Encouraging ladies new to competitive cycling to become further involved.
Providing information to female cyclists to better improve their knowledge-base, awareness, fitness, nutrition, and competitive abilities.
Supporting local competitive events and growing the sport of local female competitive cycling.
I played softball and volleyball in high school. Once my team sports days ended, I started running recreationally then discovered adventure racing in 2005 when finishing law school. That introduced me to the multi-sport world. I neglected running, which had been my passion, for several years when starting my career, getting married, and having a baby all happened in short order. In 2011, I started running again, largely to relieve stress. I also overcame my fear of open-water swimming and bought a road bike for my first triathlon. That is when I started going on group rides, met a ton of great people in the cycling community, and fell in love with cycling. I’ve done 3 full Ironman races in the last 18 months and just completed a 70.3 as a guide for a blind athlete. While I still enjoy the challenge of triathlons (and how I can push my body to its limits in that arena), my heart belongs on the bike. I’ve been road racing for 2 years and especially love crit races. Road racing is truly a team sport, which is why I think I gravitate toward that discipline. I’m passionate about women’s cycling and hope to see larger women’s fields at every level and in every discipline. I’m curious about track, cyclocross, and mountain bike racing and would love to explore these also.
2015 was my first year racing but I’ve had a strong yoga practice for about nine years. I started racing because it looked fun and I wanted to challenge myself. Before racing, I primarily joined club rides and endurance rides for fun and exercise. My favorite part about racing is the self-motivation it takes. It really is all about pushing yourself to work harder and digging into your own physical and mental strength. Racing has motivated me to focus more intently on my personal goals and working to better myself physically, which has been beneficial to other aspects of my life. Second to that, it’s really fun and a rush. I love the nervous energy and chatter at the line-up, then sharing our stories of struggle with my team after the race. The cycling community is amazing. I’ve met so many kind, loving and supportive people through racing. If I never win a race, the experience itself has been a total life win. My other passions are cats and civil rights.
I have been racing road bikes since 2011 thanks to the support of the wonderful people in the Woodland Cycling Club Race Team - who encouraged me to do more than just the club race team rides. My very first race was the State Time Trial Championship, of which I obtained 2nd place in the Eddy Merckx division. What a great start! I then went on to race mountain bikes and try out cyclocross racing as well. Unfortunately a bike accident in February of 2012 required me to take time out of racing that entire next season.
2015 has been a good year, I turned 40 and re-engaged my interest in road racing. I focus primarily on criterium races and time trials as my strength zone is shorter-distance, high-intensity efforts. This year I've placed 2nd with a wonderful group of ladies in the Texas Team Time Trial Championship. I’ve been lucky enough to 'podium' 6 times in the local criterium races. I hope to continue participating in this challenging and fun sport for years to come. I also hope to encourage women cyclists to elevate their interest in the sport of cycling.
Since I was a kid, I jumped into every sport my friends introduced me too. I played basketball in junior college (believe it or not at 4’11”) and loved running full and half marathons. I have my husband to thank for getting me into riding and racing bikes. For my first race he threw me on his mom’s mountain bike and my competitive spirit kicked in. Bear Creek Crits was my first criterium experience. I got dropped many times, but kept coming back stronger. I’m in my third year of racing and it has become more than a hobby, but a lifestyle. Riding my bike is my outlet. In racing, I enjoy pushing the limits, leaving my legs out on the course, and racing the best race that I can every time the official says, ‘go’. Cyclocross is my favorite discipline. I believe I missed my BMX calling. Regardless, I love a good challenge in bike handling skills and you never now what course conditions you’ll come across in cyclocross. I use road season to stay in shape, but crits have started to grow on me. I live in New Waverly (near Huntsville). My biggest advice for prospective racers: don’t be afraid to ask questions, learn the lingo, and race. You don’t know how hard to train until you race.
Melissa is a known force in the cycling community, both as a rider and a strong racer. She has been racing bikes since Facebook was born and most of her activities also involve – you guessed it: bike riding! Melissa hasn’t always been a cyclist, but her competitive spirit began early with running. Her passions include spending quality time with her pup, Rory, riding bikes (of course), and enjoying a good glass of wine with friends.
I started cycling in late 2010. I was so excited about finding an active hobby I actually enjoyed and looked forward to where it would take me. By 2013 I noticed I was getting much stronger in group rides and traded in my fixed gear for a road bike. That same year I raced my first crit race at the Bear Creek Crits and I was hooked. One of my favorite things about racing is all the people I've gotten to meet over the years. It took me a while to get the nerves to race, but the community gave me support, advice, and assurance I would do well. I would say the same to any other women looking to get their toes wet. It's not nearly as terrifying as you'd expect. It's FUN to push yourself and your friends. Sometimes real life does get in the way of your cycling goals and you have to find the balance between the two, but it’s exciting to return to your bike and work towards getting faster and stronger.
In addition to cycling, I play roller derby with Yellow Rose Derby Girls and have been playing for about a year. I just recently started racing but I have been cycling for about three years. It started off more socially then grew to training for Bike Around the Bay with some friends. I needed a change from my weekly riding routine, and I was given an opportunity to race and I am so glad I took it. Racing is a whole new level of cycling to me. It's hard, but thrilling at the same time. At first, I could barely hold 13mph on my bike and now I can keep a pace line of 20mph. My goal is to get faster and stronger. Just go out there and try it! You'll get hooked!
