Chasing Mailboxes

Motivational Monday with Mary

What is your name?

Mary Gersemalina

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Bike touring, randonneuring, day rides, commuting, and tooling around town

What is your first cycling memory?

My first memory is being a little kid and learning to ride without training wheels. To master two-wheeled technique, I resorted to a combination of weaving and paddling circles on a little red bike in my parents garage, hidden from any potential onlookers (or, in my case, siblings) until I finally figured out the basics of two-wheeled transport.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My parents initially inspired me to ride, and I carry that with me today. They introduced me to the idea that my bike is a vehicle for exploration and instilled in me the importance of being active. In addition, my husband and my friends also keep me motivated. We use our bikes to meet up after work and go out for dinner. Simple things like that get me out the door. My husband, friends, and I also love spending the day together touring the countryside on bikes, whether it is a randonneuring event or just a fun century ride. When I initially began riding seriously as an adult I did most of my cycling on my own. Over time I’ve found that I like solo rides on occasion, but generally I like that my cycling has a social element to it. I’ve met some really great people through commuting, touring, and randonneuring, and it helps get me out the door when I know that I’m going to see my friends on any given ride.

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

My husband and I rode a weeklong tandem bike tour that we planned and routed ourselves, averaging 85 miles per day over seven days. As part of that, we climbed Trail Ridge Road– the highest continuous paved road in the United States– on our first day. Trail Ridge tops out at over 12,000 feet. To me, that tour and that day riding up Trail Ridge, showed me how much I have grown in my confidence as well as my abilities as a cyclist as well as tandem rider. It really was a spectacular adventure. We were two little bike riders climbing big tall mountains and having the time of our lives. I wrote about it a fair amount on my blog, Chasing Mailboxes.

Tell us what you ride

I own primarily steel touring frames. As I mentioned, my husband and I have a custom tandem, a Co-Motion Java 29er that we use for touring and randonneuring as well as a Cannondale mountain tandem– which is aluminum– that we use for off-road riding. I own a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, which is a packable flyer and ideal for something like paved light touring. My Surly Long Haul Trucker and Rivendell Quickbeam are perfect for bike commuting and grocery shopping. I use my Rivendell Romulus and Rawland Nordavinden for century rides and brevets/randonneuring events, if I’m not on the tandem. I also own a Bike Friday TIkit, which is a fast-fold bike designed for commuting and multi-modal transport. I really enjoy trying out different bikes and using them for various purposes.

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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!