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The Team | Fort Follies

2020 Fort Follies Team

The Fort Follies are a group that seeks to empower women and women-identifying individuals in the Fort Collins area to be active and impactful members of our cycling community through riding, racing, and philanthropy. We strongly believe in a positive, supportive, and inclusive team, suited for women and women-identifying individuals of all abilities and disciplines.

 

Tiffany Akrum: I started riding about 14 years ago. Over the last 6 years I have been a coach with Ciclismo Youth Foundation and have been on the board of directors for CYF for the last 3 years. I would like to add coaching adult women to my list of goals.

Victoria Balfour: I’m new to Fort Collins and Colorado within the last few years. I mainly enjoy getting out on long road rides. I got into cycling as I love spinning and then wanted to do the RATPOD in Dillon, MT. I also enjoy mountain biking although balance is a bit more of a challenge. Haha I love traveling and new adventures! I would love to one day bike across the country.

Jane Brewer:  I grew up in the heart of NYC, so the most I rode bikes growing up was pedaling my sweet Schwinn banana seat bike around in circles on the pavement. After a move to Crested Butte in 2002, I really started to love cycling and humbly learned how to mountain bike there. It was hard not to fall in love with riding singletrack when some of the most incredible trails are right outside your doorstep. Cycling (mostly the crashing part) inspired me to my current career as a NeuroStructural Chiropractor. My husband and I moved to Fort Collins in early 2015 and are having fun exploring the trails around Northern CO!

Cynthia (Cini) Brown: I started riding and racing in 1984 while I was in college. I had been a swimmer and tennis player, but once I tried cycling, I loved it more than any sport I had done. I have been racing with Team Rio Grande since around 2006. I am looking forward to riding and racing as much as I can and helping other women achieve their cycling goals.

Celeste Cannon: I was nine years old and had spent 6 weeks with training wheels before I finally learned to ride a bike. I will never forget that feeling of flying and the freedom my bike gave me! I’ve been mountain bike racing since 2004, working my way up from beginner to Pro over the years. I was Colorado’s Pro XC mountain bike champion in 2018 and 2019 and am hoping for the three-peat in 2020. I am also a founding member of the Sugar Beets, Fort Collins’ only women-only expert/pro bike racing team. I love helping others get into the fun and excitement of racing!

Sarah Carney: Backpacking on a bicycle? Yes please. I got into cycle touring through some amazing friends and went on some unforgettable adventures. One thing lead to another and the number of bikes started accumulating in the garage. Mountain biking seems to have found a special place in my life right now. My job as a radiographer keeps me inside all day everyday so the best part of my day, the part that keeps me sane, is getting out on a ride or tooling around on a pump track.

Cat Coffman: My name is Cat Coffman. I moved to Fort Collins in August of 2017 to work at the Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado, and I have never been happier. The one thing I miss from Memphis is my cycling club and some of the friends I made through cycling. I also enjoy running and horseback riding, and I’m still trying to learn to ski.

Valerie Collins: I started riding in 2007 both road and mountain, but my love for riding dirt and gnarly trails lead me towards the dirt side of riding. I did some racing Initially , but without a steady support system , that fell by the wayside. I turned to just improving my dirt skills. In 2014, I decided to give riding a break, but in 2016 rediscovered my love for riding. Now with a steady support system in place I am turning my eye towards Nationals in Winter Park for 2019, and after that hope to try my hand at bike packing. Hopefully on my obsession trail: Colorado Trail. 

Jennifer Cram: I have been in love with the great outdoors and riding my bike since I was a little girl. I started mountain biking just about a decade ago while living in Summit County. I jumped right into racing with the local Summit Mountain Challenge series and met some great people. I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of races out west and in my home state of MI from 24 hours of Moab to the Iceman Cometh. I am hooked! I have lived in Fort Collins now for over 2 years and am enjoying the local trails and being part of such a strong cycling community.

Molly Cropp: I started cycling 7 or 8 years ago, mostly because my husband was a cyclist. I’ve since started mountain biking and road riding. I also like to run (weird, I know) and last summer I ran my first 50k. I’d like to continue running and use cycling to keep me in shape when I’m not running!

