For the 2017 Redlands Classic stage race this May, the Amy D Foundation held a composite team of 6 riders. The event culminated with Amy D Foundation riders Heidi Franz getting the Best Amateur Rider’s Jersey, Megan Jastrab getting 2nd place on a stage, and the last professional race of Joy Duerksen McCulloch. That is what these composite teams are all about!
More about our riders below.
Age: 23 (race age 24)
Occupation/area of study: barista/english and art major
Years racing: 2
Primary race discipline: road races/adventure races
Do you consider yourself a developing rider or a seasoned rider?: Developing, definitely developing
Cycling Strength?: Hills!!!! both upwards and downwards. and anything super long
How did you get into cycling?: I started riding as an outlet when my running career became too stressful and too damaging– was immediately hooked and have not even thought about running a race since. I love the freedom it gives me and the social aspects and the sheer amount of things you can experience from a bicycle that are otherwise hidden.
How did you come to ride with the ADF program?: Connections, via my coach, Jo Kiesanowski, and my bike rep, Terry Curley.
How did you picked this race?: Redlands has been a goal of mine since I started racing. I think the amount of elevation involved is promising for me given my love for riding up hills. My favorite race last year was Cascade and I’m looking to strengthen my stage race experience.
What do you do when you are not racing?: I ride for fun 🙂 haha. But aside from bikes, I like printmaking and writing and making really really good coffee.
Do you normally ride for a team or as a solo rider?: I just signed with Illuminate for the remainder of the season. I also ride a lot of unsanctioned stuff on my own in the gravel/adventure scene, with individual sponsors.
What are you looking to take away from your time with the ADF team?: There’s nothing I find more empowering than riding next to other strong and motivated women. As a very new presence in this scene I have so much to learn from other girls who have been in it for the long run and most importantly so many friends to make!
Occupation/area of study: I am a Sophomore in High School. I enjoy science and math.
Years racing: 4th
Primary race discipline: Road with emphasis on criteriums, followed closely by both track and Mtb.
Do you consider yourself a developing rider or a seasoned rider?:
Developing rider, as I have much to learn. I have been on only junior cycling teams and have also been the only female on those teams.
Cycling Strength?: Sprinting
How did you get into cycling or what do you like best about cycling?: I have always road a bike, since I can remember, but I was introduced to competitive cycling from my parents. I started out with BMX and after a few years of racing BMX, my parents let my brother and myself ride on the road (they did not feel comfortable with the cars), which started out as the idea of one or two local races, then quickly went into racing every weekend, and then the first year traveling to Wisconsin for junior nationals. At the end of my first year I started also competitive MTB, and then the second year included Track racing.
How did you come to ride with the ADF program?: I approached Joy McCulloch to ask her advice about the possibility of participating in the Redlands Classic, whether-or-not it would be a good decision for me at my age. She gave me some advise and also directed me towards the Amy D Foundation.
How did you pick this race?: I have been able to upgrade to a Cat 2 for some time, but because of my age I had to wait till I was 15. Over the course of the 2016 season, I focused primarily on Pro 1/2/3 races versus the junior races. Continuing on with my desire to race in the women’s pro 1/2 fields, The Redlands Classic is close to home and would give me my first exposure to racing on a women’s pro team.
What do you do when you are not racing?: Family time, school, playing with my pets, and cooking. The off season is filled with dirt bike riding, camping, and a lot of playing catch up on chores that weren’t completed during the cycling season as my brother and I race almost every weekend.
Do you normally ride for a team or as a solo rider?: I ride for Swami’s Jr. Development Team on the road.
What are you looking to take away from this time with the team?: I am looking to experience what it is like to be on a women’s team and compete in a large and diversely talented field of riders. I have never competed in this caliber of a race before, but I am thoroughly looking forward to it! I appreciate The Amy D Foundation for giving me this opportunity.
Occupation: Owner, Head Coach at Big Wheel Coaching, Inc.
Primary Race Discipline: Road
Do you consider yourself a developing rider or a seasoned rider?: I am a very well seasoned and marinated rider 🙂
Cycling Strength?: Work, Work, Work! I love being part of a team, racing with a purpose, and doing everything I can to ensure the team reaches their goals. I love fast and technical criteriums and have success with time trials as well.
How did you get into cycling or what do you like best about cycling?: I got into cycling as a kid, riding to go get slushies! After college in 2003 I picked up mountain biking and never looked back. I turned Pro on the dirt in 2008 and transitioned to the road in 2010. I love that I have met so many amazing people while learning some pretty intense and life changing lessons in the process all while riding and racing my bike.
How did you come to ride with the ADF program?: Amy D – what a legend! I first met Amy when she was a collegiate racer and she showed up out of nowhere to race the NORBA MTB National Championships in Aspen. She rode away from the expert field and although I was stoked to get 2nd, she beat me by 15 minutes! Years later, I was able to race with her as a guest rider for the FCS team at Cascade and it was blast. I have worked extensively with Michael Engelman over the years as he has created teams, and the Amy D Foundation Team was a no-brainer fit for me. I was able to race RBC last year for the Amy D Foundation and it was fantastic!
