32, Firefighter & EMT at Memphis Fire Department

I <3 Cycling: I have always loved riding bikes since I was a child. After purchasing my first road bike in January 2021, I joined Victory Couch-to-50mile training group. Since then, I have learned the basics of cycling, riding in groups, and completing long-distance rides. Challenging myself beyond my limits physically and mentally is extremely rewarding. I never realized how big of a cycling community Memphis had until I started. The amount of support and love I receive from riding in groups helps me to push for those extra miles.

Most Memorable Race: The Memphis Hightailers Red, White & Blue ride was by far my favorite cycling accomplishment. There were more than 100 riders. Being new to cycling, I felt intimidated and did not know what to expect. Fortunately, I received encouragement and support from the experienced riders as we worked as a team to finish. 

Out of the Saddle: I love to travel in my free time. A good friend introduced me to hiking on our road trip to Portland, Maine. We visited Acadia National Park and walked the 12-mile trail up to Cadillac Mountain, which had some of the best views. Since then, my goal has been to visit all 62 National Parks in North America and experience that same euphoric feeling.

Up Next: I plan to participate in the MRTC Road Race Series, which includes 5Ks, 10Ks, and the Big River Crossing Half Marathon in November. I am also training for the Vuelta Al Bosque (Tour of the Forest) cycling event in September. 

Motivation: Being fit gives me something to be proud of. It gives me a break from reality. Whether it is cycling, hiking, or running, I always push myself to be better than my last attempt. Also, working for the fire department requires strength and endurance. Fire gear can weigh up to 100 pounds! Not to mention climbing stairs, carrying victims, and putting out fires in extremely high temperatures.

Speed Bump: In early 2020, I injured my right knee from running. At that time, I had to decide on finding a different exercise routine. That is when cycling became my passion. 

Must-Have Gear: I cannot leave the house without my Garmin watch. I have a habit of monitoring my heart rate and steps daily.

Go-To Jams: My choice of music for exercising is Reggae. Bob Marley to be specific. Reggae music combined with exercising gives me a relaxed feeling when life around you seems chaotic. 

Bingeing: I’m currently watching WandaVision, Loki, and The Falcon and Winter Soldier. Yes, I am a big Marvel fan. 

Dream Dinner Date: I would like to meet Marshall “Major” Taylor. He was the first African American cycling champion in 1899. I have gained an appreciation for his life and legacy as I research the history of cycling. 

Motto: “If you quit now, you’ll end up right back where you first began. And when you first began, you were desperate to be where you are right now.”

Photo by Tindall Stephens