Jessica Crouch: I really fell in love with bicycles after several amazing self-supported bike tours, and took a shot at racing cyclocross in 2008 and fell headfirst in love with racing after that. After relocating from Nashville to Fort Collins, racing and riding has taken a bit of a backseat to balancing my time between a new kiddo, home renovations and a gig as letterpress printer for Wolverine Farm but I still love riding and always looking for fun folks to ride with.

Lisa Cunningham: I have lived in Fort Collins since 2008. I am a very active stay-at-home mom with three kids, involved in a lot of nonprofit and community-based volunteer work. I bought my first road bike a year ago, and for the past year have been leading a weekly road ride (25-30 miles) among my gal pals on Thursday mornings at 9am. I am looking for more women riders to connect with to go on more weekday rides, and longer weekend rides. Sadly, Sunday morning rides don’t work so well for my schedule, even though the routes look really fun and varied.

Janna Dickerson: I grew up in Fort Collins, and after going to college in Pennsylvania, I couldn’t stay away. I love being outside, coaching tennis, riding my bike and working to make Fort Collins an even better place to ride a bike! I have been surrounded by bikes my whole life but have really been enjoying cycling recently. I split my time between my road bike and my gravel bike!

Joanna Doxey: I got into cycling about 3 years ago after a knee injury took me away from running and due to the fact that my (now) husband, as a former competitor and bike mechanic, had a lot of equipment and guidance. I went from too scared to clip in to taking joy in reaching new goals. While he was a great coach, we have different strengths in cycling — I love climbing & hate downhills – and he has been less understanding of my fears having raced for 20+ years. Now that I’ve become more obsessed with competition (thanks, Strava), I’d like to learn riding with a group (also one of my fears in terms of being too close to other cyclists on the road) and become more technical. Plus, I really want female team camaraderie and empowerment. I’m also looking to gain confidence on my new gravel bike. I work at CSU and grew up as a competitive skier.

Ana Espinoza: I have been road cycling since August 2018 and I love riding but I want to be a better rider. this group has been very helpful for me about what type of clothes to wear or what type of hydration to have and just asking questions about women stuff. I am also part of the FCCC but I feel more comfortable asking questions to the Follies than to FCCC members. I would like to know more ladies in this group to have a better connection

Maria Esswein: I moved to Fort Collins in mid-September 2018 from St. Louis, MO, where I pretty much grew up and lived the 5-6 years prior to moving West. I always loved riding my bike as a kid-I would ride to swim practice and to friend’s houses. I started riding bikes again the summer before my sophomore year when I bought my first road bike in July 2009 and then switched from the swim team to the mountain biking team that fall (my sophomore year) at Union College (one of the best decisions of my life). I’ve been riding bikes and racing ever since then. I mainly race MTB (endurance) and it’s my first love but I also enjoy racing crits (for fun/training) and CX. Looking forward to continuing to get to know more of the Fort Collins cycling community.

Dani Gigliotti: I first fell in love with riding bikes when I made the move to Fort Collins in 2015. Working as a mail carrier on the rural side of the Postal Service, I’ve discovered some wild and wonderful dirt and gravel roads to ride. This year I want to backpack the Colorado trail, race my first Xterra, PR a half marathon and compete in open water swimming ! As part of the Follies, I’d love to step up and lead some group rides. My training mantra is to always have fun!

Kirsten Goffena: I love life and I love riding my bike! Triathlon has been my gig the past 7 years; I’d like to branch out in 2020 and try gravel biking. The FC-Steamboat Ramble Ride is on my radar. I love riding uphill and am terrified riding down steep hills and of trucks with huge side mirrors, wide beds and rude drivers. Maybe I’ll try snow biking too….if it’s fun, I’m in 😀

Patricia Grajeda-Babb: My name is Patricia but I go by Tricia. Born and raised in Mexico, and moved to the Texas to pursue my College degree. My interest for cycling started six years ago, when I signed up for my first triathlon and OH BOY I was hooked, immediately fell in love and I haven’t stopped since!!!  I love being outside, so CO is the perfect place to live. Looking forward to another great year with this amazing group. 

Kim Guggemos: Hi! My name is Kim and I am super excited to join the Fort Follies!! I’ve only lived in Fort Collins for a few years and have completely embraced this amazing bike friendly city. I bought a road bike this past summer and looking forward to a very active 2020 season to include riding 100 miles in Bike MS with and to support my niece.

