Motivational Monday Rashmi

Motivational Monday with Rashmi

What is your name?

Rashmi

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Trail Riding

What is your first cycling memory?

For my eighth birthday, my parents got me a gorgeous red bike as a surprise. I remember the moment so clearly, I was standing with my Mom, waiting for my Dad at the Airport when suddenly, he appeared wheeling a gorgeous, shiny red bike alongside. After a minute that it took me to register, I ran towards my Dad…and hugged my bike : )

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My kids have been very motivating and supportive from the start. From locking up the door behind me at insanely early hours to goading me whenever I am going through a slow phase, they have been solidly behind me all through.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

On the saddle, it’s been a trail ride that I named the Columbus Trail. It started out as a regular ride with five of my rider buddys, then at the turn around point, we decided to look for a new trail. We rode around for hours till we discovered a way across the river and the trail we followed was the most beautiful one that I have ever come across. It’s the reason why I ride. Off the saddle, it was a dream come true to meet meet Gary Fisher.

Tell us what you ride

I started out with a MTB, a Trek 3500 and now, I have got myself a Fuji hybrid.

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

Motivational Monday Molly

Motivational Monday with Molly in Charlotte

What is your name and location?

Molly in Charlotte, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road

What is your first cycling memory?

Teaching myself how to ride a bike in my driveway when I was 5 or 6. It was too big for me and there were no training wheels, I stayed out until it was dark, determined to learn to ride it, and I did!

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

I’m part of a women’s triathlon group, Tri It for Life, that mentors and trains women to compete their first sprint triathlon. These women constantly inspire me to work harder and be better in all aspects of my life, not just cycling.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

For the second year in a row, I rode in 24 Hours of Booty, a 24 hour biking event to raise money for cancer research and awareness. My sister and I rode together to honor our Mom.

Tell us what you ride

I have a 2010 Trek Madone 4.5 and a 2009 Gary Fisher Piranha (I dabble in mountain biking)

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

halley_ride

Cycling with Epilepsy

Halley was featured earlier this year in the Motivational Monday series. I personally pulled a lot of inspiration from her and asked her to write an article for BSG on cycling with epilepsy. Give the article a read and then visit her blog to follow along her journey.

When you are triaged at the emergency room or picked up by the ambulance after a bicycle crash involving no other vehicle, the intake paramedic or nurse will write “FDGB” on your form. What super official medical term does this acronym mean? “Fall Down Go Boom.” It does get the point across, at the very least.

In 2009, I was going to the emergency room approximately every six to eight weeks for similar reasons. Part of it I was cycling more so naturally I was on my bike versus say in my apartment or walking. It made me a prime candidate for tipping over randomly. A few crashes I just stood up and dusted myself off, but several of them were pretty epic with full facial road rash, splayed out in the middle of road and no memory of how I actually ended up there. That last part was the most unsettling of the entire affair.

That’s when they sent me to a neurologist. It seemed that I had been what are called “absence seizures.” Chances are that I have been experiences them for a long time in my life and have never noticed them. I kind of freak out when I think of this, because I have driven a car a lot in my life and worry that I could have been driving when this had happened. Earlier in life, I would go into random crying fits that had been misdiagnosed as “hypoglycemia.” I very distinctly remember not being able to look at restaurant menus and see the words or formulate thoughts. The neurologist informed me that I was most likely experiencing what was called a “simple partial seizure” and having had them recently, I can attest all the orange juice and glucose tablets in the world won’t help, so while yes they do look like a low blood sugar crash, they are indeed not.

I had my first “grand mal seizure” during a bike ride in downtown Portland and hit a park bench. This was an extremely difficult and stressful time for me. I felt like my brain was trying to kill me. All I wanted to was live a car-free lifestyle, work at the women’s homeless shelter and continue my own business as a professional harpist (with a custom-made bike trailer for my full size folk harp). You know, the typical Portland Oregon lifestyle, right? I couldn’t really live that when I was riddled with migraines, my weight massively fluctuating from trying out new medications – and I already suffered from an overweight awkward childhood so this new struggle was just one more thing to add to my plate.

My neurologist and I struggled to deal with my daily migraines so that I could ride my bike again without the threat of seizure and we couldn’t figure it out until I came across something she didn’t think of. Allergies. I knew I was allergic to a few medications and chemical products, but in addition to them, I added gluten, lactose and egg to my list. Having a very severe latex allergy, I had never realized that banana or avocado were part of the same family, which while I loved and are very beneficial to most diets, unfortunately for me, they cause more harm than good. Cutting them out as well, cleared so many skin issues. It was actually about that time, 2010, I “went vegan.” I had already been eating mostly vegetarian due to the lack of dairy and egg products. My body has never processed red meat well and I don’t eat pork, so it was a pretty natural transition. The most difficult thing for me to break up with was gluten. Total carbitarian.

