On Mother’s Day: The Crew Pays Tribute to Moms
On Mother's Day, we're giving the mike to our Crew…
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On Mother’s Day, we’re giving the mike to our Crew Members. Some chose to pay tribute to their biggest supporters—oftentimes their mom, but in some cases to acknowledge others who have provided similar support, encouragement, or mentorship. We’re also lucky to have several mom-crushers and mentors on our team and they generously offered their individual perspectives on how they have, or plan to, share their love of cycling with the kids in their lives.

To Our Biggest Supporters

“My mom was never a cyclist, but she always encouraged me to be independent and gave me the freedom to explore. This confidence to take chances and find my own way led to my obsession with discovering new places and gave me the tools I would later need to pursue a career on a bicycle.”

—Ryan Petry 

“My mom has always supported me in pursuit of my passions. I would go through phases of interests, and whether it was art, cooking, or cycling, she was always happy to provide me with the resources I needed to grow and learn. I’m very lucky and grateful for her support growing up, since the bikes and gear required to mountain bike can get pretty costly!”

—Nina Machnowski

“To say my mom has been supportive during my cycling career (and entire life!) doesn’t even begin to capture her love, encouragement and significant impact. She traveled to countless races throughout the country, patiently standing for hours on the roadside in Redlands, CA, Gila, NM and countless crits corners in CO to show her love and support. My mom picked up cycling (in her 70s!) and rides with a group of friends weekly on her e-bike.There is no greater joy than having the opportunity to share the love of cycling with my mom.”

—Amy Charity

“My mom has always been supportive—there when I needed a shoulder to cry on or help talking through the bigger picture when everything seemed overwhelming. One of my favorite memories though is when she managed to make it over to my last elite World Championships in Bergen, Norway (2017) and we got to spend time together, just us. My path in cycling has been long and winding, and it would have been impossible without my parents…and sometimes in the biggest moments nothing needs to be said, just felt. Happy Mothers’ Day, Mama.”

—Alexey Vermeulen

“I was introduced to cycling and a love for the outdoors at a very young age because of my mom. She would always take my brother and I outside to go try new things, whether it was road biking, hiking, mountain biking, or skiing. I am so incredibly grateful for my mom and I cannot imagine a life without her. My mom is an incredible role model and such an inspiration to me. We ride together and even do cross country races together, and she is always so supportive of my bike racing and always there to cheer me on. I love it when I am also able to support her with her racing. She shows me that anything is possible and she has always been there for me through it all. I love knowing that we are able to connect even more because of a shared love for cycling. I know that she will always have my back and be there for me as I pursue a professional MTB racing career. My mom is the most inspiring, kind, and courageous person I know and I am thankful for her every day.”

—Lia Westermann

“My mother recently passed away from brain cancer in mid-February so this will be my first Mother’s Day without her. I miss her deeply. My mom was a huge supporter and aficionado of my triathlon career and was a cheerleader at many of my and my husband’s races. Every July, my mom would be at the same spot on the bike course at Ironman Lake Placid cheering us both on.Hours later she would be patiently waiting for us to complete the marathon portion of the race and cross the finish line successfully. She would then help us carry our gear bags while we wheeled our bikes back to the hotel in our highly fatigued post-race state. She was the best support crew and Sherpa ever! 

My mom was most definitely an inspiration for me when I was starting out in triathlon back in 2009 as she was an avid cyclist in her own right. As a family, we would ride several miles together on weekends to the country store in the next town over to indulge in their famous peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. My mom covered many miles on her hybrid bike on the gravel trails and roads around my parents’ summer home in Vermont. She was known as ‘The Energizer Bunny’ on the bike trips across Europe that they took with friends, as she may not have been the fastest rider, but she always got up those hills no matter how steep they were by just pedaling and grinding away steadily till she got it done. She just loved biking and being outdoors in nature.”

—Melissa Grieco

“I want to give a shout-out to Susie Fiore. She ran the after school bike program that first got me into mountain biking and then took me to my first-ever race. Her example and encouragement gave me the confidence to pursue racing bikes as a career and by kicking my butt for many, many years, she taught me to never underestimate an opponent!”

—Macky Franklin

From the Ones Who Support Us

“Bikes are a huge part of both mine and my husband’s life so naturally we got our daughter, Avery, a bike before she could even walk. I wanted her to have the option of riding a bike but wasn’t going to push it. When she took off on her mini bike at just 11 months old smiling, and giggling the whole time I definitely shed a few tears of joy. Having to bring her inside for dinner kicking and screaming because she didn’t want to stop riding felt like a massive parenting win. 

For me riding is much more than just exercise. It’s spending time outside disconnected from distractions and enjoying fresh air, quiet, and everything nature has to offer. I hope to pass on to Avery that not every ride has to be a crusher, it can be full of smelling wild flowers, collecting rocks and looking at beautiful scenery. I want her bike to be a safe place. A place to laugh, a place to cry, a way to make new friends, a place to challenge herself, or a place to forget about responsibilities and just enjoy what the outdoors has to offer. I hope she continues to love riding and I can’t wait for more family adventures.”

—Cooper Ott

“Seeing as I just became a mother on April 3rd to a beautiful baby girl, I hope to pass on my love for sport and cycling to her as she grows up. I didn’t find the bike until later in life, although my mom and dad attempted many times to get me on one. What I want our daughter to find is joy in the simple act of pedaling to create memories and friendships, and explore the world as I have. The way I plan on doing this is by making sure when our daughter is old enough, to include her on as many bike outings as possible. I am already sizing up what that looks like. Seat on the back of the bike, or front? Or do we get a trailer? Either way, I am so excited to get out there again soon with my daughter in tow so she can start creating some memories of her own—starting with fun on a bicycle.”

—Nicole Caldwell

“As a mother, you always want to plant the seeds to build your children’s confidence, strength, independence, and belief in oneself to help them grow into the humans they have the potential to be. I can not think of a better vessel to teach these skills than teaching them how to ride a bike. From the first time they pedal independently down the street to the day we take off their training wheels, to taking them out on a trail, watching them fall with hearts beating rapidly, scrape knees, getting back up and attempting to ride over the same obstacle again, repeating until they conquer it… a true metaphor for what life challenges us all with… and learning that perseverance, problem solving, and determination can reap memorable rewards. I’ve watched my own daughter grow from the little girl who used to spin her little legs feverishly on her 20” bike, equipped with frog horn and bell, on our rides to get ice cream to a strong, confident teenager who now traverses rocks and punchy climbs on her own. I see the inner satisfaction of accomplishment radiate from her after a long, fatiguing, ride together. I know in a few years when she leaves our home to venture into the world on her own, those days riding her bike over the years will have helped equip her to set goals and accomplish anything she sets her heart and mind to doing.”

—Deanna McCurdy

“​​I’ve been able to share the love of bikes with my nephew, who is now six and shreds way better than I can on the pump track. Liam has loved bikes since he could walk, getting on his first Strider at just two years old. He picked up pedal bikes the next year, and has been unstoppable since. Together we’ve explored local gravel travels, gone bike camping in my cargo bike, had fun at the local pump track, and maybe most best of all, experienced our first cyclocross racing season together. Watching Liam grow up and gain confidence as a rider and a love for the bike has been such a joy as his Aunt. To be able to share my favorite hobby with my favorite kiddo is the icing on the cake.”

—Marley Blonsky

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