Elaine Hochberg: I started cycling in 2017. I’m just looking to hang out with some cool ladies and ride bikes with them!

Gail Hogeland: I started riding as a commuter 6 years ago to be more active. In the last 6 years I’ve become a more active cyclist and found that I still love to race and be competitive. This year for me will be about not giving up. Setting goals to ride more than I ever have before.

Rachel Hurshman: I started road riding about 10 years ago after trying out my little sister’s bike and loving it. I love being active and doing things outdoors. Looking forward to meeting new people and riding buddies!

Amie James: My name is Amelia but I go by Amie. I started cycling about 2008 when I lived in Tucson, AZ. Rides where just for fun or commuting to school. Tucson is where I got my first and only (as of now) rode bike, an old 90’s something Univega from a bike co-op in town. It took me awhile to get used to a road bike but now it is my favorite and I find it hard to ride anything else! I got into doing more mileage when I moved to Fort Collins and joined up with the Women’s Wrenching Group in 2015. There I met gals that love to ride (even long distance) no matter what type of bike they have! I rode my bike a lot last spring and summer. My goal was to get better at getting up the hills! I still need to work on that and getting more miles. Since buying a place off HWY 287 I haven’t ridden much if at all. I am hoping that joining the Fort Follies will help me stay motivated to keep riding and achieving my biking goals. As for something unique about myself…hmmm sometime instead of signing along to a song I like to bust out my mouth trumpet skills.

Marketa Jancar: Hi! My name is Marketa! I joined the Fort Follies and started cycling in 2018. After a few group rides I found out I really liked riding my bike. I also enjoy Fort Collins’ beer and long walks with my boyfriend Brandon and our dog, Tucker.

Laura Jolly: Bikes have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. But after several bad experiences with cars, I decided to go full time bike-nerd. Now I ride for fitness and mental health in addition to just getting from A to B. Never done a race, but I believe in bikes as a powerful tool to keep our minds, bodies, and community healthy. When I’m not out exploring the NoCo gravel, you can find me at your favorite local bike shop and sponsor ProVelo!

Jenny Jones: My love of bikes has been life-long, starting with the two wheeler that I got from my dad for Christmas the year I turned three. This also happened to be the same bike that stopped my belief in Santa Claus. Since then, I’ve been a big road bike lover and have gotten a few century rides under my belt, survived a pretty nasty bike/car collision, and learned to procrastinate all sorts of work and chores by telling myself “it’s okay…another mile or two can’t hurt.”

Kylie Jones: I started mountain biking about six years ago and have continued to pursue the sport primarily because of my husband and biking having become central to our lifestyle. (We even moved from Loveland to Fort Collins simply to have more convenient access to trails right out our backdoor.) A foundational part of my love of cycling and racing has been the Laramie Mountain Bike Series races. My husband and I have participated for almost as many years as they have existed and it is always my motivation to get back into cycling shape after our Colorado winter.

But, with a growing family, cycling has taken on a new importance and meaning for me over the past two years. Now, in addition to cycling out of my own love and hope to stay fit, I want my cycling to be an example for my daughter of what women are capable of when you have a passion and determination, as well as an example of loving our natural world. With my husband being an avid cyclist too, I hope that it will turn into a family pastime as our little girl grows up and begins to pursue her passions. Destination mountain biking and racing has driven much of our free-time as a family. We often travel with my sister-in-law and fellow Follie, Tenae Jones, and her family in our matching Sprinter Vans. We undertook our most ambitious trip ever last year, as we followed our husbands racing the 8-day BC Bike Race across beautiful Britisch Columbia, Canada. This showed us just what we can accomplish and enjoyed the adventures and misadventures along the way. We look forward to more long trips like this exploring new trails together! For this upcoming season, I hope to regain my fitness, improve my technical skills, try some new races, and just have fun on the bike, as well as support the Fort Collins bike community.

Tanae Jones: This will be my fourth year Mountain Biking and my third year as a Follie. My husband is an avid mountain biker and has shared his love with me and our two kids that are 4 and 6. We are a biking family and are so fortunate to live in a community where great trails, fun races, good beer and happy people are abundant. Destination biking has become a big part of our lives, we have loved traveling and trying out new trails. My hopes are that our biking lifestyle will instill a sense of wonder in our children while also giving them the opportunity to discover what they love about the outdoors and themselves. This year I hope to do more races and to find joy within the suffering!