I want to smack myself in the forehead because it sounds so stupid writing this. You cut out the stuff that you’re allergic to and you stop being sick. I’m not a nutritionist, not giving you nutritional advice and I can only write what worked for me. And, let’s be honest. I still have seizures. It’s not all about food. But I did lose 70 lbs in less than a year, which I am sure was mostly because I was putting crap in my body that couldn’t be processed and broken down.

There are the good days and the bad. I have worked really hard to get to where I am. Charting when I have seizures. I have been on a bunch of different types medications that haven’t worked for me or that I have “grown out of,” meaning that dosage is at such a high mg that any more would be toxic so the doctor either has to supplement a different medication or change medications. There are literally dozens of different kinds of epilepsy that affect the brain. Mine is called progressive myoclonic epilepsy. In short, it means it’s going to get worse in time, but right now it’s really well controlled.

I love cycling and it’s my life. I ride with a primarily road racing team here in Portland, though my passion is cyclocross. I haven’t been able to race the last two years due to health reasons. My knee went out two years ago and I had foot surgery last year. This was related to a back fracture I had six years ago. Ironically related to the dysfunction in my right cerebral hemisphere, which causes discrepancies in motor skills, visuo-spatial, perception and coordination. Basically I FDGB. I am definitely looking forward to this fall and getting muddy.

Motivational Monday with Joy from Colorado

What is your name and location?

Joy from Colorado

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Mtn

What is your first cycling memory?

Watching my older sister learn to ride a bike. As soon as she put it down, I picked it up and rode away and have been riding ever since.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

A 62 year old friend of mine is continually challenging me to ride and improve my skills as I go. He inspires because he is one of those ‘freakish OG’s’ that continues to rip it up whatever ride we go on.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Finishing the Triple Bypass. It was monumental for me because the day I found out that I got in the ride, I was recovering from emergency surgery the night before. It made it all the sweeter to finish that ride and know how far I had come in six months.

Tell us what you ride

Road- Specialized ruby pro-red!

MTN -Specialized Jett 29er. Just plain ol fun.

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

vos

Safety Concerns for Giro della Toscana Leads to Protest

This past weekend a moment in women’s cycling history happened, and you probably didn’t hear about it.

In the fourth stage of the Giro della Toscana more than half of the racers did not finish. Why? In protest of the lack of safety for the group. This included lack of security for riders while on roads, and leaving the peloton to ride through traffic.

While this would have been worthy of protest if it happened at a local Cat 3 race, this race had the likes of  world champ Marianne Vos and was to be considered a women’s pro road race.

With women’s cycling growing voice, and attracting more media exposure I’m glad to see that these ladies and their teams took a stance for safety and a clear division of how men and women are treated in this sport.

 

Motivational Monday with Nadya

Motivational Monday with Nadya in Upstate NY

What is your name and location?

Nadya, Upstate NY

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road

What is your first cycling memory?

First learning how to ride without training wheels down my grandparents steep gravel driveway! I was hooked!

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My husband, he just started riding because he wants us both to be active and healthy and we spend that time together on the road. It brings us closer. He recently broke his collarbone and for two weeks now he’s been pushing me to get out and go on rides by myself and I’m getting better and stronger because of it.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Going on a short but sweet ride with my husband before he broke his collarbone. Hopefully he’ll heal fast and we can ride again before winter comes.

Tell us what you ride

Currently I have a Specialized vita elite but I will be getting a Specialized Dolce soon

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

Motivational Monday with Joan

Motivational Monday with Joan in the Philippines

What is your name and location?

Joan, Philippines

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

With family and friends

What is your first cycling memory?

With my cousins teaching me how to ride while we were taking care of my sick grandpa

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My grandpa.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

My first uphill in Paete, Laguna! ;)

Tell us what you ride

My mosso turmoil is my very first roadbike.

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

Motivational Monday with Mandy

Motivational Monday with Mandy in Rome, GA

What is your name and location?

Mandy Loorham Rome, GA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain Biking

What is your first cycling memory?

