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They Say Everyone Has a Story…

Here she is!  Meet Vanessa, Live Love Velo’s 100th fan!  Vanessa is a spirited mountain bike chick who hails from the Hamptons.  When she started riding 4 years ago, she weighed in at over 220 pounds, but that didn’t keep her from checking out the race scene.  Now, 85 pounds lighter, she can’t imagine life without riding. “It’s like breathing for me”, she says, “When all else in my life is sh–, I just need to get on the bike and go for a spin and the stress and drama just wash away.”

Like so many women who discover a passion for riding, Vanessa’s story is inspirational.  Here’s some more from Vanessa in her own words:

LLV:  How did you get into riding?

Vanessa:   I rode horses for many years and really enjoyed trail riding – so one day I noticed a trail by house and I got a bike at K-mart and headed into the trail in yoga pants and a Mountain Dew skate helmet with no clue where I was going and that I was about to fall in love.  My friend Jeanine and I started riding every day and became obsessed with it  ~ finally we got some mentoring and much nicer bikes  and its all history now.

LLV:  What kind of riding do you do?

Vanessa:   Mountain Bike!  Love being dirty and being in the woods.

LLV:  What do you like about racing?

Vanessa:   Passing dudes!  Haha!  No, actually I love the high I get from it.  I love going to races with my friends and cheering everyone on and the great sense of community that we have – the post race beer and calorie deficit isn’t all that bad either.

LLV:  How do you think being part of a team can benefit women?

Vanessa:   The support and knowledge that you get from a team is huge!  Learning how to compete and gain confidence through competition is something that teams can support.  Its also more fun showing up at race with a crowd.

LLV:  What would be helpful in terms of getting more women involved in the sport of cycling?

Vanessa:   Cuter clothing for the big girls – I never wanted to ride on the road and part of that is because no one needs to see me in spandex – give me baggies and dirt and I’m a happy chick!  I think that spandex is intimidating to women who are not in race shape.  There is definitely a need for clothing for larger women.

Check out Vanessa’s before and after pictures– if her story alone wasn’t inspirational enough!!

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Go, Vanessa!  Thanks for sharing your story with Live Love Velo!

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