Becci Kirby: In 1994 I bought my first mountain bike and started exploring the flat trails of IL. In 1998 I joined the Little 500 bike team at Indiana University and starting road biking. Then over the years I’ve dabbled in both. I love heading to Steamboat and exploring Emerald Mountain, one of my favorite rides is Morning Gloria and coming down NPR. I also love going around Fort Collins and going to Lory and Blue Sky trails. My hope in the next year to to purchase a new mountain bike and explore the world of full suspension. 🙂 I also would like to learn more about racing. One think that makes me unique is I never give up and love trying new things even if they’re challenging, plus I love meeting new people. Well, that wasn’t very unique, but I am super fun! Hahaha

Ayla Kuchta: I have been a cyclist my entire adult life 30+ years.  I spend most of my time road biking but am working on my MTB abilities and do Triathlons too. In the winter I focus more on skiing. My husband and I do most of our riding together, either one on one or with friends, family or organized group rides. I am married with two kids who are out of college and out of the house. My career has been in engineering in the semiconductor industry.

Coral Lamb: Started cycling in Chico, CA in the 90s. As always enjoy the opportunity to meet and ride with some great, positive, and encouraging women. I bike commute whenever I can and I love to travel.

Amy LaTendresse Glaser: Amy was introduced to the sports of cycling and triathlon in 2010, and has been active in the Fort Collins cycling community since then. She joined the Fort Follies in their first year of 2011 and enjoys meeting and riding with other ladies interested in growing the sport of ladies cycling. She has participated in numerous triathlons, Xterras, half ironman races, and finished her first full ironman race in Cozumel in 2013. Amy is a physical therapist at Colorado in Motion and is trained and certified in performing cycling analyses, bicycle fits, and cycling biomechanics. She completed her NAIOMT (North American Institute of Manual Therapy) Fellowship and achieved her specialty in orthopedic manual therapy. When she has free time (ha ha), her interests include learning more about fly fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, snowboarding, and hanging out with her brewmaster husband, Adam, newborn son, Greyson, and their dog, Griffin.

Hanna McCaslin: I started cycling in college in Salt Lake in 2013 under the influence of a cute boy, and was on either my road or mountain bike just about every day throughout school. I rode less and less as I got deeper into my Master’s degree in Raptor Biology in Boise, ID, but I miss being on a bike and figure now is the time to get back into it! I moved to Fort Collins in 2019 to start my PhD, and I am excited to get to know Colorado by bike and ride with other awesome women!

Rachel McCrary: I enjoy riding mountain bikes!

Karen McCullah: I started cycling about ten years ago. I only have ridden off and on because I was in a pretty bad bike crash in 2015. I’m going to do my second AMBBR Ride in June and raise money to fight blood cancers. I just completed my first sprint tri at the Outdoor Divas and I loved it and would like to do more!

Nancy McElwain: I’m a coach, nutritionist, avid cyclist and triathlete. I am passionate about supporting women on bikes. I hope to compete in more tris and road races this year. I am also on Team Rio Grande Racing.

Teresa Metzger: I started road cycling in Spring 2019. I fell in love with cycling and am excited to meet new cycling friends. Hoping to enhance my fitness and skills on my bike. Just got a new gravel bike so excited for new adventures off road.

Tirrel Miller: When I first moved to Fort Collins and didn’t have a car, the bike was my best adventuring access and loyal transport. I love the feeling of fresh air and the nimbleness and elegance of biking. I have a competitive streak that comes out once and awhile, but I am mostly a casual rider. I enjoy diverse hobbies but I always come back to riding!

Lauren Nagle: I have tried many forms of cycling over the years, and I have discovered where I feel most at home: on dirt doing the most difficult things possible. I particularly love to bikepack and to ride gravel. Give me a chunky steep forest road or some single track, and I will be right a home. Yes, yes, I can be serious and I race also. You can see me doing all sorts of grassroots races, from CX to time trials. I also love endurance gravel racing on my sweet fat bike, Karen, because it is stupid hard to even get 100 miles in on her, never mind more than that. When I am not owning type 2 fun, you can find me playing bike polo or wrenching on bikes and doing all sorts of things in the cycling community.

