“If people looked at everybody as just humans that can race bikes, we’d go so much further in equalizing opportunities for everyone.” Ayesha McGowan
In “The Level Up,” changemakers in the fitness and wellness industries tell us how they’re making an impact in their communities, from pushing for inclusivity to promoting body acceptance and so much more. Here, cyclist Ayesha McGowan discusses how her sport can make space for more women and people of color.
Ayesha McGowan never intended to become a professional cyclist, but all that changed one cold day while she was a student at the Berklee College of Music. “I started school in January [during] a miserable Boston winter, and I hated waiting for the train in the cold,” says McGowan, now 35. “I asked my mom for her bike that I knew was just sitting in our basement, and the rest is literally history — I started riding that bike and did not want to stop.”
After honing her cycling skills during seven years of commuting by bike, McGowan began her racing career in 2014. Since then, she’s become the first Black American woman professional cyclist , competing in prestigious races around the world like the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche and the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. She also won the Most Inspiration Rider title at the 2019 Colorado Classic and is a member of the UCI Women’s World Team Liv Racing–Xstra .
Beyond her biking chops, McGowan is also paving the way for […]