Mariah Laqua – Minneapolis, Minnesota
I ride bicycles because they take me where I am going, and I enjoy the time spent in quiet focus outdoors. I grew up in Minnesota, riding bikes off of dirt jumps that my brothers and I built. When I was 11, a wicked crash broke my thumb and my bike, and bikes terrified me for about nine years, until I needed to ride to get to work. After a couple years of commuting I started bike touring—riding a singlespeed with bullhorn bars and a rack taped on the back—to Iowa, among other places. I’ve kept riding and it’s taken me into racing, longer tours and leaving my job in social work to hang out in a bike shop. I started racing at the National Sports Center Velodrome this year and I really love it. It’s hard and I’m not a natural, but I get to wear a fancy skinsuit and we have the largest women’s field in the country. I want to continue pursuing racing, especially endurance and track. Ultimately I hope I get to ride bikes forever, see the world by bicycle, and keep enjoying it.