Kelsey Navarre: I got into riding when I decided to give triathlon a shot. Let’s be honest, bike is the best event! I get out on my mountain or road bikes as much as possible between writing my master’s thesis. I’m looking forward to another great season with the Follies!

Elizabeth Obermeier: I’m an amateur cyclist who does this for fun. I have a vintage steel road bike I’m in the process of modernizing it. I just want to have fun, see new places and meet great people.

Elizabeth O’Brien-Smith: As with anything I do…I’m definitely more enthusiasm than athleticism, but hopefully you always see me out there with a smile! I have learned to love my bike even though I’m a runner at heart. Love me some gravel and I’m going to try and cyclocross more this year! If you don’t mind a little slower pace-give me a call, always game for a bike & a beer.

Kellie Olsheski: I have been a long time runner. I started running in high school and spent the next 30 years running mostly marathons. In the early 2000’s I started doing Olympic distance triathlons and continued those until I started a business in 2016. I shifted more to road and mountain biking at that time. I met a great group of women that love to bike and they have encouraged me in my cycling and have helped me to improve my skills and gain confidence on my mountain bike. I am really excited to continue on this journey of improvement and hope to meet another group of amazing women to train with and celebrate with.

Emily Osberg: I am a dental hygienist and mom of 3 kids. Our family enjoys cycling. I got into cycling about 8 years ago when neighbors asked me to join a fun women’s only ride and got my first road bike. I have enjoyed many adventures and now find joy in watching our kids ride their bikes! I enjoy socializing and having adventures on my bike.

Emma Pauken: I started riding this past season, mainly because I tore my ACL and couldn’t trail-run or climb for quite a while. Biking was one of the first things I could really do, so I bought a MTB on craigslist and ended up really loving it! This season I was really just getting into the swing of things, so this next season I want to hone some good foundational skills, get comfortable on harder blues/blacks, learn more about how to maintain my bike and hopefully get on some longer rides. I’m also just really looking forward to being part of a community/team. I’m an officer in the Air Force stationed up at F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, but I live in Fort Collins with my wife and dog. I work some pretty weird hours/days, but I love getting outside as much as possible during my time off, whether I’m riding, trail-running, climbing or skiing. Back in college I was part of the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team, and I really miss being on a team with awesome ladies doing awesome things.

Kat Peters-Midland: I am a cyclist and swimmer… and a recovering runner. I am living on my bike since my partial knee replacement and am ready to start cycling with my cycling sisters!

Diana Phillips: I would like to ride with other women and learn from them. Goals I would like to accomplish are completing a century ride and continue biking until old age!                                  

MJ Redman: I started cycling in Seattle in the 90’s so that I could do triathlons and commute to work. I joined a women’s cycling team because the bike was my weakest link and fell in the love with the sport and the community. I raced road and cross mainly with a little mountain for fun. Also raced cross in Maryland, then got addicted to ultra running in Texas. When my knees reached their expiration date, I returned to the bike again and now that my sense of reason is fully distorted, I want to see how far I can go!

Mindy Rice: I started “cycling” back when I lived in Lubbock, TX in 2003 and was so bored that I decided to start doing sprint triathlons which were popular there at the time. I first rode my 10 year old dirt bike for these races until I got my first real road bike in 2006. I really didn’t get into more longer distances and Olympic triathlons until I moved back to Colorado in 2008. I would like to start riding longer distances and would like to train for another Olympic triathlon of which I had taken a break from. But my main goal is to find people to ride with and to get out of my comfort zone of 20-30 mile rides. I’m less focused on racing and more focused on endurance overall. What makes me unique is that I’m a wildlife biologist who loves black rhinos and travels the world to find all 5 species! And some people might say my laugh is loud and pretty recognizable as well.

Rebecca Robbins: I first started seriously road biking about seven years ago when my father piqued my interest (he has been biking for 40+ years). I was born and raised in a small city near the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, so road biking for me has involved some incredible views of mountains and lakes, and some fairly aggressive inclines! In 2012, my father and I rode over 500 miles from Plattsburgh, New York to Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick, Canada (the intent was to bike all the way up to Prince Edward Island, but we weren’t able to make it all the way on two wheels). This trip definitely whet my appetite for cycling and I haven’t stopped since! In Colorado I have spent time exploring new routes and have ridden the metric century in the Venus de Miles twice with co-workers. I’m looking forward to new cycling adventures with the Northern Colorado community!

