WHAT KIND OF A CYCLIST ARE YOU?
As much as I like to ride for sport, I love the social aspect of it too. So my type has no type. Variety is quite literally the spice of my cycling life, ha ha
WHAT IS THE CYCLING ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
America’s Most Beautiful Ride. A 100-mile ride in and around Lake Tahoe, NV to help fund research for Leukemia and Lymphoma. I jumped into training for 100 miles and 4,200 feet of vertical gain in less than three months, with no prior experience. This experience fueled my love for big days in the saddle and experiencing the outdoors.
HOW LONG HAS CYCLING BEEN A PART OF YOUR LIFE? WHEN DID IT BECOME MORE THAN JUST “RIDING A BIKE”?
I started riding outdoors in March of 2018 in preparation for America’s Most Beautiful Ride. I was out on a training ride in a part of New Jersey not far from Manhattan, I was blown away by how far I was able to get on a bike and how much I was able to experience in such a short amount of time. The best way to describe it is, “I am riding fast enough to see it all but slow enough to be in the moment”—something that can’t be done in a car or running. It lit me up. I got home and spent hours upon hours looking at the different places people have traveled by bike and where I could now go. Pictures only do so much justice to what you can experience when you're on a bike.
On a recent trip to Crested Butte, my friend Eric Arce took a portrait of me riding that captured just how impactful riding has been in my life. There were not many joyful or playful moments in my childhood. When I looked at the portrait that Eric took, I saw myself for the first time experiencing joy. I could see everything that I was feeling clearly all over my face—I felt free, safe, calm, powerful, playful, and happy. That was the moment I fully understood everything that riding had given me.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN ON A BIKE SO FAR?
Crested Butte! My friends and I did this trip back in early fall. We mostly rode mountain bikes and it was breathtaking—literally and figuratively. I can’t wait to get back there and get after it on my Blackthorn, Frida!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO DAYDREAM ABOUT WHERE YOU HAVEN’T YET RIDDEN?
If I am answering this honestly, it's not a place—it’s places...Oregon; Washington State; Glacier and Whitefish, Montana; California; Bentonville, Arkansas; Mallorca, Spain; Whistler, BC; New Zealand…but I am really, really excited to mountain bike in Mexico and learn more about my Mexican roots.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE WHAT THE BICYCLE MEANS TO YOU?
It’s my freedom and joy ride! My childhood was far from traditional—it was non-existent, really. Bicycles, cycling, and my cycling community have given me the chance to reclaim the childhood I didn’t have. It’s been such a gift of liberation.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR FUTURE AS A CYCLIST UNFOLDING?
Ooooh that’s a hard question. I’m not exactly sure. Do it until I physically can’t? I’m quite the go-getter so I would say it’s doing, seeing, and experiencing as many moments as possible. Ride more and ride often. I am currently training for a 2021 gravel season (COVID-pending) and hope to get to some of the places on my “Daydream” list.
WHO INSPIRES YOU AND YOUR RIDING?
My nieces and nephew inspire me. The healing of a little girl that didn’t have a childhood inspires my riding. Riding for me feels like playtime. I want my nieces and nephews to grow up understanding that riding bikes is something that can be done for fun, sport, or a means of transportation—whatever they want. That they have a choice as to how they can have bikes be a part of their lives. That they belong in this space!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SALSA BIKE MODEL AND WHY?
That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is. They are all my favorite. They are unique and wonderful in their own way. Frida, she’s my Blackthorn. When I ride her I feel fierce, fuerte, and maybe too fearless! Chingona, that’s my Warbird. She got her name from a poem, Chingona Fire
, written by Angela Aguirre. My Warbird and I are “doing badass things” so get ready! I’m so stoked to get out and crush the gravel with her.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRE, DURING, AND POST RIDE/RACE FOOD AND BEVERAGES?
Pre: Triple-shot soymilk latte and half a peanut butter and strawberry preserve sandwich.
During: Skratch Matcha & Lemon in my water. Berry-flavored PROBAR Bolt chews.
Post: I have a hard time eating right after big efforts so I usually get some kind of post-ride fuel in liquid form. Skratch Labs Horchata Recovery Drink has been my go-to for the last few months. It’s delicious both warm and cold.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHEN YOU AREN’T CYCLING?
If I’m not out hiking with my pup, Latte, I’m hard at work co-leading Black Girls Do Bike Denver. Black Girls Do Bike Denver has taken on the task of growing and supporting a community of participants who cycle for fun, fitness, freedom, and sport. We are engaging people who share the passion across different disciplines of cycling, as well as the “bike curious” to show up in this safe space where no person is left behind. You can find us on social media at (@bgdbdenver). In addition, I have recently joined as an ambassador of OUTRIDE, a non-profit focused on providing evidenced-based cycling interventions to improve social, emotional, and cognitive health in youth. Outride invests in research, school cycling programs, and fundraising tools to empower youth riders and their communities (https://outridebike.org/
). When I’m not riding bikes, you can find me snowboarding and volunteering with the Chill Foundation, an organization focused on inspiring youth to overcome challenges using board sports (https://www.chill.org/
). I’m also a foster mom with Colorado Puppy Rescue in Denver, where I rescued Latte when she was ten weeks old.
WHAT DON’T YOU LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ON A RIDE?
Carmex Strawberry or Mint Chapstick, REI’s Force of Nature Handkerchief, snacks and all my devices. I am currently running a Wahoo TickrFit heart rate monitor and Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.