Seven years ago, Ayesha McGowan turned what was her means of transportation into a career path which she instantly fell in love with, leading her to seek to become the first female African American professional cyclist.
From the moment McGowan put two wheels on the tread, she has not looked back and is a ground breaker and an inspiration to many, especially people of color in the cycling community. Ayesha McGowan. Photo courtesy of Ayesha McGowan. “When I got into actual racing I happened to be pretty good at it early, so it was something that I decided to forge ahead with,” McGowan said.
Cycling is not like many other sports. Many times it’s just you, your bike, the noise of cars passing, your Garmin beeping every few minutes to warn you that the next interval is coming up, the constant clicking of gears changing, and a silence that lets you hear the sound of yourself gulping water.
“I think that’s the hardest part about being a professional athlete. You get knocked down a lot for various reasons and with me I feel like every year I am starting over from something,” McGowan said.
She found some new best friends, time, dedication, patience and the mental toughness to achieve the skill needed to be able to perform at a decent level.
“The deeper you go into the professional rabbit hole, it kinda chips away at everything else that you have going because it takes so much time and dedication.”
For many, with that comes much […]
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