I was five or six and I had been learning to ride without training wheels. One Sunday my mom had gotten me ready for church in a nice white dress. I snuck out of the house and took my bike to the neighbor’s driveway and worked on my riding skills. I mastered my riding but got covered in dirt and grease. I went back into the house so proud. My mom took one look at me and flipped – so much for the white dress! I think I’ve been wearing dirt and grease ever since.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My husband and my boys – our whole famiy rides. If I can’t keep up I may miss something!

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

As much as I love riding with my family – my favorite moments on my bike this year have been when I’m alone. When I can listen to the birds and the wind. I just take the time look around and just enjoy the trail.

Tell us what you ride

I ride a Giant Trance XO. She’s the little engine that could. The more I learn to trust her the easier the ride gets.

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement! 

Team Cycleton

Your Feedback Wanted: What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

Over the years I have been lucky enough to be embraced, grow with and learn from some great women’s groups. The first that comes to mind is Artemis Racing out of the Mid-Atlantic and then there are the Dirt Diva’s in Charlotte, NC.

As I mentioned earlier this week, one of my goals over the next year is to help my Team Cycleton build and grow a women’s team. As I build the groundwork and before I put out a call for applicants for the team I want to hear from you.

What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

The specific word I want to point out in the above question is TEAM. While there will be some club aspect, social events and rides, it is also a large goal of mine to help develop female racing. This includes having like minded goals, training rides or events and education on all aspects of bike riding/racing.

So sound off, what have you seen work in making a successful women’s cycling team that helps develop women into strong riders and racers?

Motivational Monday with Janette

Motivational Monday with Janette

What is your name and location?

Janette Sherman, Camarillo, CA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I have to say that my first love is and will always be mountain biking. Regardless, I also ride road and own a cruiser and a cross bike.

What is your first cycling memory?

Well, this one is a dozy. I was 5 years old when I got my first bike. It was white and purple with a huge white banana seat. When my parents gave it to me, I burst into tears and ran up the staircase to sob on the landing. I don’t recall if it was one of my siblings or parents who came up to talk to me, but everyone was baffled.

“Why are you crying, Net Net?” (Yeah, now you have one on me because you know my childhood nickname)

Between muffled, horrid sobs, I replied – “I don’t know how to ride a bike.”

“We will teach you. I promise.”

And just like that, I stopped crying. I guess I bring up this story because I think sometimes we can feel like this when we are adults and we face really challenging situations on the bike. Once we realize all the amazing people who are out there and can help us be better riders and human beings, well viola, problem solved.

No I don’t sob when I am scared of a feature on my mountain bike, but I am so grateful to all those people who have helped me through some really challenging times on my bike and made me so much better.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

So many people. The funny part is that my mom doesn’t know how to ride a bike (so now I know for sure it wasn’t my mom who offered to help me to learn to ride, but she taught me a ton of other stuff. So that is okay). Here I work for a bicycle company for a living and my mom doesn’t ride. Don’t worry it is on my list of things to change.

Ironically, my mom inspires me to ride because she wasn’t really given that opportunity as a child and I think of all the women in the world who don’t have the time, freedom or maybe means to ride a bike and I am so lucky that I get to do this each and every day, if I wish.

I am also so inspired by all the women and men around me who ride and push me to new limits every day. Regardless of ability level, I learn something from every person I ride with whether it is to be more patient or a better way to corner or how to not take ourselves too seriously. What we can learn from each other is truly infinite.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

So many. It is so hard to choose, so I guess I will choose my most recent. A few days ago, I rode from the Liv/giant and Giant headquarters in Newbury Park mostly on single track to the ocean and back with some co-workers. Having moved to the Southern California region recently from living in Oregon, Alaska and Montana for the past 16 years has been a tough adjustment for me. Our ride was so great, filled with great terrain and tons of laughter. When we capped it off with an amazing destination, sitting on a rock outcropping overlooking the Pacific Ocean my perspective changed. Right there and then, I realized again how lucky I am to be here, now, working in the bike industry and that I needed to embrace being present. Boom! And now I can’t wait to make a million more memories like this in here in Southern California. Sometimes surrendering to all the awesomeness that is right in front of us is all we need to do.

Tell us what you ride

I LOVE MY BIKES! Here at Liv/giant and Giant we name all our demo bikes as our means of an inventory system. As a former demo driver I did the same with my own bikes. Coincidentally enough I happened to name my road and mountain bike after drag queens so I decided to continue the theme. Here is a quick run down of my “fleet” -

Trance X1 W (mountain bike)- Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Avail Advanced 1 (road bike) – Lady Chablis
TCX W (X-bike) – RuPaul
Via 1 W (cruiser)- Agador Spartacus

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Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!