Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Rider Profile: Emily

Name: Emily Penn
Hometown:  Dallas, TX
Current Location: Murphy, TX 
Age: 20
Occupation: Student

About you in your own words:  I’m a Reese’s peanut butter cup eating, cowboy boot wearing, Eli Young Band listening kinda gal!

How did you get into cycling?
I was initially inspired by Kyle but after watching other people cycle in Ride Ataxia, I felt called to do it myself. I was at times excited about being a part of this event. At other times apprehensive, and not sure if I could do it. Yet I knew I had to do it! To prove to myself that no matter what this disease thought it could do to me, that my mind was stronger. I did 6 miles at Ride Ataxia Dallas and felt so free. The feeling was amazing. There were a few bruises but they were my "badge of honor." (or, you could say, "there was an awesome flip on my trike during the ride but I was proud of those bruises (my ego not so much).

I was so inspired that day that I believed I wanted to go for 25 miles the next time. Then, when some amazing people with the Texas IrishBike Club and Richardson Bike Mart gave me a trike, I knew it was what I had to do! Cycling has given me my freedom. It gives me the time to forget what I don't want to think about, and it reminds me of my strength.

What is your favorite local route?
I ride this simple route by my house that I enjoy. It was the first route I did by myself on my new trike. Each time I go a little further, I am reminded of the sheer joy I felt that day, reminded of how strong I really am & how much I have accomplished.

What is your favorite item of cycling gear?
My FARA jersey of course!

Longest ride?
15 miles

Cycling goal for 2013?
Complete the 50 mile route at the ‘’Hotter Than Hell’ ride in August in Wichita, TX

Favorite cycling snack?
Not gels!

Junk food Weakness? 
It's a toss up between Rice Krispy Treats and the aforementioned Reese's :)

How many times at Ride Ataxia Dallas for you so far?
I volunteered the first 2, rode 6 miles in my first ride last year and this year I am doing 25 miles with some incredible family and friends!!

What distance will you be riding this year?
I plan to rock 25 miles!

Tell us one thing you know about Friedreich's Ataxia (FA) without using the internet.
It is a progressive, debilitating and life-shortening neuromuscular disease. I have it but it DOES NOT have me!
What do you love about Ride Ataxia?
The dream for the future, the freedom it offers, the hope that it fuels and the high-fives along the way.


Spinner said...

Emily, don't eat a whole Bag of reese's - they will make you ... flip you trike ;)

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Todd said...

That's awesome. I had a motorcycle wreck in 1991 and have had a paralyzed arm for the past 22 years along with nerve damage in my legs, so I can't ride a regular bike. And, walking has become more difficult over the years.

I've been riding a recumbent trike for 7 years now and have put almost 9,000 miles on it.

I looked at this picture of Emily on her new trike, and her shoe laces are going to get caught in those chainrings. Before she does that 25 mile ride in Denton....she should switch out those pedal cages for clipless pedals and clipless shoes which have velcro straps instead of laces.

Even being new with clipless shoes, she won't have a problem since there is NO balance issues on a trike. Plus, with her feet being attached to the pedals it is much easier with nerve damage in her legs.

I used to have pedal cages on my trike for the first 3 years, but my feet became numb from the cages on long I've been using clipless pedals for the past 4 years it is much easier on my nerve damaged legs.

I just started getting my 13 year old daughter riding with me this year...Emily is more than welcome to come ride some of our bike routes with us in North Fort Worth.

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