I tried all the team sports as a child: ran cross country and played soccer in high school, but now I’m a competitive athlete. I saved up my allowance to purchase my first “real” bike while still in high school. My friends and I used to sneak off to the abandoned army base and race bikes after school. Don’t tell my mom; she still doesn’t know. Cycling has such a rich history and associated culture. The most profound moments of my life have been experienced from a bicycle saddle. Riding competitively provides an opportunity for continuous self-improvement, broadened horizons, and building relationships with fellow athletes that share the same love for this sport. My strongest friendships in life were built through sport. Cycling has the capacity to pour into many facets of your life - impacting your body, mind, and spirit - if you are open to the journey. Go for it! What do you have to lose?
For me racing is about going beyond what I thought I could do! My blood pulsing through my arteries, my heart pounding in my chest, my breath coming gasps, sweat pouring down my face, burning fire in my muscles, telling me I am alive and well...strong and vibrant is a very spiritual experience for me! Cycling connects me to my soul and I pray to God I'll be able to ride and share this sport with others for many years to come! Joining a team is just what I needed to find encouragement, inspiration, and camaraderie! A New fire has been lit after 20 years of riding! I have the unique opportunity to inspire my students to do what they never thought possible. As a group fitness instructor, I hope to teach my students that little by little we can overcome discomfort for longer periods and in return there fitness and performance will skyrocket!!! Even closer to home is when I see my kids 5, 3, and 1 find joy in moving their bodies, my loves!
In high school ran cross country track and played basketball. In elementary and middle school I was on the swim team. After high school I was burned out on running and got a mountain bike. I rode that bike everywhere I could – to classes, to visit friends, and even on vacation. My husband, John, introduced me to the League of American Cyclists and suggested that I become an instructor. I was the only one in the instructor class on a mountain bike. From this course I made friends and they invited me to ride the MS-150 Houston to Austin ride. So, I of course had to get a new road bike. I begin to leave my friends behind on the road and they encouraged me to seek out different groups to train with. Being very nervous and wanting to enter this sport and be safe I put up a random post about wanting a coach. I must have a guardian Angel because one of the leaders in Houston Women’s Cycling, Angela Man, said she would mentor and coach me. She provided instructions, guidance and encouragement that this past summer I raced in two crits, got super close to a podium, and have now entered two road races as well! I look forward to more training and competition with our outstanding and inspirational Haute team! My most favorite part of racing is networking with others and realizing the influence that we have on the next generation. If you are curious about racing, get involved, come to a meeting, or come to a cycling event! In life we only have so many opportunities; don’t let fear allow you to miss being part of competitive cycling.
I am originally from Honduras, C.A. I started running in 2002 after my second child was born and signed up for my 1st 5K (Rodeo Run). After that I was hooked. I ended up running many marathons afterwards, like: Nike Women's and New York. In between running; I discovered the MS150 Bike ride from Houston to Austin. I was very curious to find out how a person can ride 180 + miles in two days. Curiosity got the best of me and ended up riding 6 years of MS150 with the Baker Hughes Team. I kept my running and biking simple and just for fun - I had no way of tracking my pace or speed as I exercised without a Garmin for many years. About 5 years ago I discovered Garmin and became somewhat competitive in the sport. I started training a lot harder for running and bike rides. I knew that I could run & bike, but I had no idea how to swim, plus I had a fear of open water swimming. So: wanting to do my first triathlon (2014) I started to learn how to swim properly. I then registered for my first sprint Tri and moved up to longer-distance events. Yes, IM is on my bucket list for 2017! I love the sport and being active. It keeps my life balanced and happy.
I am also a Spin instructor and a Personal Trainer at 24 Hour fitness. I had been teaching spin classes for 8 years and I became a Personal Trainer 4 years ago. I started road cycling in 2016 after I met Pamela, she inspired me to give it a shot! Until then my exposure to bike riding was in Triathlons (since 2012). Spin classes are not the same as riding outdoors! In fact, I think they should never be compared. Riding a bike is good for your joints and body. There are no age limits and by competing you develop skills that help you become stronger as well as faster! These skills will translate into other sports as well. My favorite part of being a competitive athlete is knowing that wherever you put your mind - your body will follow. There are no limits but the ones that you put in yourself! Competitive cycling can help you to overcome personal obstacles as well. As the sport is dominated by men - competing can spark a desire for other women to follow. If you are thinking about trying bike racing: it is never too late to follow others and to become the example for those who are considering trying to compete.
Growing up in the country with 15 acres kept me very active outside, I've been mountain biking since 7 years old. Although through middle school, high school and some college, I was fully dedicated to team sports. While I played volleyball, and softball; basketball was my sport. I played on a tournament team for 6 years. Team sports taught me hard work and dedication. I found my way back to cycling in 2010 on a fixed gear bike and realized cycling is my true passion. I enjoy mountain biking, cyclocross, track, and road cycling. Cycling is enjoyable for me, for the purity and stress relief of it and often riding without a computer tracking my every move. I have been fortunate to have met so many amazing people in this sport, who have pushed me to be a better, healthier person. I love the adrenaline from pushing myself to keep up with people on bikes with gears. I've been a commuter in the city for 5 years, only recently getting into racing. My greatest cycling achievement was riding from my house in Eastwood all the way to Austin on a fixed gear, for a total of 190 miles in two days. I look forward to growing in the sport and getting better with the team aspect of it. I've been a bike mechanic for 4 years and plan to start my own bike shop.
Joyce is a key Mentor to our Haute Wheels racing team and brings her many years of experience as a competitive cyclist to assist our ladies to become stronger and better riders.
Alison is our adjunct team member, currently not racing, but supporting Haute Wheels in our mission to empower women cyclists.