I discovered mountain biking in 1995 after dropping out of graduate school and losing my direction in life. Cycling captivated me, and as I took up road cycling, I found my way back into graduate school and finished my degree while racing as a collegiate and USCF/NORBA racer. In 1996, I also discovered ultramarathon cycling, and was the first woman to finish the 573-mile Bicycle Across Missouri race, qualifying for Race Across America (RAAM).
In the years to come, I raced competitively on a number of Midwest cycling teams, placing well in enough races to advance to category 2 shortly before moving to New Mexico in 2002. As an ultramarathon bicycle racer, I finished as the top female in the UMCA World 24 Hour Championship in 1997, 1998, and 1999, and won the Furnace Creek 508 in 2003. In 2009, I needed a break from cycling, so I competed in ultramarathon running events for a few years, completing the Leadville 100 Trail Run 3 times, several 50 milers, and over 5 marathons. Cycling was calling me back, though, and I jumped back into both USA Cycling and ultramarathon bicycle racing in 2012, taking 2nd in the 24 Hour Championships in California and attempting RAAM in 2013. Sadly, after 2716 miles, I knew I couldn’t beat the time cut-off, so I surrendered to hallucinations and slept for a day before my husband, two kids, and I started the long drive home. RAAM is a challenge I hope to tackle again, more successfully, another day. For the heck of it, I completed the Hoodoo 500 ultramarathon race in Utah as a Voyager, i.e., unsupported, in 2014 and realized I needed a bigger break to fully recover from the abuse of RAAM.
After a full year of focusing on family and career, I came back to bicycle racing in 2016 and had a lot of fun racing around New Mexico and Arizona. I finished well in some early season races and capped off the season with a win at the Tour of Acoma. While racing the Trifecta, I met some great cyclists on the Zia Team and was impressed by their attitude and obvious love of the sport. When the season ended, I asked the team management if I could join Zia. It took a few months, but the good news finally came, and I was officially added to the team roster.
This year I am hoping to race with a strong team that nourishes the cycling community of New Mexico. I look forward to racing as a teammate to the ladies on Zia Velo, working together to compete for a team win while promoting cycling to younger riders who are thinking of racing. In addition to Trifecta, the 505 Classic, and Iron Horse, I hope to race more this year in the mid-season events and compete in the New Mexico championships. I hope to join teammates in races in Arizona, Colorado, and Texas, including USA Cycling events and gran fondos. I plan to do at least a few of the double centuries in the Rocky Mountain Cycling Club Challenge Series to prepare for a better performance as a Voyager racer at the Hoodoo 500 in August.
I am proud to be a member of the Zia Velo Cycling Team, and I look forward to the road racing season to finally begin. Rubber side down!