Cycling Journey

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved competition. My parents like to say that at the age of three, I wasn't afraid to throw a few elbows in soccer games. This competitive spirit fuelled a 12-year career as a junior and university tennis player.

I discovered cycling through my long-time tennis coach, Steve, a road and mountain bike enthusiast. I would hear about his epic trips with his best friend Dave to Tucson, Las Vegas, Moab and other cycling hot spots. I hoped that one day, when I was done with tennis, I would be able to get good enough at cycling to go with them. 

I took up cycling at the end of university and was an occasional weekend cyclist. I found myself in all the beginner scenarios, like falling off my road bike after forgetting to fasten the straps. I remember after my first mountain bike ride I felt like I had hit every tree in the park! Fortunately, I didn't get too discouraged. I eventually gained enough experience to go on a mountain bike trip to Tucson and really fell in love with cycling. For me, the sport offered an incredible combination of physical exertion, exploration and discovery. I loved the way cycling made me feel connected to the area I was in. 

After university, I moved to New York to start working full time. I felt a sense of unease when my tennis career in university ended, because my identity had been tied to tennis for so long.

The first few years in New York, I didn't really feel at home. The noise, the bustle, the population density. I thought the city was definitely not for me. With the traffic and the news about fatal bike accidents, I was anxious to enjoy my new cycling hobby in this city, so I refrained. I always foolishly thought that if I moved to an outdoor place like Colorado, it would solve all my problems.

Then, out of the blue, my best friend and university roommate, a runner and now avid cyclist, told me about this amazing group she joined, Sugoi / NYC Velo Racing & Development. Excited by the possibility of meeting like-minded people, I joined the team as soon as I could. They were so welcoming and encouraging. They provided me with all the tools I needed to enjoy cycling in New York, from group rides to learning sessions and flat repair courses. I began to gain confidence in my cycling abilities and cycling became an integral part of my lifestyle. Most importantly, I began to make new cycling friends and was welcomed into a vibrant NYC cycling community. 

Suddenly, I began to feel at home in New York. The streets were finally familiar to me as I had ridden most of them morning, noon and night. 

Joining Sugoi / NYC Velo Racing and Development ticked all the boxes that I had been missing for the past few years: the community, a healthy and competitive outlet, and a chance to set goals and grow. I consider myself lucky to be a member of this team and it is exciting to see the positive impact this community is having on the development of the sport for W/T/F cyclists. 

As for the future, I hope to have a ton more races and the opportunity to ride with new and old friends.

Hannah Camhi