Quick Brown Foxes: Shequaya Bailey | Smarter, Stronger, and Faster
Words by: Shequaya Bailey
My name is Shequaya Bailey and the cycling bug bit me shortly before I moved from Atlanta in 2009. I frequently commuted to work during my time in Atlanta and when I moved back to my hometown, Pittsburgh, in 2010 I was without a bike for about six months. During this time I began to really miss it, so I went to a nearby bike shop and picked up my first road bike. I even bought the clip-less pedals before I knew how to ride with them.
In the beginning, I would just ride around my neighborhood with no particular destination in mind. Then one day I discovered a club, Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club, leaving for a ride from the local bike shop that I frequented and Bruce, the president of that club welcomed me with open arms. After meeting him, the club opened my eyes and worked my legs harder than ever before. I discovered that I had a new love and her name was cycling. Riding with them taught me so much, such as rules of the road, proper bike etiquette, and even taught me how and when to use my gears. I discovered that I loved going fast and so did my friend Kelley. She shared with me that there was a local racing circuit held by Allegheny Cycling Association (ACA), for various skill levels. So in 2013 I had my first bicycle race and I have been hooked ever since.
I have been racing for a few years now but I try to always remain open because there is always so much to learn and I have so much room for improvement. As race experiences go my 2016 highlight was doing my first pro race, the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium. I lasted about 15 minutes, but I learned quite a bit in those 15 minutes: more power, position is crucial, and keeping trying. I will be looking forward to returning to this event next year smarter, stronger, and faster.
On a brief tangent, I recognize that I am one of the few black women doing what I do in this Pittsburgh area. However, I have been very fortunate to have a really supportive cycling community supporting my endeavors.
I love watching other brown women thrive all over the country! I was so pumped to see Shequaya jump into her first Pro race last season and can't wait until we get the opportunity to race together! IT WILL HAPPEN! Woot!