How did you pick this race?: I think this race picked me 🙂 This will be the 7th year in a row I have raced this event as it is literally out my front door. Being a local makes this race very special as each road and stage has a special place in my heart. But the people behind the scenes that make it all happen are all great friends of ours, many of which came to our wedding! My first road racing event was the Redlands Classic Public Races back in 2006 I believe and it was terrifying! Now to race the pro stage race, its just invigorating, and a good lesson in not giving up!
What do you do when you are not racing?: Work, work, work! Alongside my husband Brian, I run Big Wheel Coaching, Inc. a cycling coaching company. We work with athletes across the world and really enjoy putting on goal setting workshops, skills clinics, rides, and joining events. I also help run the Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling Team which is a ton of fun! In the slivers of free time I have, I get to hang out with our Labradors, spend time with important people, clean the house and watch my shows. This rarely happens though.
Do you normally ride for a team or as a solo rider?: I am a member of the Elevate-KHS team, however, I am the only female! I usually race solo but with an amazing support system of partners and my male teammates. My husband and I have been part of the program for 6 years and it has become family.
What are you looking to take away from this time with the team?: Ah, now that’s the question! I am excited to have the chance to help newer riders explore RBC. It is an iconic event and really special to me, and having the chance to guide them through it will be really rewarding. I used to teach High School PE, so what’s one more chaperoned sporting event? These girls are young! And I love it! It is fun to put my teacher and coach hat on and introduce them to the ropes and tricks of the trade. Personally, this will be my final road racing event as I am moving towards full-time focus on our business. It’s a bit poetic to close the chapter here on home turf, for an amazing cause and with great athletes. I am going to soak up every lung burning mile of it!
Occupation/area of study: I teach Cognitive Science at UC San Diego
Years racing: This is my 3rd season racing (I did triathlons for 3 years before switching over to just biking)
Primary race discipline: Road and track
Do you consider yourself a developing rider or a seasoned rider?: A bit of both — I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve also come a long way since I first started.
Cycling Strength?: Time trialing, break-aways
What do you like best about cycling?: I love the team aspect and all of the strategy that goes along with racing as a team!
How did you come to ride with the ADF program?: Coming from the Southern California racing scene, Joy is always someone I’ve always looked up to and I was super excited when she first asked me if I’d like to ride with Amy D at Redlands last year.
How did you pick this race?: Redlands is a classic — and it’s local (for me) — you can’t beat that combination.
What do you do when you are not racing?: I’m either teaching classes or doing research.
Do you normally ride for a team or as a solo rider?: A team
What are you looking to take away from your time with the ADF team?: I really love what the Amy D Foundation stands for and it plays a huge role in increasing opportunities for women in cycling. I had such a great learning experience with Amy D at Redlands last year. Everyone was super supportive and positive, no matter what your performance. I hope to be able to take away even more from my time with the team this year now that I have a little more experience under my belt. I’m also really excited to get to race with Joy and Megan on a team for the first time. We often compete against each other at many of the local races and they’re two of my favorite riders!
Occupation/area of study: Graduating in a few weeks with a B.Sc. in Math at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. Entering a PhD program for atmospheric science in the fall at the University of Colorado.
Years racing: Second season as a Cat 2
Primary race discipline?: Road
Do you consider yourself a developing rider or a seasoned rider?: Developing
Cycling Strength?: Climbing
How did you get into cycling or what do you like best about cycling?: It’s challenging, empowering, and fun!
How did you come to ride with the ADF program?: I was looking for opportunities to compete in these bigger races. The ADF program has provided that and so much more.
How did you pick this race?: It’s a great stage race. What’s not to love?
What do you do when you are not racing?: Research! I am part of a multinational collaboration on volcano-climate modelling, and am presenting in Zaragoza, Spain right after the race.
Do you normally ride for a team or as a solo rider?: Normally I ride for Groove Subaru. I also am the leader of the UBC Cycling Team.
What are you looking to take away from this time with the ADF team?: I learned a lot from the experienced ADF riders and staff during Tour of the Gila, and am looking to continue building on this at Redlands. Let’s go race some bikes!
Occupation/area of study: Graduating with a BFA in Photography this June, and currently a bike shop sales associate.
Years racing: Just 15 months!
Primary race discipline?: Road, Cyclocross
Do you consider yourself a developing rider or a seasoned rider?: Developing, always learning!
Cycling Strength?: Climbing, bike handling
How did you get into cycling or what do you like best about cycling?: My family has always been a cycling family, my parents raced in college and I grew up riding around Bainbridge Island. At college in Seattle, the only sport that was really accessible was cycling. (I’m not a runner…) I brought my bike over to school and joined the Seattle U Cycling team, just in time to race CX for the first time in 2015. Went onto road and haven’t looked back since!
How did you come to ride with the ADF program?: A connection through my coach, Joe Holmes!
How you pick this race?: The race was picked for me, haha. But I’m super excited!
What do you do when you are not racing?: Going to school, taking photos, working at a bike shop, eating pizza, and cuddling with Liam the house cat.
Do you normally ride for a team or as a solo rider?: I ride for Keller Rohrback Cycling Team in Seattle, WA. I did my first road season riding solo for Seattle U, and this year have been racing for Keller Rohrback with the most rad group of women and guys.
What are you looking to take away from this time with the ADF team?: I am so looking forward to being challenged, learning a lot, getting more experience and exposure to NRC races, and connecting with the larger cycling community.