Zara and I began corresponding through the grape vine. Our husbands have been friends for years and when she and I found out that we both loved riding, we basically made them set up a riding date – or at the very least, exchange our numbers to one other so that we could do so. Long story short, after several back and forth texts about when and where to meet, we went on our first ride together and have never looked back. She’s the riding buddy who keeps me grounded, focused, and holds me accountable. She’s the one who will happily pull off to the side of the trail to watch the deer or marvel at the sunrise bouncing off the riverbed. The one who will hop on her bike as early as I suggest and will probably have already been up for hours. This bad-ass lady truly is one who inspires and I am thrilled to introduce her to you as our very first “Women Who Inspire” feature! Without further ado…
Location: Akron, Ohio
Her Ride: All-City Macho Man Disc; cross bike
Preferred Riding Style: I love being on my bike wherever it may take me. I do have to say my favorite style or place to bike is on the bike trails. I like not having to worry about cars and being able to be close to wildlife and nature.
What Got Her into Cycling: I’ve been riding since childhood and it was my favorite pastime, but it faded away as I got older. My husband got me back into it as an adult when we started dating and I haven’t stopped since!
Solo Riding or Riding Buddies? I find value in both riding solo and with others. Riding for me is my self-care and therapeutic outlet. I am a mental health counselor and art therapist and I sometimes need to ride solo to clear my head and decrease my own anxiety. It’s meditative. Riding with others allows me to feel connected and also keeps me accountable to get out there and push myself in a manner that I may not experience when riding solo.
Happiest moment on Her Bike: One of my happiest moments on my bike is being fully present in the moment; drinking in the sunshine, breathing in the crisp air, my legs vibrating with energy, the rush of being alive. I’ve seen so many things, the magic of life, just being on my bike. For example, Brittany and I were out riding one morning and got to see a doe and her three fawns in the Cuyahoga River. It was amazing! You would never get to see that in a car!
Biggest Challenge on Her Bike: One of the biggest challenges for me as a cyclist is not beating myself up if I’m not “the perfect cyclist.” I am not going to be a racer, I’m not going to be the fastest or get up a hill without being winded. I have to remind myself to show up and enjoy the ride.
Bike Goals: I have not been able to really travel with my bike, yet! My brother and I are working our way to ride the whole length of the Towpath and end wherewe grew up, in Tuscarawas County.
Dream Vacation: I would love to ride in Portland, Canada, Hawaii, anywhere really! I want to continue to see nature and life on my bike because you get to see things you don’t get to through other means of transportation.
Tips for the Newbie Riders: For all the new riders out there do NOT be intimidated, especially women. Go out there and own it. You will be amazed at how being on a bike can improve your overall functioning, from self-confidence to stress-relief, being on a bike will change your life!
If you, or someone you know, would like to be featured as a “Woman Who Inspires”, CONTACT us today. We’d love to hear more about your/their cycling journey! Don’t forget to join our Facebook community!