Tori Royle: I have been mountain biking for about 6 years. Raced some cross country, not quite my thing. Took a clinic and found I like more of the downhill and enduro aspect. I got my coaching certification through PMBIA last year and have been doing some coaching since then.

Catherine Salisbury: Hi Follies! I have been mountain biking and enjoying other outdoor sports for a long time, but biking became my go to sport when my son was born 4 years ago. I always enjoy riding with and being inspired by other strong, adventurous women. I am hoping to participate in more enduro races this year as well as become a strong and better technical climber. Thanks for having me as part of the team!

Natalie Santelli:  Natalie was introduced to the sports of cycling and triathlon in 2011, and the wheels haven’t stopped spinning since.  She became a Follies Team member in 2013 and enjoys mentoring new riders and growing the sport of women’s cycling. Her two biggest personal cycling accomplishments are finishing Ironman Cozumel in 2013 and completing the West Elk Bicycle Classic 134 mile endurance ride in Crested Butte.  When Natalie isn’t cycling, she can be found at the Eye Center of Northern Colorado, working as an Optometrist, or playing with her Weimaraner, Mia.

Jen Schiller: I love being on bikes! I have been working on my mountain bike skills, and it feels so good! I look forward to continuing my growth and riding with more folks!

Kate Schulte: I’ve been cycling for many years and love the feeling of accomplishment after climbing a big hill!

Barbara Schultz: I am a 58 retired mail carrier whose passion is MTB and snow biking. Started racing for fun, fitness and the challenge in the 1990’s. Enjoy the endurance races 50-65 miles. You just get in your grove ,enjoy the ride and camaraderie.

Diane Schultz: I started riding late in life as I got interested in sprint triathlons. After a few years on a road bike, I branched out to mountain biking as well and did my first Xterra triathlon. I haven’t raced much the last couple of years but still enjoy getting out and working on my skills.

Kelly Sharp: I really like riding bikes and hope to bikepack a lot this upcoming year.

Kaycee Simon: Busy mother of two attempting carve out time for my love of riding.

Lisa Sinclair: My big brother taught me how to ride a bike when I was a kid but most of my life I have just been a casual commuter cyclist. About 10 years ago I finally bought a road bike as a way to cross train and give my body a break from running. A couple years ago I entered my first organized ride, the Copper Triangle, and loved it! I would like to spend more time on the bike, meet new people, and ride in a few non-competitive events.

Tera Smith: While I lived on a bike as a kid, cycling wasn’t a thing for me until I completed my first triathlon 3 years ago. I love the challenge of taking on 3 disciplines, and the variety it provides. My confidence lies with swimming and running, and I am ready to add cycling to that list. I’m not one for blending in, and I live by the thought that “normal” is boring. Every mile, no matter how you get there, changes you…so bring it on!

Suzy Spezzano: I didn’t start riding bikes till I was 35. I had stopped smoking and was looking for something to do to keep myself busy, so I went out and bought a Schwinn cruiser. I’ve been bike crazy ever since. I look forward to riding more this year. I would love to try and do some grass-roots races and try an enduro race this year. 

Susan Strong: I started cycling six years ago when I bought my first road bike and trained for a couple of sprint triathlons. I quickly discovered that I wasn’t too bad on the bike and I really loved cycling! I love endurance rides and want to get faster overall, especially climbing. My bucket list is full of bike tours, but meanwhile, I’m hoping to ride as often as I can with great people!

Amy Swan: Soon after moving to Fort Collins many moons ago, I started riding to work and around town and became a dedicated bike commuter.  One summer after a few particularly unpleasant runs (on my feet), I decided I needed a new fitness outlet. A bunch of lady friends rode road bikes and had fun group rides, so I decided to get in on that action. A few years later my friend Kate fixed up my mountain bike and insisted I get on some dirt.  Turns out mountain biking is my jam! I completed my first endurance mtb race last summer and am planning to do a couple more races this summer. I spend a lot of time dreaming about places and trails I have yet to ride. I feel fortunate to have found such a fun, supportive group of women with which to share the bike love!

