25 Days of Blogmas

And so it begins! The biggest purpose of this is that I'm normally up to stuff, and forget to document it. Or decide i'm too busy to document it. Or something dumb and inexcusable, so for the first day of Blogmas I would like to fill y'all in on some of the rad stuff I've been involved in that I failed to mention. (My bad homies)

1. I WON THE 2/3 WOMEN'S CATEGORY AT THE INTELLIGENTSIA CUP!

And I drink tea out of that winners mug EVERY SINGLE MORNING. 

And I drink tea out of that winners mug EVERY SINGLE MORNING. 

I can't believe I never made the time to document what was probably the biggest win of my career so far! I won a race series, and it felt GREAT! I told Will (my husband), that I really wanted to "Sagan" a race series this year. Meaning, even if I don't win, I want to always be towards the front. I was so consistent, and though i never won a single stage, my consistency of placing top 5 won me the whole series. HECK YEA!!!! 

 

2. San Francisco to San Diego : Coasting Through California

They didn't seem as thrilled about the climbs as I was... ah well. 

They didn't seem as thrilled about the climbs as I was... ah well. 

My husband Will and I - along with our friends Ann, Jacob, and Wasif trekked 600 miles down the coast of California in early August. It was brutal, it was beautiful, and it was awesome! I wrote all about here at The Adventure Syndicate. 

3. The Ride Across Wisconsin

When the Wisconsin Bike Fed reached out and asked me to ride over 150 miles in The Ride Across Wisconsin, I didn't hesitate to say yes! I'd never ridden over 115 miles, but I am almost always down for an adventure, so I knew this was going to be great.  At the end of August I particpated in the one day ride which actually totaled at 178 miles and over 9000 feet of climbing. I have never felt such sweet relief as walking into Lake Michigan with my head held super high. Woot!

4. NAA - Mike Nosco Memorial Ride Women's Clinic

As the first ever Mentee in the Network for Advancing Atheletes program, I was honored to be asked to present as a panelist to ease the anxieties of women considering the treacherous Mike Nosco Memorial Ride. It was an honor to present alongside professional cyclists, and pro mechanics. Lil' ol me had quite a bit to say about mental toughness and I think it helped give some of the gals the boost they needed to complete the ride! Woot! Mantras work ya'll. 

"Turn your fear into fire"

 If you're not familiar with the Network for Advancing Athletes, I highly recommend looking them up and supporting a great cause! 

5. CycleCast 042: Becoming the first Female African-American Professional Cyclist (Podcast)

I was near LA for as a panelist for a rad clinic from the Mike Nosco Ride Women's Clinic hosted by the Network of Advancing Athletes so I figured I'd drop in on the folks over at Cyclefeed and let them pry into my life with the hard hitting questions. They were great and it was a ton of fun, please check it out! 

Description: Ayesha McGowan is breaking the glass ceiling by becoming the first female African-American professional cyclist next season. Once a self-proclaimed basketball star, Ayesha has pursued very unique interests, including the decision to pursue music professionally. In this episode, find out the firsthand experience from a young woman who has learned how to change cycling norms and culture, all from the peloton. 

Producer: Ivette Lopez

 

6. The Outspoken Cyclist: Show #320 (Podcast)

Guests: Ayesha McGowan; Keith Laughlin; Marlaine Koehler

First show of November and it’s a great one!

We start with a bright, energetic go-getter by the name of Ayesha McGowan. Ayesha began racing at 28 and quickly shot up the ladder – winning the Cat 4 NY State Criterium Championship in 2015, she took first place at the 2016 NY State Road Race, and has her sights set on stage and time trial races for the upcoming season.

What’s so interesting besides the quick one-two wins? She’s a music teacher and is involved with the tandem group InTandem that trains captains to ride with sight-impaired stokers .

There’s a lot more to this young lady; just listen in!

7. Facing Race

Me and Helen Ho after a weekend of awesome!

Me and Helen Ho after a weekend of awesome!

I had the opportunity to attend Facing Race in Atlanta, GA this past November. It was fantastic. I was in the presence of over 2500 activists and advocates for racial justice and I have never felt so empowered as a black person. It was an incredible experience and I have taken so much with me that I can use in my work and my mission. So pumped.

From the website: "Facing Race: A National Conference is presented by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. A unique collaborative space for racial justice movement making, Facing Race is the largest multiracial, inter-generational gathering for organizers, educators, creatives and other leaders."

8. The Untokening

So many advocates, so much progress!

So many advocates, so much progress!

I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to attend the first ever Untokening conference. The mission statement was:

To truly reclaim streets for people and make them safe and accessible for all, we need to address what that means in terms of culture, class, race, identity, and community.

 

It was in Atlanta the same weekend as facing race, which was the same week as the election. It was great to be enveloped in a likeminded forward thinking community who was ready to do what it takes to make sure marginalized groups of humans don't get left out of the process in the years to come. The conversation around equity in transportation was LOOONG overdue, it was great to be a part of this conference and I'm stoked about the fantastic progress that will come from all of the seeds we planted that day.