Ambassador Post by Jessica
The last thing I ever thought I would consider myself is an athlete. It's possible I was the least athletic kid...EVER. My childhood could be best described as an orchestra geek and book worm. It's not that I wasn't interested in sports, it that I truly couldn't catch or throw.
One sport always lingered in my mind and that was cycling. I grew up along the bike path and despite my inability to catch or throw a ball, I could ride a bike all day with pure joy.
Living in Idaho meant being surrounded by cyclists. I felt like everyone I knew rode a mountain bike. It was something I really wanted to try but I just didn't have the guts...yet.
Finally, I met some friends willing to take me mountain biking and I picked up an affordable used mountain bike. I was hooked! After convincing my husband to give it a try he wrecked and injured himself on his very first ride. It would be another 10 years before I would try riding again.
Every day on my coffee break I walked past a local bike shop. The shop dog lured me on that particular route. Those daily walks past the bike shop made it near impossible for me to quit thinking about mountain biking.
So finally I went in. I had my bike tuned up and made the decision, I am a mountain biker. At that time my son had a few hundred dollars burning a hole in his pocket and was determined to spend it on a bmx bike. The next thing I did was totally self-serving, but I'm pretty sure he thanks me now. I signed him up for a mountain biking clinic for kids. Off he went to bike camp for 4 days. At the end he proclaimed himself to be a mountain biker.
This was it, I finally had a riding partner! Sure, he was only 12, but I'll take it. With the money still burning a hole in his pocket, I drove him over to the Rolling H Cycles, the bike shop on my coffee walks, and he picked out a bright blue mountain bike and counted out his cash for the purchase. Adam, the shop owner, gave him a Rolling H trucker hat as his contribution to the new bike day. That moment forever changed our lives as a family.
Lee, my husband, finally got back on a mountain bike. Suddenly we were riding five days a week. We were having so much fun and getting healthier all at the same time.
Fast forward three years…
I left the bank. Focused on being a mom. Rode my bike every day. Then somehow I found myself working full-time at the bike shop.
Cycling isn’t just about mountain bikes anymore either. We ride them all: road, mountain, and cyclocross. I’m part of the Rolling H Ladies and ride weekly with the nicest ladies possible. My husband, Lee and I help coach a high school mountain biking team, and yes, our youngest son races on that team.
Oh, and we have another awesome son. He's really fast on a bike, but he's made it clear that cycling isn't his thing, but he still shows up with a smile and eager to support as part of our "pit crew" at events.
I'm up against the same challenges as all the other moms I know, trying to balance it all. But one thing I know for sure, life is just better when I have time to ride my bike. So here I am, almost 40 and I finally consider myself an athlete. A cyclist. A mom. And a total bike nerd.