Lisa Swanson: I started road riding about 15 years ago and mountain biking maybe around 10 years. I was a runner most of my life. Ran all distances mostly marathons. After a few injuries from too much running I met Barb Schultz, she helped me discover biking, I am hooked. I love mountain biking, I wish I could do it everyday. I started to swim about 1.5 years ago so now I am giving Tri’s a try. You can say if it is out in nature on dirt….I am in.

Anna Towne: I have been cycling and doing triathlons now for 10 years but currently I’m spending the majority of my time pulling my daughter in our Thule chariot trailer or I’m teaching spin classes at Genesis and StudioQ. I have done over 30 races with Athletes in Tandem, where I get to guide adults with disabilities in road runs and triathlons. I try to do as many races with Athletes in Tandem as possible, it is such a challenge but it is very rewarding! I am a Physical Therapist at Rebound Sports and PT and I LOVE my job of working with athletes and getting them back to the activities they love! I love exploring CO with my husband and 1.5 year old daughter because I moved here from Iowa 6 years ago and now I just can’t get enough of the mountains!

Kelly Ulmer: I like bikes, cats, food, and being silly. Hoping to race a lot this summer and complete Kanza assuming I get into the lottery!

Donna Urban: I moved to Colorado 13 years ago and was strictly a runner. I always had the desire to complete a triathlon, so I bought my first bike; and so began my passion for cycling. I ride with a group of women who were dubbed the “nutjobs” because of our many cycling adventures. We have ridden much of the local roads, enjoyed the ride of the Rockies and did several self supported rides to Steamboat Springs and Winter Park. While I still enjoy road riding, my new found love is on the dirt. My goals are to build my endurance, improve my technical skills and discover new trails while making new friends along the way.

Jacqueline Vance: I started cycling about 2 years ago with my dad. I’ve come to enjoy cycling, but have never done it super consistently. I prefer to ride with people, so I’m excited to have people to ride with!

Michelle Verant: Biking is freedom for me. When I am cycling, my mind is free to be creative and contemplative. When I am mountain biking, my mind is focused and nothing else matters. When I am biking around the city, my mind is curious and observing all the little things that pass by (like a Richard Scarry book!). All the while, my body is energized with fresh air and the feeling of power as my muscles work. The peace and contentment of pure exhaustion at the end of a hard ride and a cold beer with friends is pretty awesome too. That’s why I like biking. I look forward to sharing these experiences with other awesome women and being inspired and challenged to be a better biker and better person. 

Tiffani Walker: I’m originally from Florida, lived in Louisiana for 5 years and have lived in Fort Collins for 9 years. I am an Air Force veteran and now work for the USDA as a Soil Conservationist. I have been with the Follies for 3 years now. I have been road biking for about 5 years and have been a runner since I was 20 and have been an equestrian since I was 13. I got into road cycling when I got a running injury due to a lack of cross training and thought it seemed like a fun cross training option, especially since it’s so easy and safe to do in Fort Collins. I like to do half marathons and duathlons (only started doing duathlons in 2018) and I hope to complete a marathon and do a long course duathlon this year.

Melody White: I didn’t start cycling as an “adult” until about two years ago at the age of 40 – I am one of those crazy runner types (1 mile to 50k). I got into cycling because I promised my baby brother I would do a triathlon with him – apparently there was a 56 mile bike ride in the middle of this sport – and my gold 1997 trek 7000 wasn’t going to work. I am currently on the Runners Roost Race team and the Pearl Izumi women’s triathlon team.

Jill Zarestky: I started cycling in 2003 to train for triathlons but it quickly became a hobby of its own. In addition to Olympic and Half-Iron tri’s, I’ve done a number of RAGBRAI and MS 150 events. After moving to Colorado in 2016, I’ve been spending a lot of time on work and not gotten to ride much. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the road and meeting other women cyclists. 

Katherine Zaunbrecher: I bought a road bike in 2011 and never looked back…I am now very comfortable on my road bike, am slowly building confidence on my mountain bike, and look forward to trying out gravel and bikepacking this coming year! I am looking forward to the challenges that I will face in the coming year, both self-inflicted and otherwise. The community and opportunities that the Follies provides is amazing.