I was a fresh graduate from nursing school and realized living a sedentary lifestyle nearly all of my adult life needed to change. Luckily, living in southeastern Wyoming made for amazing opportunities to get outside and I had several friends who mountain bike. I had actually made fun of them. I mean, who seriously rides bikes as an adult?! But curiosity won, and I walked into the foreign world of a bike shop and picked out a grey and pink mountain bike. That was the day it all changed.
As I swung my leg over the first bike I’d own and ride in 14 years, I was unaware of life changing events that would follow. Those first few wobbly pedal strokes would lead to millions of pedal strokes that have taken place in 15 fifteen states, up two 14,000 foot mountain peaks, and even on a highway with an underground fire burning beneath it in Pennsylvania. I would make friends through cycling that would become some of my best friends. My body would collect scars, but so many wonderful memories and lessons learned. I would also learn to push myself both physically and mentally farther than I ever could imagine.
It’s been five years now and I think I have 10 bikes now…I say “think,” because I’ve really lost count! Every year with a bike has lead to a new challenge to tackle. Whether it’s road racing, fat biking in the snow, or racing my first pro mountain bike season there have been new experiences with each flip of the calendar. This year I’ve started to tackle bike commuting and how to deal with helmet hair. Just when life starts to seem routine, I am shown something new and amazing thanks to a bicycle. Sometimes I just sit in awe about how the most simple, random decisions, like walking into a bike shop, can be so life altering.
Here’s to the next five years, and beyond!