountains and it is a NICA GRiT-inspired podcast. GRiT stands for Girls Riding Together. You can listen here: https://podfollow.com/girls-moving-mountains
- Top 10 finish at a BWR race! In 2018, I finished 14th at the BWR. I believe with the support of our title sponsors, Competitive Metals and Trek, and my Source Endurance coach, Adam Mills, this is possible! (Editors Note: Nikki finished 10th at BWR Cedar City! Congrats Nikki!)
- Continue to work on my MTB skills. This is something that is never ending and one of the reasons I love mountain biking so much!"
What is important to you?
Family, friends, my pets, bikes... and having the best intentions each and every day!