Talya Tessler

Growing up in a house where bikes are like pets, you can imagine the sport has rubbed off on me. From Cycle-Cross Racing to mountain bike racing, I’ve fallen, complained, and had victory. But the one thing that keeps me racing a bike is my family. My father (JT) races too and always knows how to push me to be my best. My sister has stayed next to me (at least until the finish line) every time I have gone down; she is always there to help me back up. My brother shouts encouragement from the sidelines while he waits for his race to start. My mother comes and sits in the sun just celebrate with us when we finish.  

This past year I have also taken up Spartan racing which is a 5.5 mile obstacle race. It takes the same drive and focus as riding a bike does, but only this time, on your feet. As a 15 year old girl many people expect me to care more about shopping and my hair then exercise and racing. A lot of people are shocked when I tell them what I do for fun. Some of them tell me I’m showing off but other are impressed to hear that I can tackle a 2 hour bike race and a barbed wire crawl. Riding also gives me a sense of empowerment. No one is there to help me on the bike but myself. Girls are often looked at like they will always need help. By riding I prove not only to myself but to other people that I can take care of myself on and off the bike.